Summary: Christ gave us our marching orders - Be My witnesses! The Lord has made provision not only to enable but to achieve the execution of this commission along with a promise of a coming reunion with the risen Lord.
Why Are You Standing Around?
Jesus Christ gave the church her marching orders before ascending into Heaven.
He did not intend for His followers to idly stand around but to be busy carrying out the great commission to go into all the world with the life-changing message of Christ. In Acts 1, we see that the Lord has made provision not only to enable but to achieve the execution of this commission along with a promise of a coming reunion with the risen Lord.
I. The provision to carry out the commission – achieving power.
A. Acts 1:8a “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…”
B. There are two New Testament words that convey the idea of power, exousia and dunamis. In Acts 1:8 the word is dunamis, which refers to intrinsic power, the power to carry out some function or an ability to accomplish a task. It means to have achieving power.
C. This achieving power given by the Holy Ghost includes:
1. Moral and spiritual power to live a victorious Christian life
2. Persevering power to withstand and overcome temptations, and to do right at all times
3. Enduring power to stand fast for Christ through the harshest adversity
4. Reflective power to show men the indwelling Christ
5. Conquering power to overcome all enemies and obstacles.
D. Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power (dunamis) that works within us.”
E. A J Gordon said, “Before Pentecost the disciples found it hard to do easy things; after Pentecost they found it easy to do hard things.”
F. Since the time of the Day of Pentecost, every born-again Child of God, every true believer has been "baptized” with the Holy Spirit at the time of their conversion or new birth.
G. 1 Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
H. They have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, God placing His mark of ownership on them.
I. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 “Now he which establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
J. A person does not possess the Holy Spirit is not born again.
K. Romans 8:9b (ESV) “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”
L. Not only are we to possess the Spirit, but we are to be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. That is the only way that you and I can be equipped to carry out the work Christ has given us to do.
M. Paul commands in Ephesians 5:18 to “be filled with the Spirit “
N. It is sad that while all believers have been baptized by the Holy Ghost very few believers are filled by the Holy Ghost.
O. D. L Moody in his book Secret Power wrote, “Nine-tenths, at least, of the church members never think of speaking for Christ. If they see a man, perhaps a near relative, just going right down to ruin, going rapidly, they never think of speaking to him about his sinful course and of seeking to win him to Christ. Now certainly there must be something wrong. And yet when you talk with them you find they have faith, and you can not say they are not children of God; but they have not the power, they have not the liberty, they have not the love that real disciples of Christ should have. A great many people are thinking that we need new measures, that we need new churches, that we need new organs, and that we need new choirs, and all these new things. That is not what the Church of God needs to-day. It is the old power that the Apostles had; that is what we want, and if we have that in our churches, there will be new life.”
P. Concerning Ephesians 5:18 Charles Swindoll made this statement: “I don’t know of a more important verse in the New Testament for the Christian than Ephesians 5:18—honest, no exaggeration. This verse tells the believer how to live an authentic, empowered life: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” It begins with a negative command: “Don’t get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation” (which means excess, existing hopelessly out of control). When you’re drunk with alcohol, you lose control. You also lose self-respect and the respect of others. “Don’t get drunk.” A positive command follows: “But be filled with the Spirit.”...This is a command, not a suggestion. It’s an urgent imperative, not a casual option...“Be filled” is a command, which means I play a part in it. For example, I cannot be filled with the Spirit while I have unconfessed sin within me. I cannot be filled with the Spirit while at the same time conducting my life in the energy of the flesh. I cannot be filled with the Spirit while I am resisting God’s will and relying only on myself. I need to be sure that I have taken care of the sins that have emerged in my life, that I have not ignored the wrong that I have done before God and to others. I need to walk in conscious dependence on the Lord on a daily basis. Many a morning I begin my day by sitting on the side of the bed, saying: This is your day, Lord. I want to be at Your disposal. I have no idea what these next twenty-four hours will contain. But before I sip my first cup of coffee, and even before I get dressed, I want You to know that from this moment on throughout this day, I’m Yours, Lord. Help me to lean on You, to draw strength from You, and to have You fill my mind and my thoughts. Take control of my senses so that I am literally filled with Your presence and empowered with Your energy. I want to be Your tool, Your vessel today. I can’t make it happen. And so I’m saying, Lord, fill me with Your Spirit today.”