More Power than Blackhawk!

for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [1]

What is the purpose of this promise that Jesus had made to his disciples?  What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit?  In order to answer that we actually need to know the story in the rest of the book of Acts, for in this story the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is played out in living color.

However, one need not look too far ahead into the book of Acts to find out the purpose of this promise from Christ.  We see it three verses later in the words of Christ himself.  In verse 8, Jesus declares two things will happen when they are baptized in the Holy Spirit:  They will receive power and the result of this power is the ability to be His witness wherever they go.

When I was a kid, my favorite comic book hero was not Superman or Batman.  Those guys needed capes. But my superhero was Blackhawk, who needed no cape.  I would sneak out of the back window of my parent’s home with my Blackhawk insignia emblazoned on my chest and would go through the neighborhood saving people from the tyranny of oppressor nations.  In the real comic book character Blackhawk and his team would descend in planes, and shout their battle cry of “Hawk-a-a-a!” as they descend from the skies to fight tyranny and oppression, but somehow that insignia on my chest gave me the power to do that without a plane!  All I know is that I had the power to do the job.

It wouldn’t be until I was 23 years old that I would discover the real power given by Christ to be a witness for him.  However, the purpose of this power was not to free nations from political tyranny and oppression but to be a witness to Christ’s resurrection even among tyranny and oppression.   At 23 years old after becoming a Christian, a Catholic nun shared with me about this experience of being baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Just like the Apostles, I received power from on high and this experience gave me power I never had before.  I had a new boldness and was unafraid to be a witness of the resurrection of Christ with my life and my words.

That same experience is available for every believer today.  You don’t need to be a super hero, just a witness for Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Ask him to baptize you with the Holy Spirit today.  He will do it.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ac 1:6–8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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