The Power of the Holy Spirit
Topic: God's Power In Us Scripture: Acts 1:1–:8, Acts 2:1–:6
The Power of The Holy Spirit
Last week we introduced the series by declaring that the Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of God. We also learned that there are many roles of the Holy Spirit.
· He leads us to salvation and assures us that we belong to God
· He helps us in our everyday lives, and He helps us to live righteously by convicting us of sin.
· He is our teacher, if we are unsure what a passage of scripture is saying, He will make known to us its meaning.
· He is our comforter; He provides a peace that surpasses all understanding.
We have already established the fact that salvation begins with the drawing of the Holy Spirit. This is a demonstration of God’s grace, as God gives to us that which we do not deserve. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit leads us to faith in Jesus Christ. This is the way that we are saved. We are saved by grace and through faith in Christ.
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
It is the Holy Spirit who awakens your heart to believe that Jesus is Lord. From that moment on we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us and He helps us to live righteously.
1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me;
One thing we see in this passage is that before Jesus was taken up is that He gave the apostles commands through the Holy Spirit. Meaning He spoke the commands and his disciples were able to receive those commands through the Holy Spirit. We have already mentioned last week that it is through our Spirit man that we are able to communicate with God.
We also know that up to this point, we can say with certainty that the apostles were saved. They had faith in Jesus that He was the Son of God, they had witnessed that Jesus had died and rose again just as the prophets foretold.
We know they had faith because of the many examples in the scriptures. One such example:
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Jesus tells Peter that he was absolutely correct in his proclamation and that this revelation of who Jesus is did not come to him by anything he had seen in the natural (in flesh and blood), but it was revealed to him by the Spirit of God, through the Holy Spirit.
So, there is evidence of Peter’s salvation along with the working of the Holy Spirit in his life, even before the day of Pentecost.
But in our passage today Jesus alludes to something even greater. What can be greater than the Holy Spirt drawing men to repentance?
5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Two kinds of baptism are mentioned.
1. Water baptism- this is associated with salvation. It is a public declaration that you belong to Christ. It is an outward symbol of what has taken place on the inside. Jesus was baptized and we are to follow His example as Christ followers. In doing so we identify with His death, burial and resurrection. Meaning we die to our old selves and a new person in Christ arises.
Again, it is the Holy Spirit who has drawn us to salvation. So, from the moment of salvation the Holy Spirit is present in your life and He is leading you to repentance.
2. Baptism of the Holy Spirit. So, this is something more than salvation. This is in addition to having the Holy Spirit lead you to repentance.
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus tells them that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Power to do what you may ask. The power to become witnesses to the ends of the earth.
If we were to think of it from a military perspective. After you have enlisted and have passed all the necessary prescreening, medical and ASVAB testing required then you’re sworn in and shipped out to basic training. You my friend are a soldier.
However, the real test is when you will be put in a real combat situation, with a real mission, with real bullets flying in your direction. It is at that moment that you need a real force to defend yourself with. Whether that force is an assault rifle, tank, armed aircraft, armed sea craft, missiles, drones etc… You need something bigger than yourself to help you fight against a very real enemy.
The same is true with the power of the Holy Spirit.
You are saved the moment you confess your sins and put your faith in Jesus. But if you are to engage in the fight against our very real spiritual enemy the devil, who is out to steal kill and destroy, then you will need to be equipped with fire power that is bigger than yourself; You need to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you are to declare the good news of the gospel to those who are perishing without him, then you need to be equipped with the Holy Spirit. If you’re tire of getting your butt kicked every time you are tempted to sin, then you need the power of the Holy Spirit.
That is what Jesus tells his disciples; “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses”
The thing about it, is that whether we choose to engage in the fight or not, our adversary the devil is on the attack, especially against believers. He does not leave you alone just because you are a Christian. On the contrary, you have been released from his grip of death and he is out to destroy you.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
So, it would benefit you greatly to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit so that you will be able to stand against his attacks and so that you can be an effective witness in the earth.
One more observation to make is that Jesus gave the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. That is until the whole world has been evangelized. As we know the task of world evangelism is not yet complete, thus the promise of this extraordinary power to continue the work of evangelism is still valid and is still needed today.
So, if we are to call ourselves Christians, meaning we are Christ like, then our hearts should be burdened for the lost and we should be willing to engage in the spiritual fight. Thus, we need the power of the Holy Spirit. Fast forward to the next chapter in Acts and we find that Jesus fulfilled His promise.
1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were
sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
This day of Pentecost was a powerful and unique outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the early church. There was a sound of a mighty rushing wind, there were divided tongues that appeared like fire and rested on each of them, they began to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave them the utterance.
It was necessary to go to this extreme to ensure that the gospel of Jesus Christ would be launched powerfully among the many different nations and languages who were gathered in Jerusalem during that time for Pentecost. Each people group heard the gospel being preached in their own language and they glorified God.
Peter was so affected by the power of Holy Spirit that he stands up and delivers one of the most theologically sound sermons with great power and authority.
Now this is the same Peter that was previously rebuked by Jesus. This rebuke began like this “Get thee behind me satan.”
But with the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter preaches a sermon emphasizing the importance of Jesus as the Christ and as a result 3000 people were saved that day. It was a power beyond himself.
Now the evidence that they had the power of the Holy Spirit was that they spoke in tongues. Let me just say that is not the only evidence but is one of the reoccurring evidences that we see throughout the of New Testament. We will talk about the other evidences or gifts of the Spirit next week.
Another example is found when Peter goes to a man named Cornelius to declare to him and those with him the truth regarding Jesus Christ.
We Must Be Filled with the Power of The Holy Spirit
44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God.
Here we do not see the divided tongues as of fire falling on them, however they were filled with the Holy Spirit and that they began speaking in tongues and worshipping God. In the chapter prior to this, the apostle Paul is said to receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands.
17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may
regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.
It is not said that Paul spoke in tongues at that moment, we know that eventually he did, but we do find him preaching boldly in the name of Jesus. The Power of the Holy Spirit came upon him so that he could be a bold witness for Jesus Christ. He debated with religious leaders proving that Jesus was the Christ.
We Must Be A Conduit for Others
Not only did Paul receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, but he was also used as a conduit to bring the Holy Spirit to others in the same ways.
Acts 19:6-7 (while Paul was in Ephesus)
6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
Here Prophesying is added to the tongues. In most cases throughout the New Testament, the power of the Holy Spirit was given by the laying on of hands.
One last point to make is that we need to be constantly filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
After having preached for days in the synagogue at Antioch, exhausting themselves trying to convince the Jews that Jesus was the messiah and after preaching to the Gentiles Paul and Barnabas needed to be recharged. That is exactly what happened.
We Must Be Filled Continuously
Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
It is important to refuel after pouring out. Go back to the source and get filled back up with a fresh outpouring of His Spirit.
· Be Filled with the Power of The Holy Spirit
· Be A Conduit for Others
· Be Filled Continuously