Summary: First lesson in the series on Acts, on God's Provisions as they begin their journey.
Lessons From The Early Church
The Lord’s Provisions
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be looking at the early church here in Acts. In a series I am calling “Lessons From The Early Church.” This morning we are looking at “The Lord’s Provisions”
As we get into Acts I want to give a little background. The book of Acts and Luke are both written by Luke. And really Acts is a continuation of Luke, or maybe a part 2 of a two-volume work. Putting Luke and Acts together his writings take up over a ¼ of the NT. And in the Greek NT take up more pages than all of Paul’s writings.
Most likely Luke was a Physician as referenced by Paul in Colossians 4:14
Luke was very methodical, according to Luke 1:3, that researched everything in order to write it in understandable order and the same is here in Acts.
While it could be said that Luke wrote Acts to give only a historical account of the early spread of Christianity. I believe it to be more than that. I believe the purpose of Acts is to also show that the work of God is brought about by God’s Holy Spirit working through us. The key to understanding the book of Acts is in 1:7-8 where God’s sovereignty, the Holy Spirit, and the spread of the Gospel are all linked together.
The last chapter of Luke records Christ’s resurrection, his appearing to the two men on the road to Emmaus, with Christ appearing to others and Luke closes the Gospel with Christ commanding them to stay in the city.
Read Luke 24:45-53
Let’s Read Acts 1:1-11 this morning
• You know the good thing about God is He knows what we are going to need before we even ask.
• Jesus understood what the needs of the disciples before they knew they had a problem
• He was preparing them for the trying days He knew would be ahead and He was making a provision for them so that they could continue to live victorious lives
• And that has not changed
• We may not experience that which happened in the early church, right now
• But we experience the same needs
• God provided for the early church and he still provides that today
1) He Provides Proof of the Resurrection-vs. 3
a) The key to the Christian faith is Christ’s resurrection
b) This is what sets a part from all other world religions and cults
c) Everything we teach depends on this fact
d) Paul said it best in 1 Cor. 15:14, that if Christ is not risen then our preaching is in vain
e) Christ through His death paid our penalty for sin
f) Romans 6:23-“For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
g) 1 Peter 2:24-“he Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, for by His wounds you were healed.”
h) 1 Peter 3:18-“For Christ also died for sins once and for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit.”
i) Anybody can be put to death.
j) Muhammad died, Buddha died, Joseph Smith died, the Pope dies
k) But Christ arose from the grave
l) By arising from the dead He conquered death for man and now makes available a new life of power for the believer
m) Jesus knew how vital it be that all questions be removed-Verse 3
n) Luke tells us that Christ presented himself alive.
o) There are ten resurrection appearances of Jesus recorded in the NT
1) May Magdalene-Mk. 16:9-11, Jn. 20:11-18
2) The woman running to tell the disciples about the empty tomb-Mt. 28:8-10
3) Peter to assure him of his resurrection-Lk 24:34, 1 Cor. 15:5
4) Two men on the road to Emmaus-Mk. 16:12, Lk. 24:13-42
5) The disciples without Thomas-Mk. 16:14, Lk. 24:36-43, Jn. 19-25
6) The disciples while they were fishing-Jn. 20
7) 500 believers-1 Cor. 15:6
8) The apostles-Mt. 28:16-20, Mk. 16:15-18
9) James-1 Cor. 15:7
10) To the believers at His ascension-Mk. 16:19-20, Lk. 24:44-53, Acts 1:3-12
p) And there were probably some not even recorded according to John 20:30-31 and 21:25-that there were things Jesus did the were not recorded and could have filled the whole world with books
r) Paul even says in 1 Cor. 15 that some of those who saw Christ were still alive when he wrote that letter to them