Jesus Christ’s work of redemption on the Cross established the foundation for freedom from the penalty of sin and death, it also facilitated in allowing for Jew and Gentile to enter into the household of God, Christ is the cornerstone. With this freedom however comes responsibility, and the book of Acts, as documented by Luke, expresses the Holy Spirit’s role in making available everything that would be necessary to put this responsibility into action.
The Holy Spirit would be the conduit by which a revolution was sparked that would lead the work of Christ on to worldwide reach using early believer’s triumphs, sufferings, and persecution to see it through and ultimately begin building His church. Marguerat concludes, “…the Spirit in Luke is an inaugurating Spirit, the agent of beginnings, of the creation of communities, and the impulse that gives birth to Churches. ” The Holy Spirit will fill new believers with boldness to preach Jesus. He would speak to and direct a course of action to prevent disaster for many believers. He would empower Apostles to heal the sick and lame in Jesus Name.
He would move the very foundation of the earth to unify the cause of Christ and use those who would dare proclaim the truth, even unto death. The Coming / Filling of the Holy Spirit In Acts chapter one, we find Jesus about to ascend into heaven, just before doing so, He tells His disciples not to leave Jerusalem until the promised Holy Spirit comes. Once the Spirit comes, the disciples are told they will be given power, and they will be witnesses to Jesus even unto the ends of the earth. What kind of power would the Holy Spirit give them? Is this power only for Jesus’ disciples or would it be given to all believers from that moment on?
The book of Acts quickly reveals the power and work of the Holy Spirit in and through believers is for all believers. This power and witness begins on the Day of Pentecost where the Holy Spirit will fill one hundred and twenty believers gathered in one place. Here we find the first audible/visible account of the Holy Spirit’s presence as, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting” and “they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them” Acts 2:2-3.
Bock states, “Luke pictures the event in a way that has an element of “visibility” to it, as verses 2 – 4 make clear. ” Faw writes, “That this is not an actual wind but the sound of one. It is the mighty outpouring of God's presence, told in a language in which the word for wind also means spirit (Greek: pneuma; Hebrew: ruakh). It seems God wants to make His presence known by sight and sound to ensure that all the believers (witnesses) at this event would be certain that it is Him as promised.
Many from this point on will be filled with the Holy Spirit; three thousand after Peter’s speech, Stephen, Cornelius and his family, and others. The Holy Spirit Speaks through Believers An external phenomenon takes place, but so does an internal one. The Holy Spirit will enable the believers to speak in diver tongues, ones that many people from different parts of the land will understand but not know how it is possible. The Holy Spirit has the authority to cause a person to do the unimaginable, He is God. Haenchen says, “The Spirit causes the Christians it pervades to discourse in other tongues.
He speaks through Peter in defense of the gift of tongues when some of those present regard what is happening as drunkenness; as a result, three thousand souls are lead to Christ. He speaks through Stephen who faces those that belonged to the Synagogue of the Freedman (Acts 6:9); they are in total opposition of Stephen and his speaking the resurrected Christ. The Bible says in Acts 6:10, “But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. ” He He speaks through Paul. On very many occasions the Spirit is speaking through Paul and reaching Jews for the cause of Christ.
Many are coming to know Jesus because of the boldness the Spirit has imparted to him and others like him. Clear evidence of the Holy Spirit manifesting His power through believers is Paul’s preaching in Damascus. Not soon after being converted, he has fully delved into preaching the word of Christ, knowing that he would face great opposition. The Holy Spirit Speaks to Believers The Holy Spirit speaks directly to believers in order to guide and protect them. The Holy Spirit spoke to Peter in Acts 10:19 telling him three men are looking for him.
In Acts 11:12 Peter affirms that the Holy Spirit spoke to him. Peter is so confident in what he is hearing from the Spirit that he goes without hesitating. Bock says, “…with the description of going without doubting. ” The Holy Spirit speaks to Philip to engage the Ethiopian Eunuch, he tells Philip in Acts 8:29 “go to that chariot and stay near it. ” Conzelmann says, “The intervention of the Spirit cannot be distinguished from that of the angel... ” he is referring to the angel in verse 26. Bock states, “The Spirit, not the angel of verse 26, now directs Philip to go…”
The latter correctly speaks to the Holy Spirit’s ability to speak audibly to a believer. The Holy Spirit speaks to Paul. In Acts 20:23, Paul speaks to how the Spirit warns him that nothing but bad times is ahead. Bock writes that, “Acts 20:23 makes clearer that the Holy Spirit has told Paul that imprisonment and afflictions (note the plural) await him there. ” Paul, in the very next verse, counts his life nothing; all he wants to do is finish the race begun for Christ. The Holy Spirit has influence over believers and what there are capable of doing with His empowerment.
The unbeliever witnesses this marvelous undertaking and cannot be but moved to decide to for Christ. Even still, there are many who would not believe. The Holy Spirit Works Miracles through Believers The Spirit not only fills, speaks through, and speaks to believers; He also enables the work of miracles, such as healings and raising people from dead. Peter and Paul would carry out most of the miracles written in Acts. Interestingly enough, a couple of miracles they would perform parallel one another. Peter heals a lame man (Acts 3:6). Paul heals a cripple (Acts 14:10).
Peter raises Tabatha from dead (Acts 9:40). Paul raises Eutychus from dead (Acts 20:10). In any event, it was the power bestowed on them through the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ that enabled them to these things. Therefore, all that have performed a healing, or rising from dead or any other miracle, did so at the hand of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit Builds a Church The Holy Spirit plays an integral role in building and moving forward the church of Jesus Christ. Acts 9:31 tells us, “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened.
Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers. Haenchen states, “The concluding words imply the Holy Spirit’s protection when the persecution was over. ” Conclusion The Holy Spirit in the book of Acts plays a vital role in accomplishing very specific and pointed tasks. He is the one to fill believers with his glory and really for the purpose of worship and loyalty. He is the one to speak through believers and grant them boldness to present the gospel message of Jesus Christ, without whom none would have dared face persecution for a man who died on a cross.
The Holy Spirit speaks to believers in such a fashion that they are confident of his presence and no without a doubt that he can be trusted. He has given power to heal and raise the dead in Jesus name; he has given disciples the means to prove they are with the Christ as they replicate what he did in his earthly ministry. And lastly, he built a church, moving believer to act in accordance to God’s providence and live what Christ preached – love. The Holy Spirit is the worker of the Triune God, but nonetheless to be loved, revered, and worshiped.