Read for This Week’s Study: John 15:26, 27; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 8:4; Heb. 4:12; Acts 17:33, 34; Acts 18:8.
Memory Text: “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31, NKJV).
When Jesus commanded the early believers to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel”, it must have seemed like an impossible mission (Mark 16:15, NKJV). How could they ever accomplish such a huge challenge? Their numbers were so small. Their resources were limited. They were a largely uneducated band of ordinary believers. But they had an extraordinary God who would empower them for their extraordinary mission.
But Jesus declared, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV). The empowering of the Holy Spirit would enable them to share the message of the cross with life-changing, world-changing power. The Holy Spirit made their witness effective. In a few short decades, the gospel impacted the entire world. Acts declares that these early believers “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, NKJV). The apostle Paul adds that the gospel was “preached to every creature under heaven” (Col. 1:23, NKJV). In this week’s lesson, we will especially focus on the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering our witness for Christ.