Summary: If you have never felt the moving of the Holy Spirit in your life, then maybe you aren’t a believer yet.
Last Sunday evening the book of Acts 1 left us waiting—“waiting for the promise of the Father”—the promise of the Holy Spirit coming and filling the hearts of all believers. The promise that was made that day was a promise for us as well and still rings true. The moment we become a believer, the HS comes and takes up residence in your heart and in your life. And here’s a bold statement, “If you have never felt the moving of the HS in your life, then maybe you aren’t a believer yet.” Think about that one.
Acts 1:6 finds over 500 disciples standing in some remote spot, probably on the top of a mountain. READ v. 6-7. So one of the disciples asks Jesus was He now going to restore the kingdom to Israel? You see, they were probably wondering if this was the reason Jesus called them all together. But you see, the disciples were still thinking in terms of an earthly, physical Messiah, of a physical and material rule and reign for themselves and their nation.
So Jesus rebukes the question. “It is not for you to know. The Father has set the times by His own authority.”
And already we learn something from this. We, as believers, are not supposed to be focused on prophecy and the setting of dates. We aren’t supposed to be craving our release from this world so that we can have a heavenly position of authority. What we are supposed to do is to look for Jesus’ return and long for heaven.
But even this—even the love of Jesus’ return—isn’t supposed to get in the way of our task—the task that Jesus discusses in the next point. What is the task? It’s the task of witnessing. Believers are simply to focus on witnessing, upon sharing the gospel of salvation with the world.
READ v. 8. Here Jesus assigns the task. Note three things:
1. The believer is equipped with the power of the HS. Yes, they were going to receive power, but not the earthly power the disciples were thinking of. Their power was going to be spiritual and supernatural. It was going to be the very power of God Himself.
And here is what we need to realize. God’s very own Spirit will come to dwell in the heart and life of the believer. No greater power could ever be possessed by anyone. So here it is in a nutshell. The believer is given a task by God to carry out on earth. The believer doesn’t have the power to carry out the task. The power of God, of His Spirit is needed. So Jesus promises, “You will receive power when the HS comes on you.” The major purpose for the coming of the HS is to equip the believer to carry out his task for God.
Each one of us needs to remember that whenever we are involved in working for the Lord, whatever it is, it is NOT OUR ministry. It is God’s ministry that He is working through us. And the only way we can accomplish it is to be empowered by the HS of God.
2. The second thing we note here is that the believer’s task is witnessing for God. Sure, Christ promised heaven where we will revel in the love and fellowship with one another and with God. But now is not the time for that. NOW is the time for witnessing, being witnesses to Christ.
Note the word “you” in verse 8. (READ v. 8 emphasizing “YOU.”) It is the believer who is to witness.
Note the words “my witnesses.” Christ is the message, not a man’s ideas, not even the idea of religion.
The word “witness” comes from the Greek word that we get our word “martyr” from. The believer is to be so committed to reaching men that he is ready to die as a martyr if need be.
3. The third thing we need to note is the believer’s method he is to follow in his witness and for the spread of the gospel.
a. The believer is to witness where he is (Jerusalem) and move progressively outward (Judea and Samaria) until he is having a part in reaching the ends of the earth. So that tells us that as a believer, we are to go as far as we can personally go, to give as sacrificially as we can for others to go, and to use and support every means we can to reach the world.
Where is YOUR Jerusalem? That is where you are now in your life. We are to witness where we are first. See to it that Christ is well known throughout your home and community before moving on. Once Christ is well known, then we move out from where we are.