Acts 1: 4-9
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
Then they gathered round him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’
He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
Yesterday we thought about waiting. The disciples thought they were ready to go out and share the good news of Jesus, yet He told them to wait. Wait for what? We find that out in these verses: they were to wait for the power they would receive when they were baptised in the Holy Spirit.
The power of the Holy Spirit in our lives isn’t just to give us a spiritual experience, goose bumps and tingles – the power of the Holy Spirit is to equip and enable us to be effective witnesses for Jesus.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love to experience the tangible, manifest presence of the Spirit and I want the Holy Spirit to show up whatever way He chooses. But there’s some Christians, indeed some whole sections of the church today, for whom it’s all about the next hyper-spiritual experience. Their whole Christian life is spent searching for the next conference or chasing every anointed prophet who comes into town or jumping from church to church seeking some ecstatic experience. That’s why we see some crazy things done in the name of the Holy Spirit.
The first and primary reason Jesus baptises us in His Holy Spirit is so we can have power to go out there into the world and win people to Jesus. That’s what Jesus said: 'You will receive power and you will be my witnesses.'
The Greek word used here for witness is 'martoos' from which we get the word 'martyr'. In other words we receive power so that we can be people who are willing to lay down our lives for Jesus and the Gospel. Jesus says: 'Receive power that enables you to die for me if that’s what it takes. Receive my power so that when people look at your life they see something of me."
If you are a Christian, you are a witness for Jesus. People will watch your life, even if you don’t know it, and from what they see when they look at you, they will draw conclusions about Jesus and the truth of the Gospel.
To witness effectively, we need to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Witnessing should be the overflow of what is going on inside us.
Where are we to witness? They were to begin right where they were – in Jerusalem. And move out gradually from there to the ends of the earth.
Before we win the world, we are to win our world.
Your world is where you’ll be at 10 o’clock this morning. Your world is where you were last night.
I have discovered that sometimes it’s easier to cross the world to tell someone about Jesus than it is to cross the street or even cross the room. It’s easier share Jesus with strangers who we’ll never see again about Jesus than it is to tell people we will have to sit beside every day in school or in the office.
Jesus calls us to win our world, our sphere of influence, and if every Christian does that, then the world will hear about Jesus.
Where will your world be today? Jesus empowers you with His Spirit to be a witness in every place you set your foot and with every person to whom you speak.