Up to now we have learned these things as to the power of the Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth; He guides into all truth; He brings to memory Christ’s teachings; He shows things to come; He glorifies Christ; He speaks not of Himself but of Christ; He, like believers, bears witness to Christ; He enables Christians to do greater works than those of Christ; He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He comes because Christ goes away; He is “another Comforter”; He is to abide with disciples forever.14
Now we come to 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.”
The Greek word for power is dunamis. Jesus was not speaking of political power, ecclesiastical power or electrical power. He used a new and different word meaning His disciples were “to be enabled.” This enablement was to occur “when the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Greek: epelthontos tou hagiou pneumatos eph’ humas). Genitive absolute and is simultaneous in time with the preceding verb “shall receive” (lêmpsesthe). The Holy Spirit will give them the “power” as he comes upon them.15
This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit referred to in Acts 1:5. “For John baptized with (or in) water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” This baptism was to enable them to be witnesses.
You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:48-49
Therefore, it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection. Acts 1:21-22
We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. Acts 10:39
The word for witness or witnesses is the Greek word: matures. The word is generally translated into English as martyr. There for a witness had to have a direct and personal relationship with Christ Jesus, but they also were empowered to the point to having courage to witness—even unto death.
They were being sent from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and then to the uttermost part of the earth. The Holy Spirit’s power would send and is continuing to send witnesses for one purpose—complete world conquest for Christ.16
The events within the Book of Acts follow this outline: witnessing in Jerusalem until the end of chapter 7, with the martyrdom of Stephen. The scattering of the saints sent the gospel through Judea and Samaria in chapter 8. The conversion of Saul and the spread of the gospel to Romans in Caesarea by Peter (chapters 9 & 10) took the gospel to the edge of Palestine.
The gospel spread to the Greeks in Antioch (chapter 11), and through Paul’s witness during his missionary tours which ended with his arrest and arrival in Rome (chapters 11 to 28).17
The power of the Holy Spirit enabled the Peter, Paul and others with a message and preaching that was not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that the faith of every believer might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.18
The only secure place for faith to find a rest is in God’s power, not in the wisdom of men. One has only to instance the changing theories of men about science, philosophy, religion, and politics to see this. A sure and powerful word from God can be depended on and experienced in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Such was the testimony of Paul to the Romans, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit.
So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:18-19) He wrote similarly to the Thessalonians. “Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
The operation of the Spirit’s power is distinctly seen in the regeneration and sanctification of the believer as well as in the believer’s empowerment to confidently declare the gospel.
This endowment of divine power brings personal boldness and the power of the Spirit into the believer’s life in order to accomplish mighty works in Christ’s Name and thereby making his witness and proclamation effective.19
Other results of the power of the Spirit include: 1) prophetic utterances and the bold declaration of thanksgiving and praise (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 1 Corinthians 14:2); 2) enhanced sensitivity to any sin that grieves the Holy Spirit as well as a greater desire for righteous thinking and living (Ephesians 4:30, Romans 13, James 4:8-10); 3) a life that brings glory to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14; Acts 4:33; Ephesians 5:1-19); 4) a greater desire to pray (Acts 2:42-47; 4:23-31; 6:4; 10:9; Romans 8:26-28; 1 Corinthians 14:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17); 5) a growing desire for the true manifestation of spiritual gifts and the spiritual maturity needed to rightly administrate them (1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 14; Hebrews 6:1-2).
We must embrace all of the elements of the Spirit’s action: the charismatic for mighty works; the intellectual for guidance into truth; the moral and spiritual for producing holy lives. The power of the Spirit transfers the kingdom, so to speak, from the shoulders of the Master to those of the disciples, but the latter are empowered for their tasks by the might of the indwelling and abiding Spirit.
The Kingdom of God suffers violence when believers full of the Spirit’s power choose to pursue the Kingdom’s advancement. That advancement is clearly tied to the bold, obedient and holy lives of Christ’s disciples, who are full of the Holy Spirit.
See Previous 1-12 End Notes in the Previous Two Blog Posts
13. Robertson’s Word Pictures John 8:32
14. ISBE 4385
15. Robertson’s Word Pictures Acts 1:8
18. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
19. Don Stamps Note, Life in the Spirit Study Bible, Acts 1:8