Acts 1:8 Meaning of You Will Receive Power

Acts 1:8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Explanation and Commentary on Acts 1:8

From about the age of thirty, Jesus had a powerful three-year ministry on earth.  He went from town to town preaching about the Kingdom of God, demonstrating, and authenticating his message with signs and wonders.  He was filled with the Holy Spirit at his baptism by John and ministered in great power and authority (Lk 3:22)

His earthly ministry was only to be the first phase of his plan to restore the creation to the order lost since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:23). While he was ministering on earth, he was training his disciples to continue his ministry after his eventual death, resurrection, and ascension. Jesus always knew he had come to die, but he also knew he would minister in Spirit through his people for centuries after his body was gone.

Just before Jesus rose into heaven to sit down at the right hand of the Father, he gave these final instructions to his disciples.  He told them they must wait for the promised Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28), and then go to the ends of the earth with the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Acts 1:8

#1 “But…”
This comes on the heels of Jesus telling his disciples that they are not going to know when the end of the world would come.  He said it was up to his Father.

#2 “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;”
Jesus told them they needed to wait until he sent his Holy Spirit. It was important to understand that Jesus was not sending them alone or by their own authority to preach, but that he would still be present in the ministry by His Spirit. By this, they would have the authority to do what he did and say what he said. The Holy Spirit did indeed come on the day of Pentecost, and none of them were ever the same, having been empowered for life and ministry.

#3 “and you will be my witnesses…”
The disciples were sent to tell of what they had seen and heard.  Because part of their mission was “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20), it has been essential to pass down the Great Commission to each new generation of Christians, and we must do the same.  All Christians are to consider themselves sent to witness to what we have seen and heard about Jesus Christ.

#4 “…in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
From this, we understand that we are called to witness to the Gospel in our immediate surroundings.  We must also look for ways to share in the mission of taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. We can support missionaries, become missionaries, and help plant churches far and wide, all the while relying on Jesus’ promise to “build his church” (Mt 16:18) as we faithfully make disciples of all nations.

Bible Study on Acts 1:8

Expert 8 Minute Overview of Acts Chapters 1-12

Biblical Translations of Acts 1:8

NIV
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

NLT
“But 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.”

ESV
“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.”

KJV
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

NKJV
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 1:8 Meaning

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.