What do we know about the activity of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts.
The book of Acts would be non-existent without the acts of the Holy Spirit. Within the book of Acts, the activity of the Holy Spirit is so prevalent that the book might also be entitled “The Diary of the Holy Spirit” or “The Acts of Christ and the Apostles by the Holy Spirit.” It is through the book of Acts that we gain our largest understanding of the extent to which the Holy Spirit can empower people if they are willing.
The first major activity in Acts comes on the day of Pentecost, where people are baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit fills people and empowers those that receive Him. The noise that is heard is like that of a violent blowing wind, a wind that signifies the power of the Spirit. Each disciple speaks in tongues, or a foreign language. Each person recognizes what is spoken in the language of their homeland. It is through this outpouring, as well as a sermon from Peter, that nearly three thousand people were baptized and added to the church.
In Acts chapter three, the Holy Spirit fills Peter. A lame man, which was at the temple gate called ‘Beautiful’, so he could beg from those entering the temple, asked Peter and John for help. Through the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit and the power of the name of Jesus Christ, Peter commanded the lame man to get up and walk. At once, this man was healed and he stood up and started to walk.
Acts chapter seven shows us the Holy Spirit again empowering someone to do the will of God. Here Stephen preaches the word of God and exposes the Sanhedrin for the liars they are. Stephen also tells the Sanhedrin and others who are listening that they are resisting the Holy Spirit just as their forefathers did. Stephen continued to preach because he was filled with the Holy Spirit, even as they gnashed their teeth at him. As they took him out of the city to stone him, the Holy Spirit gave him a glimpse of God’s glory, and allowed him to see Jesus standing at the right hand of God. The Holy Spirit allowed him to courageously proclaim, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”.”
It is through the power of Acts that we see that God is a person and not some abstract power. It is through the book of Acts that we see that the Holy Spirit is as much a part of Christ as He is of God. Additionally, we see that the Holy Spirit played a pivotal role in the church as we know it today which was initiated on the day of Pentecost. The book of Acts is filled with countless stories of the Holy Spirit empowering and uniting people to do the will of God and to expand the church. May we in the current age of the Christian church be as attentive to the empowerment and call of the Holy Spirit as we, too, seek to advance the church and the kingdom of God.