Thursday, February 12, 2009

Holy Spirit in Acts of Apostles (ACTS) Part 1

For last few weeks I had been doing a personal study as well as preaching on a subject which I found to be very helpful and blessing in my own life. Few weeks ago as I had this privilege of studying and meditating on the work or role of Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. There is no doubt that in the book of Acts, we see Holy Spirit work in a clear way than any other book. If you do a search then Holy Spirit is mentioned almost 42 times in 28 chapters of Acts in NIV Bible. It's amazing to see the ways in which Holy Spirit worked in the first century church.

Many times we read the book of Acts and get excited. I have to admit that I have got excited many times after reading few chapters from Acts. The main reason is that we see the work of Holy Spirit manifested through the church and people in a mighty and powerful way. We have to admit that it is our desire also. We also want to see sick getting healed, people coming and asking "what we should do to be saved?", evil spirits casted out, people being filled with Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, Spirit taking as to a place to be witness of Jesus etc. All of these are exciting.

When we look very closely at the work and the way Holy Spirit moved in Acts, we can understand many things which can help us personally in our walk with God as well as help us to be more effective and be a blessing for others. It's like opening up our life for the Spirit of God to work in a way God wants. It's not limiting or controlling in the way we want or we desire. But its simply submitting our lives.

The first thing we must understand is that the Holy Spirit is a Gift. There is nothing we can do except praying by faith or asking God. Now faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). So the best thing to do is hear the word of God.

In this post as well as some of the following post I would like to share with you some facts about Holy Spirit as it is found in the book of Acts. All verses are from NIV Bible. Otherwise it will be specified.

  1. Acts 1:1-2 -1In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. - So Jesus gave instructions to Apostles through Holy Spirit. So the first thing we see about Holy Spirit is that it gives instructions. So we must understand this fact very well. We must be ready to accept the instructions which Holy Spirit gives us. Mostly Holy Spirit gives us instructions from the written word of God. Holy Spirit may give us power to understand the Bible words in a better way. We must be open to be instructed by the Holy Spirit.
  2. Acts 1:4-5 - 4On 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. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." What a beautiful this is this. God the Father promised the Holy Spirit and Jesus, the Son spoke about it. And it is a Baptism. You may be knowing what is a Baptism. Immersion in water takes place during Baptism. So the promised Holy Spirit Baptism is for the children of God. Jesus word are like this - " you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit".
  3. Acts1:8 -8But 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." In these verses Jesus explains as to what will happen when Holy Spirit comes. First Jesus said that you will receive power. What a wonderful thing. We are powerless but Jesus promise is that Holy Spirit will empower us for a purpose. What is that purpose? It's nothing else but it is for us to become witnesses. These days many people think that Holy Spirit main purpose is something else like expanding our ministry or showing in front of others that we are something etc. Nothing else but the main purpose is that we should be witnesses of Jesus Christ in the world. Have you ever thought in that angle. See these were almost the last words before Jesus was taken in to the heavens. God desire is that we should be empowered and we should become witnesses. Do we really pray that God should give us Holy Spirit to become witnesses? If we have already received the Baptism of Holy Spirit then are we really becoming witnesses or at least praying to God about it? If you sincerely pray then God will baptize you with the Holy Spirit so that you will be receive the Power and be witnesses of Jesus Christ in this world.
I will continue with this subject in the next post.

May God Bless You!

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