Summary: Acts is a continuation of the Gospel of Luke. Luke's 1st letter describes the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This being his 2nd letter, he describes the beginnings of the church after Jesus ascends to heaven and sends the Holy Spirit
Why do we need the Holy Spirit? Do we have the Holy Spirit living in us? Do we want the Holy Spirit living in us? You are not saved unless you do you know. Romans 8:9 “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all). And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.”
The book of Acts is a continuation of the Gospel of Luke. Luke in his first letter describes the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Then in this, his second letter he describes the beginnings of the church after Jesus ascends to heaven and sends the Holy Spirit to his followers.
Acts is the fulfilment of many of Jesus’ prophecies after he fulfills the OT prophecies. It is vitally important for us because it shows us how the original followers of Jesus, who spent three years with him, thought church should be under the power of the Holy Spirit.
After the introduction, in ch 1 verse 4 we see Jesus give the command to stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit comes. In other words, don’t bother going out as a follower of Christ without the Holy Spirit. He’s essentially saying what he said earlier in his ministry, that you can do nothing without me.
In verse 7 we see the beginning of “The Great Commission of Acts”. Jesus is saying that you can’t know everything even with the Holy Spirit, but here’s what I want you to do with the power that the Holy Spirit gives you, “Be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere, from here to the ends of the earth.”
Are we not wanting something more than that or different from that from the Holy Spirit? We want the gifts, the wisdom, even maybe sometimes the conviction from the Holy Spirit, but are we excited about the power to be His witnesses, to tell the world about Him. You can get all those other things as well, but the priority it seems is for the Spirit to give us the boldness and the words to speak about Christ, this is clearly what the primary purpose is, even when he gives us miraculous abilities. Even the Holy Spirit will not force you to do anything so the question is, do we want the Holy Spirit to empower us for this task?
Then they watch Jesus ascend to heaven and the angel says He will return from heaven, the same way you saw him go. And it seems the angel is saying, get your focus off of heaven, and put your eyes on your task here because Jesus is coming back, and we know that the next time he comes it is to judge.
Verse 12- to the end of the chapter describes the replacement process of Judas Iscariot and in ch. 1:20 we see that they were already a church and they followed the Scriptures they had. They chose leaders based on their having witnessed Jesus ministry and resurrection (today, that would be the NT). Anyone who has witnessed the New Testament and believes it, is a witness (an apostle in the technical sense of the word, which is a sent messenger). So let’s have a look at what happened…
So as we begin chapter two, I don’t think we should overlook the fact that all the believers were gathered together in one place. When people have a common purpose and they are excited about it, they seem to gather together often. Whether it be a team trying to win a championship, a workplace, rehearsing for a performance, a knitting circle – working together and being together is something we want to do as often as possible when there’s passion about the mission.
Also they were obeying Jesus last command to stay in Jerusalem. Most of these disciples were not from Jerusalem and had given up their old lives to follow Jesus. They didn’t have a clue what to do next other than to follow Jesus’ last command. You know that is a very good place to be with God. Not knowing what to do next but obeying the last thing he said and then waiting for the next instruction.
Well eventually it came. It was the day of Pentecost, something we associate with the coming of the Holy Spirit, but it was actually something they celebrated long before Jesus even came. Pentecost came 50 days after Passover and was a celebration of the harvest. Interestingly Jesus chose to send the Holy Spirit 50 days after he died as the final Passover lamb.