But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. Acts 1:8 AMP
The word “power” used here is the Greek word “dunamis” or “dynamis”, from which we get our English word “dynamite”. It denotes explosive power! It has to do with not only power, but ability also and is translated variously in the KJV as: power; mighty work; strength; miracle; might; virtue; mighty.
The Holy Spirit has the power to transform lives! In fact everyone who is genuinely touched by the power of God is transformed – both instantly, and over the course of time, as they continue to yield to the Holy Spirit’s power.
Peter experienced the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Before he was changed, it was a different story: In Matthew 26:69-74, Peter denied – three times – that he was a disciple of Jesus out of fear and self–preservation. He also cursed and denied that he even knew Him. But only 50 days later he was filled with the Holy Spirit, endued with fire power, speaking in tongues, and preaching boldly on the streets. We see an entirely different Peter! Peter was empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a bold witness for the Lord Jesus Christ!
As reported in Acts chapter 2, in the middle of people mocking and scorning the 120, accusing them of being drunk, Peter stood up in front of the multitude and preached a bold sermon – proclaiming the Lord Jesus, who was only recently crucified by these same people. The people were cut to the heart by his powerful and anointed preaching and asked him what to do to be saved. That day 3000 people received Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Paul experienced the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Before he met Jesus and had his powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit, he was a zealous and deadly persecutor of the early Church. He arrested and imprisoned men, women and children and was right there when Stephen was stoned for his last and greatest sermon. Paul might not have thrown a stone to kill Stephen, but he looked on and consented to it, and the garments of those who did, were left at his feet (Acts 7:58 & Acts 22:20).
“Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8 So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ Acts 22:6-8 NKJV
Saul/Paul was struck blind for three days by this encounter and humbled by the Spirit of God. The Lord sent Ananias to preach Jesus to him, and restore his sight, baptize him, and prophesy to him: “The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.” (Acts 22:14-15 AMP)
“Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance 18 and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ 19 So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. 20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’” Acts 22:17-21 NKJV
Even though Paul had done terrible things against the Church and against Jesus – Jesus forgave him, changed him and used him in a mighty way to spread the Gospel throughout Asia. Even when he tried to remind Jesus of what he done to Stephen, all Jesus said was, “Go to the gentiles!” His past was washed away and he was forever transformed. Paul went on to boldly teach and preach the Word of God and perform mighty miracles, despite powerful persecution. Acts 19:11-12 AMP says, “And God did unusual and extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 So that handkerchiefs or towels or aprons which had touched his skin were carried away and put upon the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.”
The Lord can transform your life in the same way too, and use you like He used Peter and Paul!
The Lord uses ordinary people, who are completely submitted to Him, to do great miracles and to heal the sick and raise the dead.
If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. Acts 4:9-10 KJV
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 KJV
And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed. Acts 5:12-16 NKJV
Peter and John were not educated men, and yet miracles of healing were performed by them. Through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. This was not their power or ability, but the power and ability of the Holy Spirit. This power is still available to us today – if we believe it and if we obey the great commission to lay hands on the sick – we WILL also see mighty miracles of healing performed!