Articles and Notes

Acts 1:4-5 - The Promise of the Father


The Promise Of The Father (1:4-5)


1. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave His apostles instructions...
   a. Not to depart from Jerusalem - Ac 1:4
   b. But to wait for the Promise of the Father - ibid.

2. The apostles had heard of this Promise before...
   a. From Jesus Himself - Ac 1:4; cf. Jn 14:16-17,26; 15:26; Jn 16:12-13
   b. Related to their being baptized with the Holy Spirit within a few
      days - Ac 1:5
   c. Of which John the Baptist spoke - Lk 3:15-16

[But even long before John and Jesus, God began making promises about the


      1. The Spirit would be poured out on all flesh - Joel 2:28-29
      2. Sons and daughters would prophesy, young and old men see visions, dream dreams
      3. God's Spirit would be poured out on His menservants and maidservants

      1. God would pour His Spirit on Israel's descendants, like water
         on dry ground - Isa 44:3
      2. Another prophecy related to the promise of the Spirit - Isa 32:15-17
         a. Found in a section with Messianic implications - cf. Isa 32:1
         b. The result of this pouring of the Spirit:  justice,
            righteousness, and peace - cf. Ro 14:17

      1. One recorded in Eze 36:26-27
         a. God promises to put His Spirit "within you" (an indwelling?)
         b. Who will cause (enable) one to walk in His statutes and
            keep His judgments
      2. Another prophecy that might relate to the promise of the
         Spirit - Eze 39:29
         a. A prophecy that looks beyond the captivity and restoration of Israel
         b. One that might not have been fulfilled until the coming of the Messiah

      1. The Spirit of grace and supplication to be poured out on the
         inhabitants of Jerusalem - Zec 12:10
      2. Prompting people to look upon Jesus whom they have pierced,
         and mourn because of Him - cf. Ac 2:32-37

[Whether the prophecies of Ezekiel and Zechariah have reference to a
promise that would be fulfilled in the age of the Messiah may be
questionable, but certainly the prophecies of Joel and Isaiah demonstrate
that God promised an "outpouring" of the Spirit in a special way.  Let's
now return to...]


      1. He spoke of One coming who would "baptize you with the Holy
         Spirit" - Mt 3:11; Mk 1:7-8; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33
      2. While he himself administered a baptism in water, there was
         One coming who would be the administrator of a baptism with the
         Holy Spirit
      3. The promise was made to large crowds; its nature and full
         extent revealed in its fulfillment 
         a. We know that it is somehow tied to the events of Pentecost in Ac 2:1-4
         b. Because of Jesus' comments in Ac 1:4-5

      1. The Spirit would be given to those who ask the Heavenly Father
         - Lk 11:13
      2. The Spirit would be given as "living water" to all those who
         thirst and come to Him in faith, and drink - Jn 7:37-39
         a. Might this "living water" be "the gift of God" Jesus
            alluded to earlier? - cf. Jn 4:10-14
         b. Note again the comparison of the Spirit to water in
            Isaiah's prophecy - Isa 44:3
      3. To His apostles, Jesus promised the "Spirit of truth" who would...
         a. Be a Helper, and abide with them - Jn 14:16-17
         b. Bring to their remembrance all things Jesus taught them - Jn 14:26
         c. Bear witness of Christ, together with the apostles - Jn 15:26-27
         d. Convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment - Jn 16:7-11
         e. Guide the apostles unto all the truth, including things to
            come - Jn 16:12-13
         f. Glorify Jesus, by taking of what is His and declaring it to
            them - Jn 16:14
      4. Jesus told His apostles to wait in Jerusalem until they
         received the "Promise of the Father" - Lk 24:49; Ac 1:4-5
         a. Which He clearly connects to the baptism of the Spirit
            spoken of by John
         b. In which the apostles would receive power, and be
            eyewitnesses - Ac 1:8

      1. On Pentecost, Peter connects the Spirit's outpouring to Joel's
         prophecy - Ac 2:14-16
      2. Then, in the course of his sermon, Peter...
         a. Speaks of the outpouring of the Spirit as a promise Jesus
            received from the Father - Ac 2:33; cf. Ac 1:4-5
         b. Offers the gift of the Spirit to all who repent and are
            baptized - Ac 2:38
         c. Says the promise is to them and others - Ac 2:39
            1) What promise does Peter have in mind?
            2) What promise would have come to mind to his hearers?
            3) Would it not have been the promise he just alluded to?
               a) The promise received by Christ, and poured out by
                  Christ - Ac 2:33
               b) I.e., the Spirit which Jesus Himself promised to
                  believers - Jn 7:37-39
               c) Which Peter would later say was given to those who
                  obey God - Ac 5:32
            4) "That we are right in referring the word promise, in
               this sentence, to the promise of the Holy Spirit just made
               by Peter, is evident from the fact that this is the only
               promise made in the immediate context." - J. W. McGarvey
            5) "For the promise... - Of pardon, and the gift of the
               Spirit." - B. W. Johnson
            6) "Acts 2:39 shows that the gift of the Holy Spirit is to
               all, Jews and Gentiles, who accept that call of God." 
               - David Lipscomb

      1. Regarding those who have been saved - Tit 3:4-7
         a. Have experienced a washing of regeneration and renewal of
            the Holy Spirit
         b. Have benefited by the Spirit poured out on us abundantly
            through Jesus Christ
      2. Regarding those who have been baptized - 1Co 12:13
         a. Have been baptized by the Spirit into one body
         b. Have been made to drink into one Spirit
      3. Regarding those in whom the Spirit dwells - Ro 8:9-13; Ep
         3:16; 1Co 6:18-19
         a. Their mortal bodies will be given life
         b. No longer debtors to live according to the flesh
         c. Are able to put to death the deeds of the body
         d. Are to flee immorality because their body is a temple of
            the Holy Spirit
      4. Regarding those who have believed - Ga 3:14; Ep 1:13-14; 2Co
         1:22; 5:5
         a. Have received the promise of the Spirit through faith
         a. Have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise
         b. Have received the Spirit as a guarantee (deposit) of our
      5. Regarding those walk after the Spirit - Ga 5:16-25
         a. Will not fulfill the lust of the flesh, the works of the
         b. Will produce the fruit of the Spirit, because they live in
            the Spirit

1. In this lesson we have seen the following...
   a. Old Testament prophets promised a special dispensation of the
      Spirit to come
      1) One that would include the manifestation of special gifts
      2) One that would enable the people of God to keep His will
   b. John and Jesus promised a baptism of the Spirit, administered by
   c. Peter in his first gospel sermon...
      1) Proclaimed this promise to be fulfilled with the outpouring of
         the Spirit - Ac 2:16,33
      2) Offered the Spirit as a gift to all who obey the gospel - Ac
   d. Paul in his epistles...
      1) Wrote much about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of
         the Christian
      2) Referring to the Spirit as "the Holy Spirit of Promise"

2. In view of "The Promise Of The Father" related to the Holy Spirit...
   a. We should not be surprised to read more of the work of the Holy
      Spirit in Acts
   b. In both the life of the church and in the lives of Christians

To what degree and in what way the Spirit continues to work today can be
ascertained by a careful study of the New Testament (please see my
series, "The Holy Spirit Of God"). 

Have you experienced the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy
Spirit, made possible because the Father kept His promise to pour out His
Spirit abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior?  Let Peter show you

   Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be 
   baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;
   and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise
   is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as 
   many as the Lord our God will call." - Ac 2:38-39

Acts 1:4-5

4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," [He said,] "you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

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