Summary: How the disciples prepared to recieve the promised coming of the Holy Spirit.
“Preparing to Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Last week we began a study of the Book of Acts by noting five foundational principles on which Christ wanted to build his church. 1.) The Believers Message – Christ is Risen, 2.) The Believers Might – the power of the Holy Spirit, 3.) The Believer’s Mission – to establish the Kingdom of Heaven, 4.) The Believers Mandate – to make disciples and 5.) The Believer’s Motivation – the Lord is Coming Again.
All that follows in the book of Acts is the historical outworking of those five principles. The early believers did not yet have the promised power of the Holy Spirit and they were told to wait in Jerusalem until that gift was given. ...This second half of Acts 1 deals with the disciples period of waiting prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Note with me please five ways the disciples prepared to receive the Holy Spirit. I believe that this five methods can be utilized in our lives regarding a refreshing of the Spirit or personal revival.
I. THE DISCIPLES PREPARED TO RECEIVE
THE HOLY SPIRIT BY PRACTICING
SIMPLE OBEDIENCE vv. 12-14
“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. (13) And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. (14) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
There are few things in this life harder to do than to have to wait. “We are people of action. So we expect action – immediately. The Spirit should come at once….Instead we find delay.
Sometimes we have periods like this in our lives, and they make tough going for us. These are often the hardest periods for us to live through. We want to do something. Or, what is even more significant, we want God to do something. When God does not do anything, we think, Things have gone wrong. Things should be happening if I really am a Christian and really am on track with God. That is not necessarily the case.
This period of waiting was not, however, a period of utter inactivity. It was a time of preparation, which is what waiting times are for. Sometimes in periods of waiting we can see the preparation. At other times we cannot. God is doing things in our lives that we cannot see or at least of which are unaware. Perhaps he is developing our character. We seldom see that, either in others or ourselves. ”
OBEDIENCE MAY REQUIRE THAT WE WAIT NOT THAT WE DO SOMETHING
In his final charge to the disciples before he ascended into heaven, Jesus had commanded the apostles to wait in Jerusalem for him to provide the power to evangelize the world. We find in verse twelve that the disciple did exactly what Jesus had earlier told them to do in verse four. They obeyed their Lord’s command and returned to Jerusalem, “with great joy” (Luke 24:52). There they again met in the upper room. Though it is only speculation I believe that this was the same Upper room in which the Lord ate the last supper with the disciples. The Greek text says, “the” upper room (Not just any upper room). If this conjecture is correct, it is beautifully fitting that the Holy Spirit was given in the very same room in which Jesus promised he would come. There is even a tradition that suggests that it may have been the home owned by Mary, the mother of John Mark, where Luke tells us the church met later on.
During this period of waiting, what amazing memories of the last two weeks must have flooded their hearts: the Resurrection of Lazarus, the Triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the last supper with Jesus, Jesus arrest, the unjust trial and agonizing death on the cross, the Earthquake, the terrible darkness, the temple curtain torn, hearts full of mourning, the disciples fleeing for their lives, the amazing news of Jesus’ resurrection, his talk with disciples on the Road to Emmaus, 40 days of wonder, his last words to evangelize the world, and then seeing the Lord ascend into heaven! Wow! So much had happened in those two months that your head would be spinning. What was next? What would God do, and what should they expect with this coming of the promised Holy Spirit?
They did not know how long they would have to wait., but wait is what they would do for as long as it took for the Lord to fulfill his promise. So they waited, day after day.