How extraordinary to receive the assignment to evangelize the world. But how even more extraordinary to receive the power to do the job.
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.
It is the POWER of the Holy Spirit that makes it possible to complete the Great Commission. Only with the power of the Spirit can the message go forth. In fact, I believe this verse makes the case that world evangelism is the primary purpose for the giving of the Holy Spirit. God calls us to be witnesses to the world and He equips us through His Spirit to do it.
The Greek word translated POWER is dunamis. Our English word dynamite comes from this word! Consequently, it carries the idea of getting the job done — the meaning of being capable or able. Its opposite would be incapable or impossible. Clearly, with the Holy Spirit, we are equipped and able to reach the world for Christ. Apart from Him, we are toast as far as the assignment is concerned.
Coming of the Holy Spirit
The giving of the Holy Spirit brought power. As the Holy Spirit descended, He made His presence known in three ways:
- blowing of a violent wind
- tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each one of the believers
- believers could speak in other languages that were understood by those in Jerusalem for Pentecost
Pentecost was one of three religious feasts that required Jewish males to travel to Jerusalem. They came from 15 countries, as shown on this map, found in my NIV Study Bible:
The gospel was heard immediately by representatives from 15 nations surrounding Jerusalem. Amazing. The initial launch of the Acts 1:8 assignment happened without the first believers leaving town. God brought the nations to them.
And the nations are coming to our “Jerusalem” today, too.
Look around. College students, business travelers, resident aliens? Who has God brought into your path that needs to hear the gospel? Are you ready and willing to accept your Acts 1:8 assignment? Are you ready to the trust the Holy Spirit to put His thoughts in your mind, His love in your heart, and His words on your tongue?
You can listen to this week’s teaching from Acts, Lesson 2 here: http://fbcsiloam.podbean.com/e/acts-lesson-2-laura-macfarlan/