Acts 1:4-5 - Jesus Will Baptize You in the Holy Spirit

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Jesus died, was buried, and was raised to life. Then, over a period of forty days, He appeared among His disciples and talked with them concerning the kingdom of God. One of the features of the kingdom of God is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus speaks about this in Acts 1:4-5.

1. Jesus gathered the disciples together before giving them orders. As believers in Christ, we often get together to advance the kingdom of God.

As Acts 1:4 says, Jesus "gathered the disciples together." The Greek verb can mean simply that Jesus simply assembled the disciples. However, it also can suggest that they were gathered in order to eat together. This is why the NIV translates this clause as "while he was eating with them." Of course, if the disciples were eating together, they had to be assembled.

There is great strength in the assembled church. Jesus declared (Matthew 18:20), "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." NAU When we get together in Christ's name, He can work wonderfully through us. We can receive orders, pray and work together, set common goals, worship Christ in unison. The results are strong, and the kingdom of God grows.

In Hebrews 10:25, the writer exhorts us not to forsake "our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." We must encourage one another in gathering for worship, praise, instruction, and work.

2. Jesus told the disciples to wait for what the Father had promised. Sometimes, we also must wait.

The disciples were to wait for "what the Father had promised." The Greek text says, "promise of the Father." In Luke 24:, the phrase is "promise of my Father." The word promise can be used broadly of all the promises of God, but the clear reference here is to the Holy Spirit. The Father had promised the coming of the Holy Spirit upon them. Jesus makes reference to the Father's promise now.

Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit would come upon the disciples, but He asked them to wait in Jerusalem for the appropriate time. Because of this, some people think that they must wait or "tarry" until they are filled with the Spirit. The reason for the waiting was not to establish a formula but simply because it was not yet God's time for the outpouring of the Spirit.

Nevertheless, there are times when we must wait. We ask God for many things. We ask for financial assistance, for healing, for revival, for church growth, for the development of our character--and it seems the answer does not immediately come. We experience what one writer calls "the discipline of delay." We have to accept God's timing for His actions. He alone knows when, where, and why He will act. Through it all, we develop patience.

3. The disciples had heard of this promise from Jesus. We have this promise in the Word of God.

Jesus commanded the disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised. Jesus had taught many things concerning the Holy Spirit. All of these teachings are, in a sense, a part of the promise of the Father. All of the teachings of the Word of God about the Holy Spirit are for us. We can have a rich and rewarding relationship with the Holy Spirit.

However, it seems to me that Jesus especially was emphasizing Luke 24: which says: "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." NAU The fulfillment of this would come on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit would come upon the disciples with a special purpose.

4. You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 1:5 Jesus highlights the point about the promise of the Father that He wants to make. He recalls the words of John the Baptist at the time of His baptism. John (Luke 3:16) said, "I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." NASU

Jesus will baptize the disciples in the Holy Spirit. The church is divided over the meaning of the term "baptism in the Spirit." For many, this term represents a conversion experience. In contrast to them, we believe that the experience on the Day of Pentecost was an empowerment moment. Jesus empowered the disciples to be witnesses.

Today, all who believe in Christ are eligible for this empowerment experience. Indeed, this is an experience that God greatly desires for us to have. We must come to God in faith that He will bestow His Spirit upon us. This is what will make us effective witnesses for Christ.


As Jesus met with His disciples, the subject that was on His mind was the kingdom of God. Through His disciples the kingdom would be built. Jesus would baptize them in the Spirit to enable them to do this work. Thus, the baptism in the Spirit is a crucial experience in the building of the kingdom of God. Let us open our hearts today to receive the great blessing of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

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