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TheHoly Spirit: The Book of Acts
TheHoly Spirit: The Book of Acts
Inthe Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit was responsible for theestablishment of the early church by the apostles. Before Jesus wentback to heaven, He made a promise to his followers that a helper willcome to guide and empower them in their journey ahead as believers1.Throughout this chapter, it is evident for one to see that the HolySpirit forms a fundamental and prevalent factor that directs anddetermines the work of the apostles of the early church2.In fact, the conversion of nonbeliever gentiles takes place as afunction of the workings of the Holy Spirit3.Written at around AD 70, the Book of Acts is a sequel to the Book ofLuke, and it offers immense details regarding salvation and theoutcomes of the ministry of Jesus Christ, His death, andresurrection. Also, the Book represents a continuum of someprophecies found in the Old Testament4.The Book of Acts shows the Holy Spirit’s manifestation in thepeople as a link between covenants found in the Old Testament and theMinistry of Jesus that had the aim of saving the people of the world.It is evident for readers to note not only the impact but also theappearance, and manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the people thatchoose to believe and trust in Jesus as the Son of God, who was sentto ensure that people do not perish but have everlasting life. Tounderstand the Holy Spirit, the Book of Acts implores Christians toevaluate its promise of delivery of God’s power to the people.
TheHoly Spirit is the manifestation of God, as a divine force thatempowers and enlightens believers. The Spirit has the power offilling and moving through an individual, as observed in the prophetsof God in the Old Testament, in a metaphysical and impersonal manner.In Acts 1:4-8, Jesus indicates that the Helperwould come to give power to those who wait for it after Hisascension. He offered clear instructions to the apostles to stay putin Jerusalem for purposes of becoming His witnesses for the wholeworld at the receipt of the Holy Spirit5.The getting this Holy Spirit by the people is also referred to asBaptism of the Holy Spirit. One can readily associate this with thedeclaration of John the Baptist who indicated that he baptized peopleby water, but the Messiah came to baptize them by fire- implyingempowerment by the Spirit.6It is clear that there was a direct and strong symbiotic relationshipbetween the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ as a function of the HolyTrinity. It is important to remember that Christ was not only movedand empowered but also conceived by the Holy Spirit, which literallyholds power to offer life.
TheBook of Acts demonstrates that the Holy Spirit bears capacity totransform ordinary men, both believers, and non-believers, evensinful men, into mighty men of God. In actuality, the Book of Actscould be referred to as the Book of the Holy Spirit. Luke mentionsthe Holy Spirit more times that referred to in all the four gospelscollectively. For this reason, the Holy Spirit is the cornerstone orfoundation of the Acts of the Apostles. A review of the entire bookshows that it is all about the manifestations and exploits of theHoly Spirit among the believers. It is, however, paramount to notethat the Spirit (at the day of Pentecost) is the same that existed atthe time of creation in Genesis, that moved upon earth’s surface.
Inactuality, speaking in tongues is a most significant gift of the holyspirit in that it demonstrates that one is well equipped to spreadthe gospel in the areas of the world as a prophet of the Lord, withno barriers and much effort. No wonder people from other regions ofthe world were filled with bewilderment when they heard the apostlespeaking in their tongues or languages.7In addition to speaking in tongues, the Holy Spirit also offers thegift of the power of laying of hands on others. Peter and John laidhands on some converted Gentiles who had been baptized with water,and they too received the power of the Holy Spirit. In light of this,it is clear for one to see that the Holy Spirit facilitatesexponential growth and spread of Christianity to all corners of theworld in a direct manner.
Onthe day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled a hundred and twentyapostles that were gathered in together waiting. Regarding thearrival of the Holy Spirit, there was a sense of audible and orphysical accounts. Other that the apostles are speaking in tongues,the Book of Acts, chapter 2, records that the presence of the holyspirit was demonstrated by blowing sounds of violent wind forms. Akeen look also reveals that the Hebrew word for spirit or ruachimplies the existence of wind or breath.
Indeed,the Holy Spirit arrived, and the people received the manifestation ofGod’s power in Acts 2 this was the fulfillment of the promise ofJesus8.The Spirit subdued the atmosphere and the spirits of those who werepresent and in waiting. In one way or another, the believers wereborn again, empowered to live lives of holiness, to experience signsand wonders of the Lord. Further, into the Book of Acts, the HolySpirit displays some person-like characteristics that relate to thoseof Jesus. For instance, the Holy Spirit offers specific instructionsto Peter to head to the home of Cornelius, a gentile. From thisperspective, it is clear for one to see that the Holy Spirit servesthe purpose of extending the ministry of Jesus throughout the world.Indeed, and based on traditional religious thought, the Jews believedthey were the only ones to receive the power of the Helper. As such,that the Holy Spirit came to facilitate the spreading of the messageof salvation to all people in the world, who would believe in Jesusas the son of God9.Also, the Holy Spirit also revealed to Peter what cleanliness meantin the eyes of God through a vision that he had. In the face ofPeter’s reluctance, the Spirit offered him the vision three times,leading to his adherence to the message from God. The resultanteffect was the conversion of Gentiles to Christianity.
