3.5.4.3 The power from on high

Before His ascension into heaven, the risen Lord promised His Apostles: "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but you tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high" (Luke 24: 49). Thereby He announced the sending of the Holy Spirit, as God had already promised through the prophet Joel (Joel 3: 1-5). On Pentecost this promise was fulfilled, which marked the start of the public activity of the Apostles.

The phrase "power from on high" (Greek: dynamis: "power") is an allusion to the fulfilling, motivating, and strengthening activity of the Spirit, and points to the powerful intervention of God. Just as the Father and the Son revealed themselves within the historical world, this self-revelation of God in the Holy Spirit took place on Pentecost as an event of salvation history. The Holy Spirit strengthens the church of Christ in its endeavour to live in a manner pleasing to God and thereby prepare for the return of Christ.

SUMMARY

Jesus Christ, the Helper and Advocate of His disciples, promised another Comforter and Helper. The latter bears witness of Him and glorifies Him. He keeps the gospel alive among the followers of Christ and provides support to the church. (3.5.4; 3.5.4.1)

Jesus Christ further described the Holy Spirit as the "Spirit of truth". The Holy Spirit distinguishes between truth and falsehood. (3.5.4.2)

Jesus referred to future revelations of the Holy Spirit. They are all related to Christ's nature and work. (3.5.4.2)

The expression "power from on high" refers to the powerful intervention of God in the activity of the Holy Spirit. (3.5.4.3)

The self-revelation of God in the Holy Spirit occurred on Pentecost. Associated with this was the beginning of the public activity of the Apostles. (3.5.4.3)

See also