The True Life of the Believer – Acts 1:8

There is much to be said about the life of a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the summation of the Christian life and purpose is found in our text in Acts 1:8. 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.”[1] In the immediate context of this passage, Jesus is providing an answer to a question that the disciples asked of Him in verse seven. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”[2] The disciples asks Jesus this question in light of the events that they have witnessed. They saw Jesus die on the cross, and now they have seen Him resurrected. Their understanding of Jesus’ teachings led them to believe, rightly so, that Jesus would restore the nation of Israel and fulfil all the promises given to them. The answer Jesus gives is very interesting. Jesus basically says, ‘it’s none of your business.’ In other words, Jesus did not want them to focus so much on what is to come, rather, He wanted them to focus on the immediate task at hand. Jesus then explains to them their purpose for the new age that they are transitioning into; the age of the church. It is during this dispensation of grace, in which you and I live, that God has elected the church to be the vehicle through which the Gospel is proclaimed throughout the entire world. Notice a couple of things we see here concerning the true life of the believer.

The true life of the believer is empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells His disciples that they will have power after the Holy Spirit comes upon them. “The power they were to receive was divine power; the word is dynamis, the same word used of Jesus’ miracles in the Gospels. It is the Spirit’s power (2:1–21). The endowment with the Spirit is the prelude to, the equipping for, mission.”[3] The Holy Spirit is first given to the followers of Jesus in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. It was on that day that the dispensation of grace began. From that day forward, every single person that comes to faith in the Lord Jesus is immediately indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God. With that indwelling, there comes a power that is beyond any power known to man. It is the power to change the world. The daily struggle of the believer has to do with a war over that power. Satan is opposed to the believer using the power within them. He works hard to distract and discourage the believer from fully realizing the power of the Spirit. It is vital that the believer maintains a close walk with Jesus in order to ensure continual empowerment from the Spirit.

The true life of the believer is purposed for evangelism. I am convinced that the only reason God has chosen to leave believers on this planet during this age is for the sole purpose of evangelism. We are given power by the Holy Spirit for the single purpose of being witnesses of Jesus. We are the vehicle through which the Holy Spirit draws all of mankind to repentance. As D.L. Moody said, “There is not a better evangelist in the world than the Holy Spirit. If the churches would just let Him come in, there would soon be mighty work for Christ.”[4] If we would only allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, He will do a great work through us. Nothing can stop the power of the Gospel driven by the fire of the Holy Spirit administered through the mouth and life of a believer. God wants to use you as His ambassador to this world. He has given you the Holy Spirit to empower you to fulfil your purpose as an ambassador. Will you let Him? Will you let God use you? Will you yield to the Spirit’s control in your life and be His mouthpiece to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and dying world?

[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ac 1:8). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ac 1:6–7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, p. 86). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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