The book of Acts is really about the work of the Holy Spirit as exhibited through the lives of the early Christian believers. The work of soul winning cannot be accomplished on merely the human level. Human agents are needed but unless the Holy Spirit is present to bring conviction to human hearts and to transform lives, no lasting changes will take place. Jesus outlined the work of the Holy Spirit in John 16:8-11:
- The Holy Spirit convicts people that they are sinners.
- The Holy Spirit convinces people that they can be righteous through accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary.
- The Holy Spirit convicts people that they are accountable to God and must face the record of their lives before God’s judgment bar.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is the greatest gift which Christ could bestow upon His disciples. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives brings all of God’s other blessings with it. When Jesus met with the disciples on the day of His resurrection He told them, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” Then He immediately said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22. Jesus was giving them an assignment which would consume the rest of their lives, but they were not left on their own to accomplish this mission. Through the power of the Holy Spirit they began a movement which has changed the course of history forever.
Key Passages and questions
- Promise of the Holy Spirit — Acts 1:4-8
- What is the relationship between water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- What kind of power did Jesus promise His followers in Acts 1:8?
- For what purpose is the power to be used?
- Are there conditions to be met before this power can be received? C.S. p. 254
- Results of Being Filling with the Spirit — Acts 4:19-31
- What motivated the boldness of the disciples in their confrontations with the Jewish leaders?
- How did their personal experience with Jesus contribute to this bold testimony?
- With all this power available, why is our testimony and spiritual life often so weak today?
- The Latter Rain — Joel 2:23-32
- Why is the former and latter rain such an apt symbol of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
- How did Peter apply this prophecy to their experience on the day of Pentecost?
- In what ways can this prophecy be applied to God’s plan for His people today?
- A Divine Helper is Promised — John 14:12-18
- Why did the early Christians see so many signs and wonders?
- Do we see any of that today or should we even expect to?
- What would happen if every Christian prayed for “a daily baptism of the Holy Spirit?” A.A. p. 50