Summary: The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is not a ritual but real; it is the coming of a Person. It is not about a program but a power. It is not about propaganda but witnessing.
Jesus gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem…”
• They need to wait. No time frame was given but they were called to wait.
• Apparently this is really important. They need to receive the gift the Father has promised – the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
• They are not to leave the city until they received it.
(1) It’s not about a Ritual but Real
It is clear from Jesus’ words that they will not be effective without this.
• This is an essential. You cannot be an effective if you are not operating in the power of the Holy Spirit.
• “For John baptized with water” (v.5) – that’s the ritual, that is a sign of your commitment to live a righteous life, but that cannot change you.
• “…but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” – That’s the real thing, that’s the power for a new life.
• It is not a ritual or not just a symbolic event, but real. We are confronted with a Person whom we can relate to.
When the Holy Spirit came eventually, the disciples were transformed.
• Earlier the Lord says, in John 14:16-18 He is “the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
• The world cannot see Him or knows Him but we do, “for He lives WITH you and will be IN you.” Only believers will be able to experience Him.
And it is through Him that we see Christ, hear Christ and experience Christ.
• The Lord says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
• HOW? Through the Holy Spirit, who now dwells IN us and WITH us.
• It is by means of the Spirit that Jesus’ life is made available to us.
The human body is a most remarkable machine. It can maintain a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees no matter what the weather is outside. Whether a man is at the Arctic Circle or the equator, his body temperature is about the same. There is an inner mechanism that makes the difference.
For the Christian the Holy Spirit is that inner mechanism. When the surrounding is cold, He comforts us and gives us warmth. When the circumstance is hot and intense, He grants us peace and calmness of heart.
(2) It’s not about a Program but a Power
Jesus says in verse 8, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”
• It is not about a program but a power that is at work today.
These disciples said to him, "Lord, are you going to at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
• They were thinking in terms of timetables, schedules and programs. What are you going to do? When is this all going to happen? How is it going to happen?
• Jesus said, "That is not for you to know – the timing, the schedule, the program – these are not for you to know. That’s all in the Father’s authority.
Your task is to be the manifestation of power, not the knowledge of a program. The Father will take care of that.
• You just need to exercise the power that is given to you, and the Father will put it all together and work it all out just right.
• We need not be too concerned about the timetable, the strategy, the methodology of God’s work. The times and the seasons are in His hands, and not for us to know.
• But, said Jesus, though I am not going to let you know the program, I will give you power. "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you."
Now what kind of power?
It is the power to witness, the power to proclaim the Gospel and see lives changed.
• In a sense then, it is not necessarily spectacular; it can be taking place and yet unknown to us, in the hearts of people who are struggling in sin or pain.
• It can be a kind of power that never makes any sound, or any demonstration.
When we think of power, we often think of things that make loud noises – explosion, pounding, firing, hammering, or something.
• But when the power of the Spirit works, it can be absolutely quiet and unseen.
• Although quiet, it is irresistible. Even the devil cannot resist it. When He touches the heart of a repentant sinner.
• There is no way to oppose it, no way to overthrow it, no way to stop it. Every obstacle thrown in its path can be turned into an opportunity to advance His will.