The following is written by East-West’s Executive Vice President of Ministry Engagement.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria, and to the remotest parts of the earth.” -Acts 1:8
It is impossible in a piece this short to do any real justice to the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in creating, giving, and enabling the Great Commission. But today we will tackle in part the summary of what God the Holy Spirit contributed to the Great Commission creation and success.
To begin, the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus to resist all temptation. Through the Holy Spirit’s power, Jesus lived a sinless life and suffered on the cross to pay the price for the sins of all 107 billion people who ever lived. The burden of that sin was immense. Jesus clearly relied on the Holy Spirit to remain sinless through His entire life, to get to the cross without being killed prematurely, to suffer the punishment without calling for 12 legions of angels to deliver Him, and to raise Him from the dead.
Simply put, without the Spirit’s empowering and leading of Jesus in these things there would be no Great Commission.
Beyond what He did for Jesus, the Holy Spirit empowers us, Jesus’ disciples, to carry the message to the world with clarity and boldness and compassion. Without the Holy Spirit’s power and stamina, we could never carry the message from Jerusalem to the very remotest corners of the planet.
The remotest parts of the earth are really, really, really remote. Obviously, they are remote geographically, but they are also really remote spiritually, culturally, linguistically, politically, and ethnically. There would be no way without the enabling of the Holy Spirit for believers to carry the message to this extreme remoteness. We simply would not have the ability and clarity, the stamina and boldness. We would fail. No debate.
Additionally, the Holy Spirit not only worked with power in Jesus’ life, and now works with power in the lives of Jesus followers, but He also works with power to awaken, convict, and regenerate lost people who hear the message. He works in the heart and mind of a lost person to convict them of sin, the need for righteousness, and the certainty of judgment apart from Christ. He works to make the message clear and compelling to them. He works to bring them to life spiritually—a process that the Bible calls “regeneration.”
A person who is separate from Christ is not sick, they are dead. They need the Spirit through the message and faith and grace to bring them to life. The process of trusting Christ and regeneration is not the reformation of a sick person but the infusion of life into a dead person. A lost person cannot be reformed. A lost person is dead and must be regenerated. Only the Spirit of God has this ability.
So, as we carry the message to lost people it is the Spirit Who enables us to deliver the message with clarity. And it is the same Spirit Who enlightens the heart of a lost person and infuses spiritual life into them.
The Spirit empowered Jesus to accomplish the perfect sacrifice. The Spirit empowers us to be clear and bold with the message. The Spirit enables a lost person to believe and come to life.