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Summary: Sermon Series from the Book of Acts

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LIVING THE MISSION OF GOD - PART 1

Acts 1:1 I wrote the first narrative, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day He was taken up, after He had given orders through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. 3 After He had suffered, He also presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “This,” He said, “is what you heard from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, are You restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. 10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 All these were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.

INTRO: This morning we will begin an exciting new series from the Book of Acts. The Book of Acts was written around 62-63 A.D., and may be best described as a history of the founding and growth of the early church. The book was written by Luke, the same writer of the Gospel of Luke and you might want to think of it as a continuation and even a sequel to that Gospel.

Found as the 5th book in the New Testament, the Book of Acts can best be split into two parts; the first part dealing with the home church and its mission and the last concentrating on foreign missions. The book begins with the Ascension of Jesus and goes on through Paul’s jail time in Rome, which opens his ministry to the church at Rome. In this book we see the first mention of the dispensation of the Holy Spirit and Jesus’ command to take His gospel to all the world.

During our last series, we looked at the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and what those events mean to us. Last week we examined the events that occurred after the Resurrection as Jesus spent 40 days prior to His ascension into Heaven teaching the Disciples what the next steps would be. He described to them the Promise, the Power, and the Plan of God. Now, as we begin to look at the Book of Acts, we see the early church putting into practice and living out the commands that Jesus give them.

This morning as we begin this series, we will lay the foundation for every message that will follow over the next 14 weeks. We will ask and answer three very important questions: 1) What is the Mission of God?; 2) How can we accomplish the mission?; 3) How do we prepare ourselves for the Mission?

Let's begin with the first question:

I. WHAT IS THE MISSION OF GOD?

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

A. The Mission of God is to be a WITNESS - The primary mission that God has given us is to be a witness.

1. What is a witness? A witness is a person who testifies about things they have personally experienced or have personal knowledge of.

(Witness in a court of law)

It is interesting to note that the greek word we translate as witness in the English language is "martys" - the same root word from which we get the word "martyr."

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