Summary: Our Faith has roots that go back to the beginning: we are connected.
Jerusalem Jews for Jesus II
(Acts 1:1-8, part two)
1.True story from Reader’s Digest:
Our surname, Stead, rhymes with bed, but people often say steed, like the horse. One day a business associate of mine came over to the house and was greeted by my mother.
"Is Mr. Steed in?" the woman asked.
"He’s Stead," my mother snapped.
"Oh, no," the woman gasped. "I was talking to him only yesterday."
2. Last names create all sorts of confusion. Our name gets so mangled that we order pizza under an alias: Vase. Even then, half the time, it is written as Base.
3. But last names serve many, many useful purposes, one of which is to connect us to past generations. As we go through the uncertainties of life and change, a sense of connection helps us gain our bearings and creates an identity for us.
4. Biblical Christianity does not go back a mere 2,000 years, but at least 4,000. We worship one God who refuses to be represented by an image, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
5. Christianity is not a new religion, but is Trans-cultural Messianic Judaism. By the word "church," I do not mean an institution, but the conglomeration of all truly born-again Christians who make up the Body of Christ.
6. We call this the "invisible church."
"…body of the elect who are known only to God, and contrasts with the "visible church"—that is, the institutional body on earth which preaches the gospel …Every member of the invisible church is saved, while the visible church contains some individuals who are saved and others who are unsaved." [Wikipedia]
7. There is a special sense in which every true believer -- every member of the invisible church -- is connected directly to Jesus Christ and to Israel.
Main Idea: Our Faith has roots that go back to the beginning: we are connected.
I. The Church: Connected to Jesus Through the APOSTLES’ Teaching (1-3)
A. By READING what Jesus’ did (1-2a)
B. By the TESTIMONY and ministry of the Apostles (2b-3)
II. The Church: Connected to Jesus’ Power By the SPIRIT (4-5)
A. We Experience the same Spirit that EMPOWERED Jesus (4)
B. The Spirit Would BAPTIZE them (5)
"Being baptized in the Holy Spirit means being immersed (baptized) in the presence and being of God" (Holman Bible Dictionary). Through the baptism of the Spirit, God takes the believer and places Him in the Body of Christ, the Universal Church.
1. As the Spirit came upon Jesus’ at His BAPTISM, so the Apostles would be baptized by the Spirit
• The initial promise of the Spirit was given to the apostles, in this context
• But, when Pentecost actually comes, ALL believers present were baptized by the Spirit
• Why was this? Because all believers are ministers; all believers are priests; all believers have a role to play.
• Learn this principle: God might extend His promises to groups beyond the promised group, but God will keep His promises to the original group as well…
2. Both the Spirit’s dwelling and baptism are a GIFT
• In OT, the HS regenerated, but did not indwell
• In NT, the HS indwells all believers and baptizes them into the Body of Christ, though there was a transition time as recorded in Acts…
• How water baptism contrasts to Spirit baptism
• Note a principle: spiritual does not eliminate physical baptism
3. The evidence seems to indicate that Jesus submitted His will to the Father’s and worked His works with the permission of the Father in the power of the Spirit
• So the Christian is to submit to the Father and find power to live the Christian life by means of the Spirit of God living within him/her.
4. We are special people. God created us. Christ redeemed us. We are Temples of the Holy Spirit. We ought to have a healthy sense of self-respect. God thinks highly of us, and, whereas arrogance is wrong, self-respect is right.
"All you idiots, fall out!" shouted the sergeant at the soldiers standing in formation. As the rest of the squad dispersed, one soldier remained at attention. The sergeant stalked over and raised a single eyebrow. The private grinned. "Sure was a lot of them, huh, sir?" From Reader’s Digest.
Our Faith has roots that go back to the beginning: we are connected.
III. The Church: Connected to ISRAEL (6-8)
A. God’s promises to Israel still STAND (6)
40 " ’But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. 44 Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God. 45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD.’ "