The Kingdom and the Spirit


If you knew that you had only 40 days left to live, what do you think would be your top priority? What would be at the top of your bucket list? Without a doubt, you would choose to communicate that which was of absolute importance to those that you love and care about, right? Of course you would! That is precisely what Jesus did during his forty days of post-resurrection teaching and ministry.

In Acts 1:3, Luke gives some insight into Jesus’ primary subject matter during those 40 days when he recorded the following:

During the forty days after his crucifixion, he [Jesus] appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God (NLT).

So, what exactly did Jesus talk about? He talked about the Kingdom of God! And why not? That is precisely what He had been teaching during His earthly ministry for the previous three years (see Matthew 5-7 in particular).

Now, pay close attention to the following verses in Acts 1:4-5 to see what other final instructions Jesus left His followers…

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with (or in) water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (NLT)

From these few short verses, we may rightfully conclude that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is uniquely attached to and intentionally integrated with the full realization of the Kingdom of God here on earth! It’s as if Jesus is saying, “You know all that stuff I was teaching you about the Kingdom of God for the past three years and how you were basically powerless to do most of it? Well, I’m going to give you the power to realize your full kingdom potential through the power of the Holy Spirit! He’s going to help you and assist you in living according to the Kingdom.”

Here’s the deal… “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). So, when you pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” you are inviting the fullness of the Spirit’s presence into your everyday life.

What am I getting at? Jesus is associating the fullness of Kingdom living with the Spirit’s outpouring on the Day of Pentecost as promised in Acts 1:8 and realized in Acts 2! This literally means that Spirit Baptism is the full manifestation of God’s Kingdom here on earth, which gives us the power we need to live out His Kingdom rule and authority! That is God’s revealed plan for every believer to enjoy and experience.

My prayer is that through the power of God’s Spirit I may be fully enabled to walk in my full Kingdom potential, empowered to be more like Him in character, and equipped to do more for His glory! Have you made that your prayer yet?