The apostles were told about the baptism with the Holy Spirit and to wait in Jerusalem for it in a few days. They question Jesus about plans for restoring Israel to power and He tells them to not worry about it but instead they are to take the power of the spirit and witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and ends of the earth. The apostles then observe the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven. As they stand there, staring up into the sky, 2 men show up by them and provide the teaser for the sequel: Jesus Returns!
8. Someone who receives Christ also receives the spirit. I believe that while the spirit is always present with me, that the power, words, wisdom and intercession he provides vary based on both needs/opportunities and my openness.
Romans 8:9, 14–16; if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13; For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
2 Corinthians 1:21–22; He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit
Galatians 4:6: Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts
9. Being “baptized with the Holy Spirit” is the initial state of being washed clean of sin by the gift of salvation that we receive when we accept Christ and welcome His spirit into our heart and our lives. Being “filled with the Holy Spirit” is the state of power that comes from the spirit when we need it because we are called on, by God, to perform acts (including ministry, counseling, etc. as well as physical acts) that further the kingdom. Paul reminds us that, while the work we are called to perform may be difficult and that difficulty may come from our own inner turmoils, the spirit is overflowing with ability and we are left with a feeling of Joy. (Rom 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit)
Acts 4:8, 31; Peter and the apostles filled with the spirit and speaking his words
Acts 6:3–4 The growing disciples, at the recommendation of the apostles, appoint 7 deacons who are filled with the spirit, to care for the flock of believers
Ephesians 5:18 Don’t get drunk of wine – be filled with the spirit. I think about this everytime I hear the current song: “your love is my drug.”
10. a. Proof of power: Jesus says the holy spirit will come on them. The greek word Jesus uses in this passage, eperchomai, is the same word used in Luke 1:35 that the angel spoke to Mary to describe the spirit coming on her so she would bear the Son of God. The command Jesus gave them was to witness.
b. I can apply this by waiting for the Lord’s timing and then not hesitating to act, regardless of how I would assess my own strengths at that time that I am called. The image that comes to my mind is an assistant in an operating room. I would be the one trying to hand over a tool either 3 steps ahead or 2 steps behind – but when I stop and listen to the surgeon, then I’m part of the life changing team.
11. a. Immediately before the ascension we get a glimpse into the disciples’ thinking. They are still fixated on trying to figure out when God is going to get off His duff and put Israel into the seat of power. Then, 2 sentences later, Jesus bodily ascends into heaven. The disciples have not yet received the full empowering of the spirit. I think they are, more than anything, confused. Where are the armies wiping out the Romans and restoring Israel? Did we miss it? What now?
b. the two men in white encouraged them by giving the teaser for the next episode/volume: Jesus Returns, the sequel!
While Acts opens with Jesus leaving the earth, physically, it quickly sets the stage that this is not the end of the story and that His presence remains here on earth, both through the spirit in the immediate time and again physically descending from heaven in a future time. It also sets the stage for a new relationship by the Apostles with Christ and with other believers and Christ as well, to not just be followers and lurkers, hanging on His words and waiting for His healing, but to receive that power into us and then use it.