Skip to main content

Acts 1:4-5 & meaning...


for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1:4-5


Acts 1 [1.] The first book I wrote, Theophilus, concerned all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day in which he was received up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To these he also showed himself alive after he suffered, by many proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking about God’s Kingdom. Being assembled together with them, he commanded them, “Don’t depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1 [6.] Therefore when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

Acts 1 [7.] He said to them, “It isn’t for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set within his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”


Here, we witness Jesus' final interactions with His disciples before ascending to heaven. The scene is charged with anticipation and expectation as Jesus prepares to fulfill the promise of the Holy Spirit's coming. Let's unpack the rich layers of meaning in these verses:

  • Promise of the Holy Spirit: 

Jesus instructs His disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the "promise of the Father." This promise refers to the coming of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus had previously foretold (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit would be the divine Counselor, Comforter, and Empowerer who would indwell believers and enable them to fulfill their mission.

  • Baptism in the Holy Spirit: 

Jesus contrasts the baptism of John the Baptist, which was a baptism of repentance in water, with the baptism in the Holy Spirit that the disciples would soon experience. This baptism in the Holy Spirit would not only symbolize a spiritual cleansing and empowerment but also mark the inauguration of the new covenant era, where believers would be filled with the Spirit's presence and power.

  • Waiting and Preparation: 

Jesus instructs His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This period of waiting was not passive but active, characterized by prayer, anticipation, and preparation. The disciples were being prepared for their role as witnesses to the gospel, empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the message of salvation to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

  • Unity and Community: 

The disciples were "assembled together" with Jesus, highlighting the importance of unity and community in the life of the early Church. This unity would be essential for the disciples as they awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit and embarked on their mission to spread the gospel.

Cross References:

John 14:16-17: "I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,— the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him and doesn’t know him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you."Jesus had previously promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to His disciples, assuring them of His ongoing presence and empowerment.

Acts 2:1-4: "Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak." Acts 1:4-5 sets the stage for the fulfillment of Jesus' promise in Acts 2, where the Holy Spirit is poured out on the disciples on the day of Pentecost, empowering them for ministry.

In conclusion, Acts 1:4-5 marks a crucial moment in the narrative of the early Church, where Jesus prepares His disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit and the mission that lies ahead. These verses remind us of the importance of waiting on God, seeking unity in community, and anticipating the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and ministries.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


Chat    Topics     Index     WorldWideWitness