Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The Original Intent

1) Who is being spoken to in this verse and what is Jesus saying to them?

This verse is spoken by Jesus before He ascends to Heaven. Jesus is with His disciples on the Mt of Olives outside of Bethany. Essentially, these words are the last ones Jesus says to His disciples before leaving them.

In those moments, Jesus promises His disciples they will not be abandoned even though He is leaving them. The disciples had witnessed Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection and had spent time with Jesus after His resurrection.

In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus instructed His disciples to share the Gospel with all nations.  However, with these words, Jesus tells them to stay and wait. He doesn’t want them to go alone to carry His gospel to the nations, but instead wait for the Holy Spirit to come.

Jesus knows their mission is will not be accomplished alone. He knows they need what only God can provide.

The Everyday Application

1) Who is being spoken to in this verse and what is Jesus saying to them?

While Jesus is speaking directly to His disciples in this verse, His message is still for us today. As believers, we are also His disciples and these words are just as much for us as it was for those who heard it first when Jesus spoke.

We too have the job of sharing the Gospel with all nations. However, if the disciples could not take on the task in their own power, why should we think we can?

Just as they needed the Holy Spirit, so do we. When we place our faith in Jesus, we are also given the gift of the Holy Spirit who never leaves. We can choose, however, to ignore His voice and attempt to do His work on our own strength.

Here is where we need to be reminded of Jesus’ message to His first disciples and to us!

The Original Intent

2) What is the power received?

This power is the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we hear the word “power” we often think physical strength. However, this isn’t what Jesus is referring to here as this is a spiritual power. This power is the strength, courage, and boldness by which Jesus’ disciples will go out and accomplish the mission Jesus is laying before them.

Jesus didn’t tell the disciples to go out before they had the power from the Holy Spirit. He told them to wait for it. Jesus knew there was no hope in them being witnesses if they did not have the power only God can provide.

The power of the Holy Spirit would come and equip them with all the tools needed to be successful and effective witnesses. Without the Holy Spirit, they would never have success.

The Everyday Application

2) What is the power received?

Spiritual power is a gift provided by the Holy Spirit. The disciples needed the power to go out boldly and confidently share the Gospel bearing witness to Jesus. Before the Spirit was given, the disciples were told to wait.

Jesus would not send them to accomplish a mission if they were not equipped to accomplish it. If the disciples needed the Spirit’s power and they had physically walked with Jesus and learned at His feet, we should also acknowledge we need this power in order to bear witness to Jesus. This power allows us to step out in courage to share the truth of who Jesus is and why the world needs Him.

Where is the Spirit leading you? Are you in the habit of engaging with Him through Scripture, journaling, prayer, and quiet listening? If we are to accomplish the Lord’s mission in our everyday lives, our effectiveness begins and ends with our dependence on the equipping power of the Holy Spirit!

The Original Intent

3) Why Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the end of the earth?

Jesus had given His disciples what we call the Great Commission at the end of Matthew 28. Here in Acts 1:8, Jesus expounds on that command and lays out a plan of action. The disciples were Jews who would have lived in Jerusalem and Judea. Their mission is to begin sharing the Gospel and making witnesses right where they were in everyday life and then move out from there in every widening circles of influence.

The disciples were to continue moving into Samaria and then into the rest of the world. Essentially, this lays out the plan to take the Gospel to the Jews and then the Gentiles. Expositor’s Bible Commentary words it this way, “Jerusalem, Judea, – the Apostles were to begin their great practical life of witnessing at home, but they were not to stay there. Samaria was next to have its opportunity, and so we shall find it to have been the case; and then, working from home as centre, to the uttermost parts of the earth.”

Never were the disciples to stay in the comforts of home. God’s plan was always to send His power and enable the disciples to share the Good News with His entire creation.

The Everyday Application

3) Why Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the end of the earth?

Just as Jesus lays out a plan for the disciples to carry out the Great Commission at the end of this verse, He lays out a plan for us. As believers, we are commanded to make disciples of all nations just as the original disciples were. Even though we don’t live in Jerusalem our plan of action should look similar to the disciples.

We are first to start in our own “Jerusalem”, the place we call home. Who is God calling us to share the Gospel with in our homes, in our neighborhoods, or in our workplace?

Next, we are to look to the area or city we live in, our “Judea”. Samaria would have been a little farther out from home. It could be like asking who am I to share the Gospel with within the region God has placed me.

Lastly, I am to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth. There is no place on earth that is not worthy of hearing the Good News. Where is God asking me to go? Any one of these areas may feel out of our comfort zone, but with the power of the Holy Spirit we can bravely and boldly go and bear witness making disciples.

When I lived in Las Vegas my church said it this way, “Las Vegas, the West and the World”. I now live in Kansas City, MO and my church says it this way, “our church, the Northland, and beyond.” Think about where God has placed you… how can you reword this action plan Jesus gave to match where God has you located.

It will be different for all of us, but the end goal is the same… to see every nation to the end of the earth hear the Good News of Jesus!

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