The Church’s Kingdom of God proclamation can only happen by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is so important for us to grasp. The mission is urgent, yes. The Good News must be proclaimed, of course. But Jesus would not let his apostles start until after they had all received the Spirit. They were prepared, they had been taught, they were witnesses to the whole thing, they were ready to go – but not without the Spirit. They had to wait for the Holy Spirit.
It won’t work without the Spirit.
And when they do receive the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, they can’t be stopped.
You find the account in Acts 2. One hundred and twenty disciples of Jesus, both men and women, the Bible says, sons and daughters, all receive God’s Holy Spirit and they boldly proclaim the Gospel of the lordship of Jesus Christ. They declare the Good News that Jesus is the new King and 3,000 people are baptized that day.
In Acts 4, Peter and John are filled with the Holy Spirit when they proclaim the Good News to the Sanhedrin. When they were released from jail – when you declare publicly that there’s a new king, it usually lands you in jail – the church prayed.
“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly.” ~Acts 4:31
Stephen is facing opposition to the Gospel in Acts 6. Members of the synagogue begin to argue with him – when Jesus says you can only serve one king and you repeat him out loud in church, it gets you in trouble.
“But they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.” ~Acts 6:10
Through the rest of the whole New Testament, the Holy Spirit fills the followers of Jesus with power to meet the proclamation challenges. He gives boldness and courage. He provides the right words to say and he provides the power. You can’t proclaim the Good News without Holy Spirit power.
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