Summary: ACTS IS A MICROCOSM LOOK AT THE EARLY CHURCH. UNDENIABLY THIS BOOK OF THE BIBLE DOES NOT CONTAIN EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN THE LIFE OF THE EARLY CHURCH, YET IT DOES CONTAIN EVERYTHING GOD WANTS US TO KNOW ABOUT THE LIFE OF THE EARLY CHURCH. AS WE BEGI
SIMPLE TRUTHS FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS
Acts 1:3-11 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. 4 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. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 6 So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
INTRODUCTION: THE BOOK OF ACTS IS A MICROCOSM LOOK AT THE EARLY CHURCH. UNDENIABLY THIS BOOK OF THE BIBLE DOES NOT CONTAIN EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN THE LIFE OF THE EARLY CHURCH, YET IT DOES CONTAIN EVERYTHING GOD WANTS US TO KNOW ABOUT THE LIFE OF THE EARLY CHURCH.
AS WE MENTIONED LAST WEEK, ONE SIGNIFICANT PART IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH WAS THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE CHURCH MADE THEIR LIVES, “ALL ABOUT JESUS”. TODAY, THAT IS STILL THE OVERRIDING SITUATION WE NEED TO ACHIEVE PERSONALLY IF WE EVER EXPECT THE SUSTAINED BLESSING OF GOD, THE MOVEMENT OF GOD IN OUR MIDST, AND THE MOMENTUM OF MINISTRY THAT COMES FROM A CHURCH ALIVE IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD!
AS WE LOOK INTO THE BOOK OF ACTS, AND THE ACTIVITY OF THE CHURCH MY GOAL IS THAT WE WILL AVOID THIS, …. (SHOW VIDEO)
THE CHURCH IS NOT BURGER KING; IT IS THE INSTITUTION BIRTH BY THE KING!
I. OUR NEED TO WAIT ON GOD
A. IT WOULD BE SAFE TO SAY THAT THE DISCIPLES WERE STOKED!
B. THEY WERE EATING WITH THE RISEN CHRIST
C. THEY HAD SEEN HIM CRUCIFIED, AND BURIED.
D. EVIDENCE THAT THEY BELIEVED HE HAD REALLY DIED IS SEEN IN THEIR RESPONSE – THEY SCATTERED AND HID.
E. NOW, THEY HAVE SEEN THE RISEN CHRIST, AND CHRIST HAS GIVEN EVIDENCE OF THE REALITY OF HIS EXISTENCE.
1. A PROOF IS DEMONSTRATED EVIDENCE.
2. THE MOST STRIKING OF THESE WOULD BE THOMAS AND HIS REQUEST TO TOUCH THE NAIL PRINTS AND THE SPEAR THRUST.
F. THEY WANTED TO MOVE, AND CHRIST WANTED THEM TO WAIT
A. WAIT FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT
B. WAIT FOR GOD’S TIME TABLE
II. OUR NEED TO KNOW OUR DIFFERENCES
A. WE ARE DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF HISTORY
1. CHRISTIANITY IS THE ONLY RELIGION THAT DEPENDS ON HISTORY.
2. THERE IS NO CHRISTIANITY IF THERE IS NO RISEN CHRIST.
3. ALL OF THE OTHER RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD WOULD CONTINUE TO EXIST WITHOUT THEIR FOUNDERS.
4. WITHOUT CHRIST, CHRISTIANITY WOULD CEASE TO EXIST!
5. HERE IS HOW IT ALL PLAYS OUT
a. THE RESURRECTION IS A FACT
b. IF THE RESURRECTION IS A FACT THEN IT PROVES JESUS IS GOD
c. IF JESUS IS GOD WHAT HE TELLS US IS THE TRUTH, BECAUSE GOD CANNOT LIE.
d. IF GOD CANNOT LIE THEN WE CAN (AND SHOULD) TRUST EVERYTHING HE SAYS.
WE HAVE AN ABSOLUTE MANDATE FOR OUR SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY
B. WE ARE DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF VISION
1. THE VISION FOR US IS THAT WE ARE THE PEOPLE FOR THE TASK GOD HAS SET BEFORE US
2. THE POWER FOR US IS THAT WE HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GUIDE, EMPOWER, AND ASSIST US.
3. THE PHILOSOPHY FOR US IS THAT WE ARE TO BE A WITNESS FOR CHRIST.
4. THE PLAN FOR US IS JERUSALEM, JUDEA, SAMARIA, AND THE WORLD.
WE HAVE AN ABSOLUTE PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT GOD HAS FOR US TO DO
III. OUR NEED TO FOCUS ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT
A. THE FOUNDATION OF OUR BAPTISM
1. BAPTISM HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PUBLIC SYMBOL OF IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST.
2. HERE IN THE BOOK OF ACTS – PARTICULARLY THIS PASSAGE THERE IS ALSO THE FLAVOR OF UNITING WITH CHRIST (AND EACH OTHER)