Throughout history, many cultures have experienced various spiritual awakenings. These eras are often short-lived, but the people who experienced them are transformed forever. That’s what happened to Greg Laurie during the Jesus Movement in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. He entered these years as a drug-using hippie and exited as a new believer eager to see others come to know Christ, a quest he continues to this day.
The Jesus Revolution Bible study draws important parallels between the cultural atmosphere of that period and our own time of spiritual apathy and outright hostility. Group participants will discover a forgotten part of recent American history and, along with it, a reason to believe that God is not finished with today’s generation and the next great American revival may be on its way.
In this video excerpt from the study, Greg Laurie teaches on Acts 1:8 and what it means to have the power of the Holy Spirit.
The video is above, and the complete manuscript is below.
Here’s Peter—only days earlier was demoralized by the words of some woman he didn’t even know, and he denied Jesus—and now here’s Peter on the day of Pentecost as bold as a lion. What happened? The Holy Spirit empowered him.
Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you’ll be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” God gave us His power to be a witness. He gave it to Peter, He gave it to the first century Christians, and He’ll give it to you today.
You say, “Well, that was for them.” No! Because the Bible says this promise is to you and to your children and those who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call. So that means all Christians get this power. This means this was unlimited to the first century believers. This means we can boldly ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit each and every day.
By the way, the word “power” is an interesting word. It comes from the Greek word dynamis, and this word entered the English language after Alfred Nobel discovered this explosive device that he didn’t have a name for—a thing that could explode with great power. So he had a friend who spoke Greek, and Nobel said, “Tell me, what is the Greek word for explosion?” This friend said, it’s dynamis. Alfred Nobel says, “I have the name for my invention—I’m going to call it dynamite.”
So really what [Acts 1:8] is saying is, you will receive explosive, dynamic, dynamite power when the Holy Spirit has come on you and in you. Well, to what purpose? To have an emotional experience? No, to be a witness! To have a boldness to tell others about Jesus that you never had before. You feel like you need this power in your life? Well, God still gives it.
When God pours His Holy Spirit out, He has a purpose in mind. Acts 1:8 sums it up perfectly: “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Why? “To be witnesses for Me.” It’s not power to just be crazy; it’s power with a purpose, power to be a witness, power to share your faith.