Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Right before Jesus ascended into heaven He gave today’s powerful verse as His parting words. He wanted to make sure His disciples received all that He intended them to have, so they could be His witnesses around the world. In other words, for Jesus’ disciples to effectively make new disciples they would need the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Greek word Jesus used for “power” was, “dunamis” and it means, “mighty strength and ability.” Jesus wanted His followers to have the same Holy Spirit ability that He had been given at His baptism when the Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove (Luke 3:22). Jesus never wanted one disciple to have anything less than His best. He wanted to multiply Himself in His followers and having God’s power was fundamental for the task of building the church.
Being a Holy Spirit empowered witness for Jesus was never meant to be optional or looked at as “radical.” Rather, it was the normative experience that Jesus wanted all His disciples to have, in order to bring forth His gospel with power.
Today, as we read the book of Acts, named after the “Acts of the Apostles,” we can understand that Jesus’ main purpose for the disciples being endowed with power was to be His witnesses. The main purpose wasn’t to have entertaining church services, hold self-empowerment conferences, write expensive books or sing touching songs. To be a witness for Jesus means to testify to others about who Jesus is and what He has done in your life. All Christians are commanded to be disciples that are filled with the Holy Spirit’s power to be Jesus’ witnesses; no exceptions.
Jesus let His first disciples know that their calling to be witnesses wasn’t going to just be local but global. Jerusalem was their starting point, Judea and Samaria were outlining areas of Jerusalem that they were to go to next and then they were to spread out to the ends of the earth. The book of Acts records that the disciples kept Jesus’ commands; first they witnessed in Jerusalem in Acts 2-7, in all of Judea and Samaria in Acts 8-12 and then the church went to the ends of the earth in Acts 13-28.
As the disciples went out preaching the gospel in power, they shared it with all who believed. New disciples were saved and received the same power of the Holy Spirit that they did on Pentecost. Luke records in Acts 10:44-46 what happened at a Roman soldier’s house, “44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.”
Douglas Jacobsen recorded this same kind of multiplication of power in the U.S. during the revivals that broke out in the early 1900’s, “The baptism of the Spirit compelled believers to share their spiritual gifts and powers with those around them.” Now it’s your turn to be filled with power and take the gospel to every part of your world!
- Ask the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit’s power.
- Receive the endowment of power from the Holy Spirit.
- Be a witness for Jesus wherever you go.