Acts 2:1-4 – When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
In John 14:15-27 and 16:7-14, Jesus said it was “to our advantage” that He would no longer be with us on the earth, because in His absence, He would send a “Helper,” the Spirit of truth, to be with us and to lead us into all truth. He said the Father would send the Spirit in Jesus’ name to teach us all things and bring into remembrance all that He said. Jesus said the Spirit would convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. In possibly the greatest promise of the coming work of the Spirit, Jesus said the Spirit would take everything that is Jesus’ and make it known to us. All these promises were fulfilled when the Holy Spirit was poured out on all believers in Jesus Christ at the Pentecost (Acts 2) and the subsequent outpourings of the Spirit recorded in the book of Acts (Acts 8, 10-11, 19).
Being Spirit-empowered does not mean we are equal to Jesus, but it does mean we can do some of what He did by the Spirit’s power. Let me make this very clear and simple: by the power of the Holy Spirit, you can overcome the temptation to sin, you can become more like Jesus Christ, you can understand and apply Scripture, you can pray over the sick and not be shocked if/when some are healed, you can pray with those experiencing demonic torment and see deliverance, you can have a joy that does not come from the circumstances around you but from the Spirit within you, and you can expect to see lost people saved, saved people grow, and inbreaking and outpouring of the Kingdom of God scattered throughout the otherwise mundane days of your life.
Being Spirit-empowered like Jesus means living on mission in culture doing ministry to establish the church and expand the Kingdom as Jesus did. It’s not about expanding your own kingdom. It’s not about you at all. It’s all about Jesus. It’s all about Jesus’ mission to seek and save sinners. That’s what it means to be Spirit-empowered –saved by Jesus and sent on mission, empowered by the Spirit to serve Team Jesus!
What we see in Acts is that Jesus’ people – the church – continue His ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the outpouring and filling of the Spirit. Much of the Spirit’s work is missional: making disciples and planting churches. This is not because that is the church’s mission; rather, it is the Spirit’s mission, and the church is merely part of it.
Acts records what happens when the Church follows the Spirit. Acts is often wrongly called the Acts of the Apostles. The truth is it’s the Acts of the Holy Spirit. He is the driving force of the mission of the Church and does extraordinary things through ordinary people. This gives us hope that He can use us to advance the mission of Jesus as we find our position and do our part on Team Jesus!
Have you learned much about the Holy Spirit? Read Acts 2 to learn more about when the Holy Spirit first came to the believers at Pentecost.
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