The Acts of the Apostles written by Luke presents an important time in the life of humankind—a new birth in the source of power and guidance for God’s people. This source is the person of God’s Holy Spirit, who guides, directs and empowers all believers. The divine empowerment of believers began with the outpouring of God’s Spirit at a gathering of followers of Christ, soon after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection—the day of Pentecost, one of the three major Jewish festivals. Witherington asserts this is not simply another event in history; rather, it is when God intervened theologically into his creation (38). This is not just founding another movement; it is Christians becoming a living organism—the body of Christ, empowered by God through his Holy Spirit (Acts 1; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13). This is when God intervened into the whole spectrum of social, ethnic, and gender groups throughout the Roman Empire.
Writing with an intent of thoroughness and accuracy, Luke describes this historical day when one hundred and twenty followers of Jesus Christ (Acts: 1:15) gathered (Acts 2:1) for prayer (Acts 1:14) waiting for the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). This was the day of the Holy Spirit outpouring the Old Testament had predicted (Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 59:20; Joel 2:29, 32), Jesus had predicted (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:5, 8), and the disciples saw as a confirmation of Christ’s promises. This day God offered the Holy Spirit empowerment to all, regardless of social class, ethnicity, or gender.
Based on the truths Luke presented from his writings, this paper will examine divine empowerment of Christian leaders drawing from an intertexture analysis of Acts 2. From the examination, this paper will define, formulate, and communicate leadership theory and praxis. This paper will provide historical and social background to help put the time of Pentecost in perspective and will provide biblical examples of divine empowerment. The paper will include a contemporary examination of leadership in light of divine empowerment. From this study, the message seems to be clear—divine-empowerment of a leader flows out of a leaders’ abandonment to the sovereignty and leadership of Christ, allowing the Spirit’s power to flow through the leader as God’s servant.