Summary: The Holy Ghost is the essential and vital factor in effective witnessing unto Jesus Christ
Act 5:29-32 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (30) The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. (31) Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (32) And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
Jesus' command is that “ye shall be witnesses unto me" Acts 1:8. We will look at four statements drawn from this passage:
1. OUR FIRST AND FOREMOST ALLEGIANCE IS TO GOD.
We are exhorted to obey governments and those in authority until that action comes in opposition to the will of God. Then we are required to obey God rather than men! Even the LORD was in subjection and learned obedience when He was on earth!
Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Act 4:19-20 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. (20) For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Heb 5:8-9 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (9) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
2. BEING A WITNESS UNTO GOD IS REQUIRED IF WE WILL BE OBEDIENT TO GOD!
God expects us to be witnesses unto Him. We are so commanded!
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
3. IN ORDER TO BE AN EFFECTIVE WITNESS UNTO HIM WE NEED THE HOLY GHOST.
It was Christ's specific command that the disciples await the coming of the Hoy Ghost! This work needs to be done in the power of the Spirit that the faith of men may rest not on the excellency of man's speech but on the power of God
1Co 2:1-5 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. (2) For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. (4) And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: (5) That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
If we fail to fully depend on the the Holy Ghost then we have failed to present Christ properly for only the Holy Ghost can effectively open men's hearts to the truth and power of salvation. We can at the most appeal to the mind but it is the Holy Ghost that touches the heart with the Word. Faith cannot be conjured up but it comes by hearing the Spirit Anointed Word.
4. THE HOLY GHOST IS A WITNESS TO THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE CHRIST.
Rom 1:1-4 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (2) (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) (3) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (4) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Are you obedient to God in His gospel? Then has given you the Holy Ghost!
Do you have the Holy Ghost? Realize that He is the witness of everything from dawn of creation to present day and the future.
Need to be an effective witness? Let the Holy Ghost do His thing!
Depend on Him! Surrender to Him! Let Him control you! Let Him speak through you! Then He becomes the witness through you! As a result you speak with His authority! You walk in His truth! You work in His power! He gets the Glory! Souls pass into the kingdom!
I remember sitting at the back of the Sunday School Class that Sunday morning on September 10, 1978. I previously had a serious night of arguing with God about my frustrations with what was going on and even questioning His faithfulness and interest in me and my leaning towards laying down arms and just giving up. I remember awaiting, in tense anticipation, the arrival of some lightning retribution for my perverse accusation. When it did not happen I was relieved but also miserable. I no longer felt as if I should go about the Lord’s business in that state of mind but I still did…in a mechanical sort of way.