The work of the Holy Spirit was essential for the apostles in the book of Acts. In fact, the apostles’ work would be so much dependent on the Holy Spirit that they would be so successful. It gave them the boldness to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many regions. This paper is going to look at the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Apostles. The paper will also discuss the achievements made by the apostles through the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit guides the apostles in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He speaks to them and through them thereby giving them the boldness to confront those opposed to the Gospel. The disciples had been instructed to wait for the infilling of the Holy Spirit to receive power to become witnesses of Jesus Christ. This power would enable them to be effective witnesses and spread the Gospel with boldness. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what is commonly referred to as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus instructions to the Apostles through the Holy Spirit
Before He ascended, Jesus instructed the apostles to wait for the infilling of the Holy Spirit at one point. From this point, the disciples were to receive the Holy Spirit, who would give them the power to do the things they were supposed to do after the departure of Jesus. The spread of the Gospel Jesus preached required empowerment by the Holy Spirit for them to be effective.
In Acts 8, before He ascends, Jesus instructs the apostles to become His witnesses after they receive the power of the Holy Spirit. They were to preach to every corner of the world starting with Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Arrington (1981) looks at this situation as the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The coming of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on the day referred to as the Pentecost. On this day, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in the form of tongues of fire. That gave them the power to speak in different tongues. Everyone present was amazed when they heard the apostles speaking in their language. It is from here the disciples get power for the work ahead of them. It was an intriguing scene for those present.
The people present thought that the disciple had been drunk. It prompted the intervention of Peter to explain to the people what was going on. Peter described this as the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel two. He also told them of the work of Jesus and showed them their mistake in putting to death Jesus Christ. He explains to them who Jesus was and contrasts with other famous figures of the old.
Response to the Holy Spirit
When the apostles started speaking in tongues, the crowds were mesmerized by what was happening. They could not fathom how people who were not learned in their language, and spoke not their language could speak so well that they could hear clearly they were speaking their language. They asked each other what that meant. There were those who thought that the apostles were drunk on wine and started making fun of them.
When Peter explained this to the people, it disturbed them. They were somehow remorseful for what they had done. They asked Peter what they should do, and Peter explained to them that they needed to repent and be baptized. Many of them accepted his message and devoted themselves to what the apostles were teaching (Roberts, 1960). That was the beginning of a ministry that would have influence all over the world.
As the apostles continued preaching with the Holy Spirit engulfing them and enabling them to perform miracles (Matthews, 1999), the lame walked and as a result, many came to believe in the message. The religious leaders and leaders of the law were not amused by the work the apostles were doing. They arrested Peter and John and wanted them to account for their works. In response to their questioning, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Peter answers them by informing them the source of their power, who is Jesus Christ (Harm, 1988).
Another person who faces similar opposition because of the work he does through the power of the Holy Spirit describes to them the scriptures and their deeds against God. They get angered and exasperates them the more when he describes a scene in heaven and for this, he is stoned to death.
Paul also is led by the Holy Spirit to speak. He busted a man who was a sorcerer and wanted to enrich himself through the Gospel Paul was preaching. He rebukes the man by the name Elymas, and the man turns blind. This astonishes many including the leaders present.
The Holy Spirit Directions to Believers
The Holy Spirit directs the believers in various ways. He gives them instructions on things that are about to happen and warns them of dangers ahead. For instance, Peter is instructed by the Holy Spirit to accompany three men and preach to a particular man who was a Gentile by the name Cornelius. He gets directions through the Holy Spirit in a dream and then when he rises from his trance, the Holy Spirit tells him about the three men looking for him (Constable, 2014).
The Holy Spirit also directs the apostles in missionary work. He instructs people, Paul, and Barnabas, to be separated from the rest of the believers to be assigned duties by the Holy Spirit. The work turns out to be a mission to spread the Gospel, and this is where Paul begins the famous missionary journeys (Bruce, 1973). These missionary journeys were very successful.
The Holy Spirit’s role as a guide and an instructor
The Holy Spirit was directing the apostles’ actions. He prevented the apostles from preaching in Asia. He forbid them to preach the word in the region. Probably, there would be danger ahead that the Spirit did not want them to experience. At times, He would instruct them to go to places. He instructed Paul to go to Jerusalem though He warned them of dangers he was going to experience on this journey to Jerusalem (Bruce, 1973).
The Holy Spirit is instrumental to the work of the apostles in the early church. He guides them and instructs them in many ways. He empowers them to spread boldly the gospel of Christ, and they did so very successfully through His guidance. They were able to contend with those who opposed them, including rulers who were opposed to the message of the gospel. As Jesus had promised them, through the Holy Spirit, they were able to be true witnesses of Jesus Christ, and many came to believe His message.