He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
Waiting is hard, especially when you are waiting for a kingdom. During the forty days following His resurrection Jesus spoke to His disciples about the kingdom of God. At the end of this period they asked what must have seemed like an obvious question: “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (v. 6) Their question may also have been prompted by Jesus’ command that the disciples not leave Jerusalem until they received the promised gift of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ disciples seem to have expected that the impending baptism in the Spirit would inaugurate the messianic kingdom. Their eagerness to see the kingdom begin is understandable since they had a vested interest in its advent. During His earthly ministry Jesus promised the apostles that when the Son of Man sat on His glorious throne, those who followed Him would also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28). But instead of political power, the coming of the Spirit endowed them with the power to act in faith. Like them, we too are given the ability to bear witness to the risen Christ through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit (vv. 8–9).
New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce defines the “power” in verse 8 as “that supernatural power by which miracles were wrought and preaching made effective.” The power of the Spirit is also power to obey. By the Spirit we are enabled to “put to death the misdeeds of the body” (Rom. 8:13). Those who are led by God’s Spirit recognize that they have been freed from slavery to their sinful nature. This is what it means to be “led by the Spirit.” Finally, the Spirit not only empowers the believer to tell others about Christ, but He also reassures us that we belong to Christ (Rom. 8:16).
Apply the Word
Seek the help of the Holy Spirit today by praying or paraphrasing these words of Saint Augustine: “Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.”