Acts Chapter 1; The Promise of the Holy Spirit Verse 1: In the first verse of Acts, we're introduced to the fact that this is a continuation of the Gospel of Luke. Theophilus, to whom this book is addressed, is the same person mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. This continuity is significant because it emphasizes the ongoing work of God in the world through the ministry of the early church.
Verse 2: In this verse, we see that Jesus, after His Resurrection, gave "commands through the Holy Spirit" to His apostles. This is the first mention of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts, and it sets the stage for the central role the Spirit will play in the birth and growth of the church. The Holy Spirit is the empowering presence of God that enables believers to fulfill their mission.
Verse 3: Here, we see that Jesus presented Himself alive to His apostles with "many convincing proofs" over 40 days. This emphasizes the reality of His Resurrection, a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. The Resurrection is central because it validates Jesus' identity and the message of Salvation He proclaimed.
Verse 4: In this verse, Jesus instructs His disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to "wait for the promise of the Father." This promise is the gift of the Holy Spirit, who would empower them for their mission. It's crucial to recognize that the early church was not to embark on its mission in its strength but with the supernatural empowerment of the Spirit.
Verse 5: Here, Jesus contrasts John's baptism with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. While John baptized with water for repentance, the baptism of the Holy Spirit would result in a transformative experience for the disciples. It signifies a new era in which believers would be filled with God's presence.
Verse 6: The disciples ask kingdom's restorationn of the kingdom to Israel. Their question reflects a common Jewish expectation of a Messianic kingdom. However, Jesus redirects their focus toward the imminent coming of the Holy Spirit and the mission of spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Verse 7: Jesus tells them that it's not for them to know the times and seasons the Father has fixed. Instead, they are to be witnesses of Him, empowered by the Holy Spirit. This verse emphasizes the need for faithfulness in fulfilling their mission rather than speculative eschatological concerns.
Verse 8: This verse serves as a key verse in Acts. Jesus tells the disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, and they will be His witnesses "ierusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Verse 9: In this verse, we read about Jesus being taken up into heaven before the eyes of His disciples. This event, known as the Ascension, marks the end of His earthly ministry and underscores His exalted position. Jesus' physical departure is a prelude to the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 10gazeeisciples are gazing up into heaven, two men in white robes appelooking.re standing there looking into the sky. This reminds the disciples that their focus should not be on Jesus' physical absence but on the task at hand, which is to await the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 11: The two men in white robes affirm that Jesus will return in the same way He was taken up into heaven. This is a future promise of His second coming, but for now, the disciples are to wait for the Holy Spirit, who will empower them for their mission.
Verse 12: The disciples Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which was a Sabbath day's journey away. This indicates their obedience to Jesus' command to remain in Jerusalem. Their unity and obedience in waiting for the Spirit serve as a model for the early church's devotion to prayer and waiting on God.
Verse 13: Here, we get a glimpse of the apostles' names, including Matthias, who was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. The selection of Matthias demonstrates the early church's commitment to maintaining the apostolic foundation, which would be crucial for the spread of the Gospel.
Verse 14: This verse highlights the unity of the believers as they "devoted themselves to prayer." Their prayerful anticipation of the Holy Spirit's coming is a vital aspect of the church's birth. It underscores the importance of seeking God's guidance and empowerment in ministry.
Verse 15: In this verse, Peter stands up among the brothers and addresses the issue of Judas' betrayal and replacement. He quotes from the Psalms (Psalm 69:25 and 109:8) to explain the necessity of replacing Judas with someone who had been with them since the beginning of Jesus' ministry.
Verse 16: Peter notes that the Scripture had to be fulfilled concerning Judas. This emphasizes the sovereignty of God in the events surrounding the early church. Even amid betrayal and challenges, God's plan continues to unfold.
Verse 17: Peter describes Judas as one who "was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry." Judas' betrayal reminds of the need for genuine commitment and faithfulness among Christ's followers. Verse 18: In this verse, we encounter a tragic end to Judas Iscariot's life. He purchased a field as a reward for his betrayal, and he met a gruesome fate there. This serves as a somber reminder of the consequences of betrayal and the importance of genuine commitment in discipleship.
Verse 19: The field purchased by Judas became known as the Field of Blood. This name is a poignant reminder of the blood money he received for betraying Jesus. It also symbolizes the spiritual cost of betrayal and the need for redemption.
Verse 20: Peter quotes from the Psalms (Psalm 69:25 and 109:8) to explain the necessity of replacing Judas. The concept of "his office let another take" underscores the importance of apostolic continuity and leadership in the early church.
Verse 21: The criteria for choosing a replacement for Judas were that the candidate should have been with the disciples from the beginning of Jesus' ministry and that he should have been a witness to the Resurrection. These qualifications emphasize the importance of firsthand knowledge and experience of Jesus' life and ministry.
Verse 22: Peter identifies two candidates, Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Both met the criteria, and the disciples prayed for God's guidance in choosing between them. This demonstrates the early church's reliance on prayer and seeking the Holy Spirit's direction in decision-making.
Verse 23: The disciples cast lots to determine God's choice, and the lot fell to Matthias, who was then numbered with the eleven apostles. This method of decision-making was used in the absence of the Holy Spirit's direct guidance, which would soon come at Pentecost.
Verse 24: Before casting lots, the disciples prayed, addressing God as the one who knows the hearts of all. This prayer reflects their recognition of God's sovereignty in the selection process. It's a reminder that even in matters of leadership, God's wisdom and guidance are paramount.
Verse 25: This verse confirms that Judas had "turned aside to go to his own place," highlighting the eternal consequences of his betrayal. It also emphasizes the importance of faithfulness and integrity in ministry.