Power to Witness
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
Why the book of Acts is important to us and to the church
3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
How many proofs did they need?
He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
Image the greatest teachers of all time. Aristotle or Nicola Tesla. Jesus glorified.
4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
You’re gonna do what? You’re going where? This can’t be happening. They’re a bunch of rag-tags. They are timid, they’re scared. They are poor, they have no status, they don’t have any education. They’re unknown. They’ve made fools of themselves up to this point, and yet, they are soon to be absolutely unparalleled world changers. And they want to know, how’s this gonna happen? Jesus says, “you’re gonna change the world. But first, I need to leave.” And they’re like, leave? Because Jesus is the captain of the team. He’s not just the captain of the team, he owns the team. He supplies all strength for the team. He’s the wisdom of the team. He undergirds the entire team. He scores every goal, every point, every home run, every touchdown, he IS the team. And the rest of them just say, “go Jesus, go Jesus! And then he says, “I’m leaving.” And they say, “we’re dead.”
Why is it best that Jesus left us with HS – pre-pentecost> specific. post> Multiplication of Jesus.
Why they (and we) had to wait (don’t start anything)
Baptized- Our identity with Jesus and his identity with us – Baptism does not confer on us a status that marks us off from everybody else so we might imagine ourselves more elite people who can “claim an extra dignity” or a “sort of privilege. Rather, baptism moves us beyond ourselves and to identifying with Jesus. A relationship WITH God.
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Are you going to do what I want you to do?
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Power to do what? For what I want before I die only to lose it all? No, for God to work through you for all eternity. The power to be what you are telling them Jesus can do for them.
My own expectations of the HS’ power. Jolt of caffeine. Old Nazarenes. High energy.
What does it mean to be Jesus’ witness? That what you say about Jesus is true for yourself and others.
The Spirit’s power is our assurance that the gospel will bear fruit till Jesus returns.
We may not be the greatest speakers, or have a healing ministry, or have all the answers to the questions our unbelieving friends have. But, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can testify of what God has done in Jesus; and that’s enough to cut to the heart.
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Until he returns, what am I supposed to be doing? Telling people what Jesus did for you, the love he gives.
Teen challenge illustration
Pray for opportunities to witness.