Power in the Christian Witness
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
God designed man for productivity and power in witnessing to his fellow man. This was Jesus’ mission and the Father endorsed His ministry with spiritual strength for doing it. Acts 10:38 stated that, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
As God sent Jesus, so He sends the believers (John 20:21). Before Jesus finished His mission on earth, He promised His disciples the gift of His Holy Spirit. With the help of the comforter, His disciples would be able to witness in a mighty way and evangelize the world.
So, how do we receive the Holy Spirit? Before the Holy Spirit was initially poured out upon Christ’s followers, the Bible says, that the disciples “continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14). Therefore, a prerequisite to receiving the Holy Spirit is being in one accord with our Christian brothers and sisters. This includes righting any known wrongs we have committed against others and having a spirit of Christian love for all other people. This also includes offering prayer to God, repenting of all known sins and humbly presenting our request for His Spirit, not for selfish gain but for the blessing of others.
Jesus confirmed God’s eagerness to bless His children when He said, “how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). We often don’t have the Holy Spirit because we don’t ask, or we ask with the wrong motives (James 4:2, 3). So, we must humble ourselves before God so that He may impart this special gift.
Jesus promised, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). And He added, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13-14).
The promise for supernatural strength is directly connected with active ministry. “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. … And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:1, 7, 8).
And in Matthew 28:18, 19, we read about Christ’s Great Commission to His disciples, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
This Spirit-given witness is a distinguishing mark of the Christian church. This extraordinary gift gives: (1) strength within, (2) strength to proclaim the gospel, and (3) strength to lead others to God. Through the disciples, thus empowered, Jesus would continue the work He began on earth, and even “greater works” than those would be accomplished (John 14:12).
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In His service,