As Jesus was preparing to leave His disciples behind, He spoke to them about the Holy Spirit. “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.” (Acts 1:8) In Luke 24:49, Jesus told His disciples that they would be “clothed with power from on high.”
Based on these and other Scriptures, it seems clear Jesus was saying that He was sending the Holy Spirit to help His followers continue to do the work that He started. There is no indication that that mandate has changed. Matthew also recorded some of Jesus’ last words to His followers. The followers were to “go and make disciples of all the nations…”
The Gospel of Luke recorded Jesus’ earthly ministry. Jesus is shown preaching, teaching, and healing the sick. The Acts of the Apostles was the second volume of Luke’s two book set. Acts picks up where the Gospel left off. It shows Jesus’ followers continuing to do the same kinds of things that He had done. They were able to do these things because they had been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.
The work of Jesus’ followers is still to make disciples of all the nations and to do the things that Jesus did. Christians are still supposed to preach, teach, and pray for the sick. Clearly, methods and strategies have evolved. Technology has provided amazing ways to spread the Gospel. Technology also allows the Gospel message to be transmitted and broadcast into areas that are shut off to the rest of the world and opposed to Christianity.
Incredible technology, innovative methods, and superior strategies, however, do not lead to anyone’s conversion or acceptance of Christianity. Conversion only takes place as people turn from their sins, exercise faith in Christ, and begin the process of becoming a disciple. As Jesus said, He was going to give His followers the Holy Spirit so that they would be empowered as they shared His message and made more disciples. Whenever the Church has attempted to spread the message of Christianity apart from the Holy Spirit’s power, the results have been dismal.
The Holy Spirit is actively involved in the world today in the lives of Christ’s followers. The Holy Spirit works through His people as they stretch out their hands to help a hurt and dying world. As Christians love others and represent Christ to the world, the Holy Spirit is there also, drawing people to God.
What role do you see the Holy Spirit playing in your life?
Would you consider partnering with Annie and I as we serve in Brazil? Obrigado! (Thank you!)