The Holy Spirit at work in the early church…

Holy Spirit While this is not a complete summary of the work of the Holy Spirit, I believe it accurately depicts the Holy Spirit at work in the early church as reported in the Book of Acts. Hopefully, this will be helpful. Let me know what you think.

In the Book of Acts we see the Holy Spirit at work as follows:

1) The risen Christ instructing the apostles through the Holy Spirit:

— 1:2, …until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen

2) The Promise of and Baptism of the Holy Spirit:

— 1:5, For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit

— 1:8, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth

— 2:4, All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them

— 2:17, In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams

— 2:18, Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy

— 2:33, Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear

3) Giving utterance to Gospel Heralds:

— 2:4, All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them

— 4:8, Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!

— 4:31, After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly

— 6:10, but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke

4) Through specific prophecies / prophets:

— 11:28, One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)

— 13:9, Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said…

— 21:11, Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’

5) As God’s gift to the redeemed:

— 2:38, Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

— 5:32, We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him

— 19:6, When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

6) Active in the ministry of Jesus and the Old Testament prophets:

— 1:5, For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit

— 1:16, …“Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus…

— 4:25, You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

— 7:51, “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

— 10:38, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him

— 28:25, They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet

7) The disciples were “filled with” the Holy Spirit:

— 4:31, After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

— 6:3, Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them

— 6:5, This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

— 7:55, But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

— 11:24, He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

8 ) Operative in the Apostles’ leadership (inferred):

— 5:3, Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?

— 5:9, Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

9) Poured out on individuals or groups other than the apostles:

— 8:15-17, 15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

— 9:17, Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

— 10:44, While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

— 10:45-47, 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47“Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

— 11:15-16, 15“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

— 13:52, And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

— 15:8, God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.

10) Taking Philip away after the Ethiopian’s baptism:

— 8:39, When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

11) As Comforter of the believers:

— 9:31, Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

12) Providing specific direction to the lives of believers:

— 8:29, The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

— 10:19, While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you.

— 11:12, The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house.

— 13:2, While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

— 13:4, The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

— 15:28, It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:

— 16:6, Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

— 16:7, When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

— 20:22, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.

— 20:23, I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.

— 20:28, Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

— 21:4, Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.

13) The Holy Spirit’s gift cannot be bought with money:

— 8:18-19, 18When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!

© Bill Williams
April 26, 2015