Summary: The mission of the church is to wait on the Holy Spirit and witness of God's risen Son until He comes again.
Several years ago, the London Transit Authority had a problem. Buses were going right past passengers who were waiting at designated places to be picked up. They were at the bus stops, and the buses were sailing right past them. The London Transit Authority released a statement to explain their actions. The statement said it was impossible for them to maintain schedules if they always had to stop and pick up passengers. (Dave Stone, “Keep the Dust Off the Highchair,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 143; www.PreachingToday.com)
Funny, I thought that’s what transit authorities are supposed to do – pick up passengers. Do you know: some churches are like that? They get so busy maintaining schedules and programs that they forget what they’re all about. My friends, I don’t want us to forget what we’re all about as a church, so if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Acts 1, Acts 1, where Jesus Himself gives us our mission.
Acts 1:1-5 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (ESV)
The first thing Jesus wants us to do is…
He wants us to wait for the Holy Spirit. He wants us to remain. He wants us to stay put until God’s spirit comes upon us. For without God’s Spirit, we cannot do anything.
Now, we know, from 1 Corinthians 12, that all of us who have trusted Christ have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 makes it very clear, “By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” (ESV)
Every single believer, the moment he or she trusts Christ, is baptized by the Holy Spirit. That means the Holy Spirit comes upon you and dips you, or immerses you, into the Body of Christ. The word, “baptize,” literally means “to dip” or “to immerse.” When you trust Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit places you into the church. That means, my dear friends, that you are a part of something much bigger than yourself.
It’s kind of like this famous surfer, Laird Hamilton, riding a 65-foot wave. (Show YouTube video: At first he is being towed along the water by a speeding Jet Ski. Then, as Laird gains speed by the power of the Jet Ski, he lets go of the rope and you see him as a mere speck on a wave so enormous it defies comprehension. The wave curls and the surfer zooms down its face, propelled by a wall of water crashing around him, exhilarated by the ride of a lifetime.)