The Acts of the Apostles is a record of the impact and influence of Holy Spirit in the lives of the disciples and other believers who were witness to the events surrounding the life of Christ. Acts 1:8 is a key verse that is considered an outline for the rest of the book. It describes the empowerment of the disciples, their witness, and the spread of the gospel throughout the earth.
When Christ declared, “You will receive power," he was speaking about the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord told his disciples that the Holy Spirit would be sent to teach them all things and remind them of everything that Jesus told them (John 14:26), so that the gospel wouldn’t be merely words, but a message which comes in power directly from the Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 1:5). Thus, the Holy Spirit’s role was to bring into remembrance and to help them understand that which Jesus taught them. Moreover, the Holy Spirit was to indwell the disciples. In the Gospel of John, the Lord proclaims to his disciples that the Holy Spirit “abides with you and will be in you” (Jn. 14:17). These words provided comfort and assurance that the Holy Spirit would indwell them, and that they would not be alone. There is record of the Holy Spirit influencing and indwelling his people throughout the Old Testament. Pharaoh believed that Joseph had the Spirit of God in him because of the wisdom he possessed (Gen. 41:38). Likewise, the Bible records the Spirit of the Lord taking hold of the Judges of Israel. Men, such as Samson (Judg. 14:6) and Othniel (Judg. 3:10) were filled with the Holy Spirit and raised up to deliver Israel. The Lord was telling his disciples that he was about to impart the same Spirit upon them as he did on the heroes and prophets of old.
As previously stated, the source of the power would come directly from the Holy Spirit, but what kind of power were the disciples expecting to receive? For a good idea of the kind of power the disciples could expect to be infused with, all we need to do is to turn to the book of Micah where we read; “I am filled with power – with the Spirit of the Lord – and with justice and courage to make known to Jacob his rebellious act, even to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8). These were the words spoken by Micah, as the Spirit moved him to speak in opposition of the false prophets. Micah had within himself the POWER of God’s Spirit, a power that allowed him to speak boldly concerning the will of God. The disciples would have the same power as Micah, the power to speak boldly, preach the gospel with courage and speak out against sin. This power would drive them to succeed in the establishment of the church, and help them endure the persecution and hardship they faced as they spread the Word of the Lord throughout the world.
With the power of the Spirit in them, the apostles were able to perform great “signs and wonders” (2:43). These “signs and wonders” were also the exact words used to describe the mighty works of...