Summary: An introduction sermon to the Book of Acts, it's a challenge to answer the question .... Has Jesus proved Himself to you?
Text: Acts 1:1-5
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Friends, if you’re a Christian this morning, you need to understand that we have a unique belief about this one that we follow, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What is that unique belief? We believe that Jesus, the very Son of God, put aside the glory of heaven, and all those attributes that distinguished Him from us, and he became a man…a man just like us…he lived this life as a man totally dependent upon the Father for his power and strength…. Listen to what Philippians 2:5-8 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”
Do you get the picture this morning; Christ emptied himself of everything that would distinguish himself from me and you. That is amazing to me; it’s powerful when you think about what He did, the miracles he performed, the path to the cross that he took willingly. How did he do all these things….He was sourced through the Holy Spirit, by the Father.
So what is this unique belief? We have many actually, because we serve the one true God! But the one I want to focus on this morning is the fact that Jesus came and lived among us, his very creation, and he died on a cross for us, in our place, and then he rose from the dead after 3 days and he appeared to the disciples and gave what our scripture says, “many convincing proofs that he was alive.” My question for you this morning is really pretty simple, but I believe it’s profound and I believe God wants you to know the answer, I believe He wants you to deal with this question….. How has Jesus proved Himself alive to you?
You see, I believe God has been revealing Himself to his people since the beginning of time. I believe God wants to leave no doubt in the minds of His people of who He is, of His Glory and Majesty, of His Holiness. We could work our way through the Old Testament, listing person after person and How God revealed Himself to them, using miracle after miracle to demonstrate His presence and power in their lives….. Some of my favorites…
The calling of Abraham to a new land, to a new people…. Abraham listened and history was changed forever…
Moses and the burning bush….God called Moses for a specific task, Moses listened and watched how God performed miracle after Miracle to free the Israelites from the Egyptians and bring them to the Promised Land….
I’m reading right now about King David and His Mighty Fighting men, how God used them to conquer the land through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit would so empower these men to fight in battle and do things that no men could accomplish on their own…these men learned that victory only came through total dependence upon God’s Spirit being with them…. Isn’t that we need to learn today?
God’s character, God’s desire is the same today; He wants to prove himself to you, to us. He sent Jesus as the ultimate revelation of Who He is, and now He has given us the Holy Spirit to live in us and to be our teacher, the revealer of this awesome truth…..
I want to know this morning, How has Jesus proved himself alive to you? That’s the question before us…
As you think about that, I want to look quickly at some background to this book of Acts, it’s very important to understand the context in which you are reading, it is very easy to just pick verses out of the Bible and interpret them incorrectly because you have not understood the context in which they were written.