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.
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Acts 1:8 relates to the Power of Gospel to be "a witness" of God to the end of the earth. The message of the Cross is the power of God to us who are being saved (1 Cor 1:18) The power of the Gospel is what initiates our Christian life. Apostle Paul unashamedly declared to those in Rome, the political capital of the then world, "The Gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" (Rom 1:16). It applies equally to all, whether a religious Jew or an intellectual Greek or an illiterate tribal (v14). No religious ritual however sacred, no logical reasoning however sound, or no tradition however ancient can save a man. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only power that God uses to bring men and women into eternal salvation. The story of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is not merely a historical event. It's a message of power. It transforms instantly "the vilest offender who truly believes!" The Gospel is not just a narrative. It's a Person. It's Christ. "Christ is the power of God" for salvation (1 Cor 1:24). Apostle Peter calls the Gospel an imperishable seed. It is packed with life and power. This is the seed responsible for our rebirth (1 Pet 1:23). Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary when the power of the Highest overshadowed her (Lk 1:35). The virgin birth of Christ was a human impossibility. "But with God nothing will be impossible," said Angel Gabriel to her (Lk 1:37). No sinner is too sinful to be saved. Referring to an extremely difficult situation, the disciples of Christ asked Him, "Who then can be saved?" His answer was just the same as that of Gabriel to Mary (Mt 19:25,26). Salvation is a deliverance. It is getting snatched away from the clutches of Satan. The Gospel message is the emancipation proclamation. It leads the victim from prison to palace. It lifts the sinner from the guttermost to the uppermost and seats him with Christ in the heavenlies. It was this understanding that excited Zacharias to celebrate redemption as raising up of a "horn of salvation!" (Lk 1:68,69). Because a horn can give an animal the victory in battle, it indicates strength. The explosive power packed in gun powder is a modern parallel. When an individual or a group responds to the Gospel, its dynamic power is released.
Simply put, it means that they would be receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit forever, which had never happened before. Acts 2:4 Whereas the Spirit of God temporarily was with some OT believers, such as Saul and David, it never stayed in them like the Holy Spirit does with us now. Jesus Himself said that although He had to leave them, the Helper would be with them forever so they were better off with the Holy Spirit. John 14:16-18.
"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:" (John 20:19-22) "He breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost". I believe the disciples at that precise point in time received the indwelling Holy Ghost. By our definition of the word they became eternally saved. I see no point in believing otherwise based on the fact it was the Lord of Glory who first "breathed on them" and then said "receive ye the Holy Ghost". This is the same Lord that breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7) The Lord stated in John 5:21 "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." What happened when The Lord told the infirm man to Rise, take up thy bed, and walk in John 5:8? "Immediately the man was made whole....." (v. 9). In John 8 we read about the girl who The Lord took by the hand and simply said: "................Maid arise" (v. 54). The results? "And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat." (v. 55) When The Lord speaks, it comes to pass, a done deal. "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isa 55:11) "Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." (Acts 1:2-5) (Pentecost = 50th day) After The Lord's ascension and prior to Pentecost Acts 1:14 tells us: "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." Still prior to Pentecost Acts 2:1 states: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."One accord: I. with one mind, with one accord, with one passion. One place: 1.himself, herself, themselves, itself 2. he, she, it 3. the same (There was perfect unity). The Lord breathed the Holy Spirit into the apostles he had chosen prior to Pentecost. Their subsequent unity, "of one accord and one place" was a result, the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Pentecost was second of the Jewish feasts which was held in Jerusalem. Outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred at a specific time and place designated by God. These dear saints did nothing spectacular, no one laid hands on them, neither did they pray or beseech God for a specific gift or any gift for that manner. On the day of Pentecost they were empowered to fulfill the marching orders given them by The Lord. Acts 1: tells us: " 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." "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." (1 Corinthians 12:11)
The power of the Holy Spirit provides guidance (to recognize the Word of the Lord), strength (to follow the Word of the Lord) and perhaps most importantly, wisdom (to understand the Word of the Lord). Do not be surprised to suddenly find the meaning of sections of the Bible, that previously seemed incomprehensible or of no particular importance to you. The Holy Spirit will encourage you to intensify your efforts to serve the Lord. In that, I find the power of the Holy Spirit indispensable.
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