Acts 1:8, You will be My Witnesses


Acts 1:6-8, "And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall 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."

Is this verse for you now?  Yes.  Same Spirit, same Lord, same need.  Do you need power when witnessing to unbelievers?  Acts 1:8 is a promise from Jesus that you will not be left empty-handed when sharing the truth of Christ's love and sacrifice for sinners.

  1. You will receive Power
    1. What power?
      1. The power that comes from the Spirit of God.
      2. The power that opened the eyes of the blind, and the hearts of unbelievers.  The power that raised the dead.  The Power that comes from God Himself.
      3. This is the power that is promised to those who wait on God and to follow Him because it is of God, from God, for the redeemed.... it is
      4. ...the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in you and can abide upon you.
    2. Power to do what?
      1. In this context, it is the power of God for the disciples to be able to preach the word and perform signs and miracles as a testimony to the power and authority of God's saving gospel.
      2. It is the power to speak the word of God
        1. Swap meet ministry and the movement of the Spirit.
      3. Power to understand the word of God
        1. Sudden and profound illumination of God's word.
      4. Power to experience God in a fuller way.
        1. A more intimate relationship, hearing His voice, knowing His will.
      5. Power to see your sin and repent of it
        1. Stan and I were talking about revival....
    3. Jesus did His miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit.
      1. He began His miracles after His baptism.
        1. He entered the Melchizedek priesthood at the age of 30......
      2. Blasphemy of the Spirit was speaking against the Holy Spirit.
        1. Matt. 12:22-32 the Pharisees accused Jesus of doing His miracles by the power of the devil....
    4. You are not powerful in yourself?
      1. You are the creature.
      2. You are sinful
      3. You are powerless.
      4. Therefore, you need the power of God to carry out His will, not your own.
    5. How do you get this power?
      1. Prayer: In Acts 4:31, after prayer, the Holy Spirit filled the room that the apostles were praying in.
      2. Laying on of hands: "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying" (Acts 19:6).
      3. Obedience: "And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him," (Acts 5:32)
  2. When do you receive this power? When the Holy Spirit Comes upon you.
    1. You must first be cleansed by Jesus before you can be indwelt by the Spirit.
      1. Before you fill a cup you clean it, otherwise, it is not suitable for use.
    2. Are you cleansed?  Are you saved?
      1. Two areas to look at here.
        1. Justification: Guarantees the Holy Spirit IN you.
        2. Sanctification: often results in the Holy Spirit UPON you.
    3. What are some of the signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit IN you?
      1. A desire to hear God's word. A desire for repentance, turning from sin, A desire to love others. An increase in your knowledge and understanding of God. And, of course, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, etc.
    4. What are some of the signs of the Holy Spirit UPON you?
      1. Manifestation of spiritual gifts as is evidenced in Acts.
      2. Speaking in tongues and exalting God.
        1. "And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also.  46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God" (Acts 10:45-46).
      3. Prophesying
        1. I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy" (Acts 2:18).
      4. Profound Repentance
        1. "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning.  16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'  17 If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?"  18 And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life," (Acts 11:15-18).
      5. Speaking the word of God with boldness
        1. "And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31).
  3. What is the purpose of this power? To be Witnesses for Jesus.
    1. "...but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses..."
    2. Not your own witness.
      1. Not "The Church of Matt's Witnesses..."
      2. Not "The Witnessing Church of Bob...."
    3. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks... and when the Holy Spirit is in and upon you, you shall speak of Jesus.
      1. John 15:26 says, "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me."
    4. What kind of a witness are you now?
      1. A friend of mine who "used to be a Christian" once told me of the reasons he had lost faith in Christianity.  Recently, he told me of the day he concluded that Christianity wasn't true.  He and a friend were riding his bicycles up a mountain road in a heavy downpour.  They decided to thumb a ride instead of risking a downhill run on a mountain road in the cold rain.  A huge motor home pulled up and the driver asked them what the problem was.  They told him of their situation and he said he would like to help them but he was going to church and didn't have the time........ Later, a beat-up old station wagon with a Mexican family in it stopped and picked them up.
      2. The witness of that motor home driver helped my friend to fall from Christianity.
      3. Some might think that that was a small thing, a minor instance and shouldn't make or break Christianity.  But, in the heart of someone who is doubting, nothing done by a Christian is small and timing can be everything.
    5. What kind of a witness are you?
  4. Finally, Jesus tells us where you are to be a Witness for Him: Everywhere.
    1. The text speaks of their present location: Jerusalem.
      1. For you, it is where you live.
    2. Then it speaks of the local area
      1. For you, it might by the county you live in.
    3. Then it speaks of the world
    4. It is easy, sometimes, to be a witness for Him only a church or among our friends who are also Christians.  It gets difficult when we have to stand for Jesus when things can be inconvenient. .... but, the Holy Spirit overrides our feelings, fears, and faults and moves us to sacrifice in love to fellow man and obedience to God.
    5. Escondido needs your witness of Jesus.
    6. You have been commissioned.


It is the Holy Spirit that gives you the power, the strength, the boldness, ability, and the confidence to be witnesses for Jesus. You can't do it on your own.

If you want to be a bolder witness for Jesus, you need to be praying for it, obeying the Lord, and submitting to the will of the Lord.

Don't be scared of experiencing God.  Don't be scared of being a witness for Him either.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.