Acts 1:1-5 – The Promise of the Holy Spirit

Christian MölkActs Leave a Comment

Acts 1:1

  1. Luke was a physician and one of Paul’s co-workers on his missionary journeys (Colossians 4:14) and authored both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles (Luke 1:1-4).
    1. In the Gospel of Luke, Luke wrote what Jesus did here on earth; in Acts, Luke writes what Jesus continues to do through his disciples.
    1. What Luke describes Jesus doing is found in Luke 24.
  2. Theophilus means “friend of God” and theologians dispute whether this Theophilus was a real person or whether the name is symbolic. One possibility is that Theophilus was real and that Luke gratefully used his name to address not only Theophilus personally but all the friends of God.
    1. Since Acts ends with Paul waiting to be tried before the emperor (Acts 28:19), Luke and Acts could be defensive writings to show the emperor that the Christian message was not dangerous for Rome. Theophilus could then be the Roman official who handled the matter.
    1. Theophilus may well have been an early house church leader who had sufficient financial resources to take on the responsibility of copying and distributing the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.
  3. Most English translations say “all that Jesus began to do and teach”.
    1. In Luke’s first writing, the Gospel of Luke, we can read about what Jesus began to do, and Acts is the continuation of what Jesus is doing today.
    1. This scripture is normally called “the works of the apostles”, but it could just as well be called “the works of the Holy Spirit”, because it is really He who does a lot of things through the apostles.
    1. As we, the disciples of Jesus today, obey the Great Commission, we continue to write chapters in the book of Acts. The Holy Spirit is at least as active today as He was 2000 years ago and it is up to us to seek His will.
      1. At first glance, it may seem that Acts is full of miracles and signs, and it is easy to despair and think that God never does miracles today. However, it should be remembered that the book of Acts depicts a period of 30 years and that all these miracles are scattered over time.

Acts 1:4-5

  1. One could say that the first word in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is “wait”, not “go”.
    1. To be a witness of Jesus without the power of the Holy Spirit is like trying to sail without wind. Being a witness of Jesus is not something we can do in our own strength, so we need to receive this power from the Holy Spirit before we go out into the world.
    1. If you feel unmotivated to testify about your faith, or if you back off because you don’t know what to say, it may be because you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
    1. The Christian life is so structured that it is not possible to manage a holy life or to obey the missionary command without being filled with the Holy Spirit.
  2. In the same way that one is completely enveloped and immersed in water when one is baptized, one is completely filled and enveloped in the Holy Spirit when one is baptized in the Spirit.
  3. In Old Testament times, only certain chosen people were filled with the Holy Spirit, but here Joel’s ancient prophecy is fulfilled that there will come a time when everyone can be filled with God’s Spirit (Joel 2:28-32), something Moses prayed for (Numbers 11:29) and Jesus promised (Luke 24:49).
    1. No distinction is made between apostles, disciples, women or men. ALL were filled with the Holy Spirit. Or as Paul wrote: “Here is not Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female. You are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28).
  4. All who believe in Jesus are born again of the Spirit of God (John 3:1-8), and receive the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 12:13). In addition to this, all believers can also be filled anew with the Spirit of God over and over again (Acts 4:8, Acts 4:31, Acts 6:3, Acts 6:5, Acts 7:55, Acts 9:17, Acts 13:9, Acts 13:52).
  5. The difference between the two is that the one who is born again by the Spirit of God is saved and the one who is filled with the Spirit of God is given power and courage to testify about Jesus.
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