CHANGE(D): Promised Power

Acts 1:1-11 reveals how Jesus made several post-resurrection appearances for forty days, confirming He was alive and communicating to the disciples what they were to do next.

Jesus spoke explicitly with His followers about the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is God’s eternal and sovereign rule over all creation but practically over those who submit to His Lordship. A King reigns over His Kingdom, and His authority is final.

We become citizens of this Kingdom when we make Jesus King over our life by accepting His offer of salvation and living by faith.

And as citizens of this eternal Kingdom, we are to participate in populating His Kingdom by being a witness and disciple-maker.

Kingdom building is an “us” effort, which is why the book of Acts begins with the promise of the Holy Spirit. God never intended for us to accomplish this in our strength.

In Acts 1:4-5, Jesus instructs the disciples not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father. In context, post-resurrection, Jerusalem was a dangerous place for the disciples, with all the talk of Jesus being alive.

The promised baptism in the Holy Spirit goes back to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. John the Baptist said that another is coming who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Luke 3:16

So I guess you can say the first person to speak about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was a Baptist…

When discussing the Holy Spirit, it’s wise to know what Jesus taught about Him.

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

There are two prepositions in verse 17 to facilitate understanding. First is the word “with,” which comes from the Greek word para and is translated as with, near, or around.

The Holy Spirit continually works around us, influencing us and drawing people to the knowledge and truth about Jesus.

The second preposition is the word “in,” and it comes from the Greek “en” and translates as in or within and is in the future tense.

Jesus added that a time would come when He would dwell “in” them.

Now there are a couple of passages where we read about believers receiving the Holy Spirit, which has caused some confusion regarding the “baptism” of the Holy Spirit.

On one occasion after Jesus’ resurrection, when He privately appeared to the disciples and after giving them further proof of His resurrection and they believed. 

John 20:22 records this encounter, saying, “22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22

This is the first confession of faith in Jesus as Savior. And it’s here that they receive the Holy Spirit.

If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved, and at that moment, you will receive the Holy Spirit. But this is different than being baptized in the Holy Spirit. 

1 Corinthians 3:16 states that we become the temple of the Holy Spirit upon salvation.

But Jesus’ instruction in Acts 1:8 raises the question: “If being the temple of the Holy Spirit was all you needed, why go and wait?”

Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Here is another key preposition, “upon.”

The preposition “upon” comes from the Greek word “epi” and is translated as upon, on, over. So the Holy Spirit will come upon you, on you, over you, conveying a sense of immersion like water baptism.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit immerses the Christian in the Holy Spirit, giving them power and boldness in building God’s Kingdom!

The word power comes from the Greek word dynamis and means to be able, capable, achieving power.

Furthermore, Acts 1 and 2 connect this baptism with sharing the Gospel and building God’s Kingdom.

So how do I receive the Holy Spirit baptism?

“11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13


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