Summary: In this brief study we will take a walk through the book of Acts highlighting some of the more significant verses and ideas presented by Luke. I have drawn some material from "Act Normal" by Scott Wilson.
Act Pt2- From the Upper Room to the Streets
Homework/Last Weeks Challenge
Worked on verse from Joel? Someone recite?
Homework last week- read Act 1-4, record one thought.
Continue our study of Acts- The Acts of the Apostles.
That name is significant- demonstrates both the-
work of the HS and
the work of the Ascended Christ
operating in and through everyday men.
Apostles were fishermen/tax collectors, ordinary people.
God radically changed them- they changed the world.
Acts begins on a hillside outside of Jerusalem at the point of Jesus- instructing disciples/ascending.
All- Jesus- began to do and teach-
Jn 21:25 (NASB95) And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
As the Body of Christ in the earth today, we have been called by God to continue what Jesus started.
In the Gospels Jesus completed His earthly ministry and in Acts Jesus launches the church into their ministry.
In the Gospels the disciples experienced the Holy Spirit through the presence of Jesus, in Acts they experience Jesus through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
There is a transition we see taking place in Acts.
We talked about- difficulty of learning to waiting on God.
Act 1.8 (theme verse for Acts)
Jesus promised- power/ability to be a witness to- life of Christ- commissioned- church-to world-wide ministry.
The story of Jesus led Him to Jerusalem; the story of the church moves us from Jerusalem to the remotest parts of the earth.
In Jesus own words-
Jn 14:12 (NASB95) “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
The Upper Room
Continue now with our study of Acts-
Acts 1.9-12 (we see Jesus ascending into heaven)
Act 1.13-14 (disciples gathered in upper room- 120)
There was 10 days from the ascension until Pentecost.
Difficult days- what did they do- gather together/pray.
There is no effective witness without the presence of the HS, and the way to spiritual empowerment is to wait on God in prayer.
To the Streets of Jerusalem
Act 1.15-26 (selecting a replacement for Judas)
The time of waiting was over.
What they were waiting/praying for- had arrived- most likely not in a form that they expected/anticipated-
instead of conquering Rome- thousands- saved.
When God answers- prayers differently- how respond?
God does not work within our neat little boxes.
HS-played- important role-equipping Jesus for ministry-
Lk 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
Likewise- HS plays an important role in commissioning and empowering the church for its ministry.
Disciples were filled w/HS- began- speak in tongues.
Three ways to interpret what happened on Pentecost-
1. Miracle of hearing
HS supernaturally enabled everyone in the crowd to hear the disciples in their own language.
2. Miracle of speaking an unlearned language
HS enables them- speak languages- did not learn.
3. The gift of tongues as seen in 1 Cor 12-14
Other parts of Acts imply- tongues as in 1 Cor 12-14-
What is important- from this time on being filled with the HS becomes a normal part of a believers life.
At Pentecost/here- exalting/praising God- the presence of- HS produces a sense of praise for God-Jn 16.13
You can draw- parallel w/tower of Babel- where God separated people w/different languages- Gen 11.1-9.
HS- not restoring a common language but empowering the church to take the Gospel to many languages.
The HS unifies mankind around the Lordship of Christ-
I have seen this- Guatemala- sense of oneness.
In- same way- HS unites- hearts of believers together.
Peter explains to- crowds- that what is happening was the outpouring of the Spirit predicted by Joel.
For Peter this was the making of an end-time event.
Miracles/signs/wonders- proof Jesus was the Messiah.
The word for wonders- usually found w/word for signs.
This is true because wonders and miracles have no spiritual value in themselves unless they
point to- power of God that leads to faith in God.
Peter carefully balances God’s divine sovereign purposes and human responsibility.
We see divine sovereignty contrasted w/free will of man.
Jesus died as a result of men making decisions by exercising their God-given freedom of choice.
However, God was working in the events of man’s willful rebellion to bring about His eternal purposes.
God is sovereign- but you cannot blame Him for your actions/choices/decisions- or the actions of others.