but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."Acts 1:8(NASB)
Jesus died once and for all as the sacrifice for man's sin, and rose as living proof of His claims to be Israel's Messiah and Saviour of the world. Before the Cross, men could only approach God through Israel. After the Resurrection, the Church (which is the Body of Christ) were to be His witnesses on earth. Their testimony was to start in Jerusalem and spread out from that point. Indeed, Jesus had commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised.
Although over 500 people rejoiced to meet their risen Saviour, only 120 were to be found in the right place at the right time when the fledgling Church was birthed - and those present were all baptised with the Holy Spirit, as promised by the Lord Jesus Himself at His Ascension. He had promised they would all be filled with the Holy Spirit "not many days from now."
It was John the Baptist who first prophesied this momentous event when he explained that the Lord Jesus Himself would one day baptise His people with the Holy Spirit of promise. John also warned unbelievers that He would one day baptise mankind with the fierce fires of judgement, and for the first time in history, the people of God were to be permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God: "For do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?"
Jesus Himself, in the hours before the Cross, had instructed His disciples to wait in a special place for a unique event when God the Father would send God the Holy Spirit to them, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And so Jesus promised them: "The Holy Spirit will be in you and will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."
Christ enlarged on this precious promise only moments before He was taken up into the clouds: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
For over two thousand years, the nation of Israel were called to be God's witnesses to a God-hating sinful world who were dead in their sins and without God in the world. Through their failure, the Church (which is His Body) has become God's witness on earth today, testifying of the glorious gospel of Christ to all who will believe on Him name.
The call to go into all the world as Christ's witnesses continues to be the mission of the Church today. Member of Christ's Body have been placed as witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria - but also in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, and in every remote part of the world.
You and I are His witnesses today, in the place where God has chosen to plant us. May we be willing to die to self, live to Christ, and be led of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the glorious gospel of Christ - in the power of His might - to whomsoever God puts into our path.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I have been saved by grace, through faith in Christ, and have been baptised into His Body. Thank You that Your Holy Spirit lives in me, and I have been given all that I need to live godly in Christ Jesus. I pray that I may be a good and faithful witness in the place where You have planted me, knowing that I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me and empowers me with His own resurrected Life. To Him be all praise and glory, AMEN.
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