Summary: God is divinely appointing His current disciples to be His witnesses today.
August 15, 2004 Chester FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker
Introduction: (Introduction written by Mike Spain)
There are three major court cases going on right now in our media. (Kobe Bryant, Scott Peterson, Mark Hacking)
A When a witness in a court of law takes the stand, they make a solemn oath to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
a The witness is not to . . . dilute/expand/interpret/ the truth. Just tell the plain truth.
b We as believers are called to be witnesses in Acts 1.8.
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8 (NASB)
Major differences in us and a witness in a court of law is . . .
Not only are we to TELL the truth, we are also to live the truth.
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22 (NASB)
We never step down from the witness stand! Our testifying never ends!
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Heb 12:1 (NASB)
B Jesus’s last words to his disciples were to speak with power to others about what they knew about Him. (ETS)
a God is divinely appointing his current disciples to be His witnesses today. (ESS)
b I hope you’ll take your divine appointment to heart by inviting 3 people who need Jesus to meet you at the front door next Sunday. (Objective)
C What is preventing you from fulfilling what God has appointed you to accomplish? (Probing Question)
a Let’s look at the two most common issues that prevent Christians from living up to their divine appointment. (Transitional Sentence)
I The first issue that prevents people from living up to their divine appointment is . . . POWER. (They don’t have it!)
1 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;"
A The disciples were given every thing they would need to accomplish the appointment that had God had given them.
a Power means able, capable, ability. (’You will not succeed by your own strength or power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord All-Powerful. Zech 4:6 (NCV)
b Supernatural empowering: The Holy Spirit was making what was . . .
Impossible=Possible; Incapable=Capable; Disability=Ability
B The same power that fueled Christ’s ministry was being given to his disciples to fuel their ministries.
a The H.S. caused them to succeed in their task in that time.
b Where God guided them . . . He provided for them!
2 The power of the H.S. is a resource that is STILL available today to any Christian wishing to serve the Lord.
A Many Christians live lives full of impossibilities, incapabilities, & disabilities. POWERLESS!!!
a I believe every believer has access to the power of the Holy Spirit . . . not all of us use the power. (Realize little or no results from the H.S. power.)
b A turbine submerged in a river is powerless until the river is allowed to flow through it. Until we allow the power to flow through us, the Holy Spirit is largely ineffective.
B God wants to fill you up!! Flow through you!
a He can fill a short/tall/twisted vessel, but He WILL NOT EVER fill a dirty one!
(How Do I Get THIS gift!!!)
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Phil 4:13 (NASB)
II The second issue that prevents people from living up to their divine appointment is . . . A Person. " . . .And you shall be my witnesses . . ."
1 "You Shall Be" wasn’t a suggestion, or command, but rather a divine appointment.
A Jesus did not suggest he would do all the work while the disciples remained totally passive.
a The disciples wee going to work, although in and with the strength & power the Holy Spirit supplied.
b The H.S. did what was necessary to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement.