This week, Pastor Chris began a series through the book of Acts seeking to answer how Christianity started and how the early church came into existence. This book was written by Luke who was a physician, historian, and close friend of Paul. Luke sought to give a sequential, historical account of the acts of the Holy Spirit during the origins of the church. Chris exhorted us to approach the book of Acts like soldiers on a mission and to learn how to become intimate friends with the Holy Spirit of God.
Acts 1:1–3 (ESV)
1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God defined: “The present, spiritually-directed reign of God, gradually transforming individual lives and entire cultures through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:4-5 (ESV)
4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Luke 2:52 (ESV)
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)
but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Empowered For Mission – Jesus empowers us by His spirit to live on mission.
Acts 1:6–8 (ESV)
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Beneficial results of the work of the Holy Spirit:
- More effectiveness in witness and ministry.
- Effective proclamation of the gospel.
- Power for victory over sin.
- Power for victory over Satan and demonic forces.
- Wide distribution of gifts for ministry.
- Power to preach and do miracles confirming the message.
John 14:16 (ESV)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
- Paraklete: advocate, comforter, enlightener, assistant, counselor, reminder.
3 Relationships with the Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit with You – This is the Holy Spirit drawing in the lost and broken. It takes the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to the human heart and woo us to Jesus.
John 20:22 (ESV)
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Danger: Blasphemy against the Spirit – This is when the Holy Spirit draws somebody in and they continuously reject him and harden their hearts.
Matthew 12:31 (ESV)
31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
2. The Holy Spirit in You – This is when you’re born again after giving your heart to Jesus. The Holy Spirit lives inside of you continuously, empowering you to grow and bear good fruit.
Ephesians 1:13 (ESV)
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
John 14:17 (ESV)
17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
- Danger: Grieving the Holy Spirit – This is like a parent watching a child make a bad decision. This is making friends with sin, being easily offended, justifying or rationalizing our sin.
Ephesians 4:30 (ESV)
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
3. The Holy Spirit Upon You – This is being saturated with the Spirit in order to be God’s witness on the Earth.
Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Acts 1:8 (ESV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Matthew 5:10–12 (ESV)
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- Danger: Quenching the Spirit – This is diminishing the power that the Spirit has in the current day.
1 Thessalonians 5:19–21 (ESV)
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.
How do you test a prophetic word?
- Is it in harmony with Scripture?
- Does it glorify Christ?
- Does it show any signs of manipulation?
- Does it carry a peaceful and righteous spirit?
- Do those to whom you are accountable agree?
Acts 1:9–11 (ESV)
9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
- How can we know whose power we are living in?
- What does it look like for us as believers to live on mission in our daily lives?
- Which of the results of the Holy Spirit’s work do you want to grow in (see the list above)?
- Which relationship with the Holy Spirit do you want to develop more (Holy Spirit with you, in you, or upon you)?
- Whose power are you daily living in? Is it your flesh or by the Spirit of God? Answer this question honestly this week.
- What was your answer to question 3 in the discussion questions? How will you walk this out this week?
- What was your answer to question 4 in the discussion questions? Ask the Holy Spirit to give you fresh revelation for how you can grow in relationship with Him.