In Acts 1:6-8 we find the final commission of Jesus:
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.” Jesus again says to the disciples in John 20:21-23 “Even so I am sending you”. And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
We at Living Hope believe that the commission is clear, to go make disciples of all nations and to be God’s witnesses to the lost and hurting people of this world. We are all SENT and we are all EMPOWERED. Sent to minister and bring the good news of the Gospel to our circle of influence whether it is local or international. Concentrating our efforts to wherever God would lead us in that effort.
We are a church centered on the good news that the Gospel brings and the restorative power that is spoken to us through the scriptures. However, as with the disciples, there is an empowerment of the Holy Spirit that is necessary in order to accomplish the mission that God has called us to. It is clear to us that we can’t accomplish anything in our own power and strength but only with the power that we receive through the continual filling of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that this filling of the Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. While all genuine believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion, the New Testament indicates the importance of an ongoing, empowering work of the Spirit subsequent to conversion as well. Being indwelt by the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit are theologically distinct experiences.
The Holy Spirit desires to fill each believer continually with increased power for Christian life and witness, and imparts his supernatural gifts for the edification of the body and for various works of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first-century are available today, are vital for the mission of the church, and are to be earnestly desired and practiced.
Acts 1:5; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:2-4; Acts 19:2-6; Acts 6:3; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11,
John 3:5-7, Galatians 4:6, Ephesians 5:18
When we look at the early church we see a people who were commissioned, sent and empowered. Therefore it is clear that the Great Commission was and is unachievable without the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the same way so is living out a gospel centered life.