Summary: Why did Jesus bear the burden of the cross, why the resurrection the breakthrough? So that we coud experience the blessing of God. The best definition of the Holy Spirit is Christ in us. Easter is over but the word and work of Jesus are still ongoing.
Intro: Thus far we have examined the burden of the cross, the breakthrough of the resurrection, now we come to the blessing of the ascension. How can it be that I would say that Jesus, the embodiment of God leaving this planet would be a blessing?
Because the bodily incarnation of God cannot live within us all! Jesus is the incarnation, the clear revelation of God, God in the flesh. Jesus went back to heaven to intercede for us (Romans 8.34) and the Holy Spirit came down to dwell within us! You cannot live the life of God without the presence of the third person of the God head known as the Holy Spirit.
The book of acts is really Luke part two. Look in 1.1 the former account I composed. The first account showed us the life of Christ in His physical body. The second account shows us the life of Christ in His mystical body the church. The first teaches the principles and the second the pattern. The burden and the breakthrough were all part of God’s forward momentum to the blessing. We are shown the pattern by none other than Luke. He is the only gentile, or non-Jew writer in whole of the Bible. Luke was a Dr. He uses terms in His gospel, and history of the church that only a physician would use. What an encouragement we don’t have to check our brains at the door just our pride and preconceived notions. Luke is a doctor but also according to scholars a historian of the highest level. So we have an intelligent man with accuracy in his historical reporting sharing with us the pattern for a powerful, kingdom oriented church. If this is the pattern for the Church of Jesus Christ the we need to acquire and apply these truths.
I. Recognize Jesus’ presence in you (Acts 1.1-3)
We are all here for various reasons. Some are here because the church has been good to you. Some of you are here because of what you can get from the church. Some of you are here because you’ve found the truths of the Bible are real and work when applied. Some of you are here because you really like or love a person or group of persons here. Some of you are here subconsciously wishing to win a place in heaven. Some are here because they get paid. Some are here because they have positions. Some are here because they have nothing better to do. I am here this morning because of what Jesus did for me and is doing in me!
Look in verse one, all that Jesus began to do and teach. How is it that Jesus went to heaven and He is still active?
The book of Acts in many old translations or old published translations carries the title the Acts of the Apostles. It cannot be called the acts of the apostles because as Paul said it is not I who live but Christ who lives in me. Christ was acting through Stephen when He was stoned to death, He was acting through of Paul in all three ship wrecks, stoning, beatings, it was Christ in Him to will and to do what God wanted.
Realize this today, Jesus doesn’t want you to do anything for Him!! He wants to do something through you.
You will find when you truly encounter the risen Jesus the music is never too loud and the message is never too long and the ministry is never too hard!
Acts is the on- going activity of Jesus Christ in you and the church as a whole.
If you are crucified with Christ you are dead. There is nothing I can do, there is nothing James can do, there is nothing anyone can do to live the life of a Christian.
Jesus is the only person to ever live the Christian life. Jesus is alive and will live through you if you will only become available.
Adrian Rogers said something very wise. “The only ability God needs from you is your availability. Bringing the world to Christ is not your responsibility. It is your response to His ability.”
A preacher in Kentucky used to keep an old leather glove on his desk. Before he would go preach he would put the old glove on and flex it several times. Someone asked him why do you do that? “To remind me of this vital lesson, that the glove is absolutely impotent and powerless until my hand slipped into it.”
Is Jesus presence in you? I pray you realize that without Him you are completely powerless.
We need the Holy Spirit because Christianity without the Holy Spirit is a hollow religion. With the Holy Spirit it is a vital relationship that will shape our lives into the image of God. The Holy Spirit comes to live in you as a person to make the work and word of Jesus come alive in your life!! Jesus is still working and teaching through His body the church.