Summary: Jesus understood the needs of His disciples before they knew they had a problem. He was preparing them for the trying days He knew were ahead. He was making provision for them so that they could continue to live victorious lives.
The Lord’s Provision
The Early Church turned its world upside down for Christ. It spread the good news of Jesus in the face of extremely hostile conditions. And the church made an impression on its world. Some of the messages I want to share with you over the next couple of months in this new series “Lessons from the Early Church” will be coming from individuals such as Paul and others from the early church body itself. As we begin this new series and as we take a closer look at the Early Church as recorded in the Book of Acts we will see how to go about spreading the Good News of the Gospel in our world today. Today, we need to start by seeing, just how the Lord provides.
Jesus understood the needs of His disciples before they knew they had a problem. He was preparing them for the trying days He knew were ahead. He was making provision for them so that they could continue to live victorious lives.
The nature of people has not changed over the last 2,000+ years. We may not experience that which precipitated the disciples’ crisis. We do though experience the same needs. It is important to understand that the same God that provided for them will also provide for us.
The text before us today illuminates three areas of life in which believers would be inadequate if it were not for Jesus’ provision. So let’s dive into the Word this morning and see what the Lord has in store of us.
Read Acts 1:1-11
I. He Provided them Proof of the Resurrection (v. 3)
“To these he also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.”
a. It was important that the believers in the early church had no doubts about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
i. Everything Christianity teaches depends on it validity.
ii. Paul declared in 1 Cor. 15:14, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain.”
1. If Christ was not resurrected from the dead, then I am up here just wasting my breathe.
2. All that we believe in, is void.
iii. Jesus knew though, just how vital it was that all the questions were removed.
1. There was no room for doubt in the heart of the believers.
b. The proof is infallible (v. 3)
i. There are 6 documented appearances of Jesus Christ following the resurrection in the Bible.
1. Paul lists them in 1 Cor. 15.
a. Jesus appeared to Peter (v. 5)
b. He appeared to the twelve disciples (v. 5)
c. He appeared to more than 500 believers at one time (v. 6)
d. He appeared to James (v. 7)
e. He appeared to all the apostles. (v. 7)
f. He appeared to Paul. (v. 8)
2. Christ wanted to make sure the early believers saw it with their own eyes.
ii. The enemies of Jesus only needed to produce His body to kill all hopes of Jesus Christ ministry here on earth; but they couldn’t.
c. The followers were so convinced of the resurrection that they became an irresistible force in the world.
i. They practiced all He had taught them.
ii. An unqualified belief in the Resurrection enables us to live up to our potential as Christians.
iii. When we know without a shadow of a doubt what Jesus did for us all, it fuels us to spread the Word like a wild fire and live a life that is drawing to the world, like a mosquito to the flame.
II. He Provided them Power to Carry out their Assignment (v. 8)
“but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Let me paraphrase that for you this morning in the Pastor Carl translation: “You have received the power of God when the Holy Spirit came into your heart at salvation, and now you shall be my witnesses both in Grand Prairie, and in all Texas and the United States, and even to the rest of the World.”
a. Jesus assigned believers to live in such a way that the rest of the world would have no reason, but to believe in Him.
i. This meant they would live in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.
ii. This meant that the world would see Jesus living through the lives of those who believed in Him.
iii. In order to do this they would need the power that would be given to them in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit.