Summary: The only legitimate purpose of the dedicated Christian is to accept the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit into our lives and then become witnesses of the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and promised return of Jesus, as the Chri
“WHY DID THE HOLY SPIRIT COME?” pt. 1
Acts 1:4-8 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (NKJ)
The scene for Jesus’ departure is now set. It is to take place on a hill just outside of the little community known as Bethany. It has been nearly 40 days since He was first seen in His resurrected glory. As Jesus is moving closer to the time when He will no longer dwell among men, He pauses to give needed instructions to those who will be charged to carry forth His message of salvation.
The Apostles had spent a great deal of time with Jesus since He first called them away from their prior lives and occupations to follow after Him. And at every opportunity during their three years together Jesus talked and taught about the coming Kingdom. Now, He was preparing to leave them for the final time.
As Jesus was speaking, the Apostles began to express or reveal their humanity through a rather impatient display of curiosity. They interrupted Jesus to ask a question about the timing of the coming kingdom and the part they would be playing in it.
"Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” they asked! But Jesus simply ignored their verbalized questions to deal with the actualized need of their souls.
Jesus is like that, you know? He has the tendency to look beyond our walls, our barriers and our road blocks and to focus in exclusively on our authentic needs.
Do you remember when the Pharisee, known as Nicodemus, came to Him by night? Nicodemus offered up a compliment to Jesus by referring to Him as “Rabbi” and “…a teacher come from God”.
And what about that woman of Samaria that Jesus met at Jacob’s well? When Jesus started telling her all kind of things about herself that He was aware of, including the fact that she had had five husbands and she was not yet a widow in any of the cases, she suddenly turned the conversation into a debate over whether one should pray in Jerusalem or on Mt. Gerizim.
In both cases, though, Jesus moved past the diversionary focus of their conversations to deal with the real questions weighing down upon their spirits.
So likewise, Jesus then responds to His Apostles in the same manner by saying, “…it is not for you to know the times or the dates the Father has set; but what you do need to know is that “…when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you shall have power; and then… you shall be witnesses unto me…”
Jesus reveals to His Apostles then, and to the born-again saints now, that the most primary and only legitimate purpose of the dedicated Christian is to accept the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit into our lives and then become witnesses or bold proclaimers of the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and promised return of Jesus, as the Christ of God.
Everyone, my bros. & my sis., who is born of the Spirit of God is called to be a “witness” to the truth of Jesus the Christ. That is what Jesus said in Acts 1:8…”you shall be witnesses…”. And Jesus knew exactly what He was saying when He used the word “witness”. For this word, “witness” carries a lot of significance, gravity and importance with it. It has a much deeper and weightier meaning than what our English language normally attributes to it.
In the Greek language, the word “witness” is translated “martus”. A “martus”, is literally “one who remembers something; one who has information about something; or one who has knowledge or awareness of something and is also willing to give their testimony to establish the truth of what is or may be suspected or believed”.
But when transliterated into the English language, the word “martus”, became the root to the word “martyr”. A “martyr” is someone who suffers severe persecution or even death simply for sharing his/her knowledge or for proclaiming his/her beliefs.
Down through the ages there has been a costly commonality shared between those that would “witness” of Jesus as the Christ of God to the world. Though my personal experiences are pale compared to the price others have paid to “stay on the battle field for our Lord”, I still feel an air of comradeship with those who have been put to the test.