Undeniably,the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts is displayed as the revealer ofthe truth of God and His message to the people10.By offering clear messages to Peter in a repeated fashion,Christianity was observed as a movement for all people who wouldbelieve in the message of Christ and not as a reserve of the Jews.Then again, the Book of Acts shows that the Holy Spirit serves therole of a facilitator and enabler of persons to carry out the worksof God like preaching and ministering the Truthof TheWordon the platform of wisdom and understanding. Some other notablepersons like Paul, Stephen, and Philip, were led and empowered by theHoly Spirit in the establishment of their ministries. The Holy Spiritempowered Stephen in giving an account of the sins of Israel beforeGod and in addressing the Sanhedrin. Despite the fact that Stephenmade the account at the expense of his life, he did so with muchboldness and confidence. Such shows the power of the Holy Spirit thatmanifests in a believer.
Clearlyand according to the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit acts as a conduitfor people to take upon themselves the responsibility of living asChristians.11From another perspective, the Holy Spirit offers believers the graceto continue with the work of Christ. Thus, they can pray or intercedefor others, asking for healing or restoration from God in the name ofJesus. Indeed, believers have a capacity of praying and witnessingmiracles happening and disasters prevented.
TheHoly Spirit in the Book of Acts is shown to be a fundamental pillarof the establishment and spread of Christianity in the world. Baptismin the Holy Spirit implies receiving empowerment and enlightenmentfrom God. Since the Gentiles also receive the holy spirit in the Bookof Acts, the baptism of the Spirit is a matter that transcends allbarriers of race, culture, and beliefs of the people of earth. Evenso, it is apparent from the understanding of the holy spirit in theBook of Acts, that there exists a sense of healthy relationship inthe context of the holy spirit. In Genesis, the Spirit that was withGod moved over water surfaces on earth it came out for specificpurposes on an occasional basis. In the Book of Acts, the Spirit cameout for the establishment of a mission, that is, the spread ofChristianity to all areas of the world. Nevertheless, the nature,power and characteristics of the Holy Spirit are so well elaboratedin the Book of Acts, seemingly more than in other books of the Bible.Believers learn the importance of being filled with the Holy Spiritas the means of acquiring the power of God. They get to know the holyspirit as a Gift per se as outlined in the Bible, “Repent ye, andbe baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto theremission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the HolySpirit.”12
Bruce,F. F. “Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles.” Interpretation27, no. 2 (April 1973): 166–183.
Constable,Thomas L. “Notes on Acts.” Dr.Constable’s Expository Notes.(2014). http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/acts.pdf.
Drumwright,Huber L. “Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts.” SouthwesternJournal of Theology17, no. 1 (Fall 1974): 3–17.
Harm,Frederick R. “Structural Elements Related to the Gift of the HolySpirit in Acts.” ConcordiaJournal14, no. 1 (January 1988): 28–41.
Roberts,R. L. “The Gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).” RestorationQuarterly4, no. 4 (1960): 234–238.
Russell,Walt. “The Anointing with Holy Spirit in the Books Luke-Acts.”TrinityJournal7, no. 1 (Spring 1986): 47–63.
Turner,Max. “The Work of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts.” Word& World23, no. 2 (Spring 2003): 146–153.
1 Bruce, F. F. “Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles.” Interpretation 27, no. 2 (1973): 166
2 Constable, Thomas L. “Notes on Acts.” Dr. Constable’s Expository Notes. (2014). http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/acts.pdf
4 Drumwright, Huber L. “Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts.” Southwestern Journal of Theology 17, no. 1 (1974): 5
5 Constable, Thomas L. “Notes on Acts.” Dr. Constable’s Expository Notes. (2014). http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/acts.pdf
6 Luke 3:16 KJV
7 Turner, Max. “The Work of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts.” Word & World 23, no. 2 (2003), 147
8 Roberts, R. L. “The Gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).” Restoration Quarterly 4, no. 4 (1960): 236.
9 Ibid., 234
10 Harm, Frederick R. “Structural Elements Related to the Gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts.” Concordia Journal 14, no. 1 (1988): 30
11 Russell, Walt. “The Anointing with the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts.” Trinity Journal 7, no. 1 (Spring 1986): 47–63.
12 Acts 2:38, ASV