Summary: The Lord provides a replacement for Judas
The New Apostle
Jeff Hughes – January 26, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. The early church had a vacancy. Jesus had named twelve apostles to carry out the ministry of being His witnesses. However, now there was only eleven. There was one position left to fill. That was a big opening to fill.
b. In the past two weeks, we have studied the Great Commission and the Ascension of Christ and how it these events helped to shape the early church.
c. Today though, we are going to look at the church’s first business meeting if you will. Last week, we were introduced to the remaining eleven apostles, This week, we are going to look at the replacing and the replacement for number twelve, and why this is significant.
d. Many people think that the way in which the replacement apostle was chosen was wrong, we are going to look at that this morning.
e. Some others think that the wrong choice was made in who was selected to fill the vacancy in the twelve. We will also look at this in depth as we continue our journey through Acts.
f. We also saw last week that the apostles and other disciples of Christ were gathered together in one accord in prayer and supplication. They were commanded to wait for the coming Holy Spirit. Choosing the new apostle is an important part of that wait, and for our benefit, because, why would God choose for it to be there unless it was for our benefit?
g. Let’s pray, and ask God to come and bless our study in the Word this morning.
a. Sergeant Kenneth E. Neu was stationed in the U.S. Airborne unit in Germany, where the parachute drop zone was located next to a Mercedes-Benz test track. One windy day, a gust of wind blew his parachute over the track. Knowing how hard a landing on asphalt can be, he braced himself, landed and checked for broken bones. Amazingly, he was fine. Suddenly the wind inflated Neu’s parachute and started dragging him down the track. He hit the chute’s canopy release and looked up just in time to see a car speeding toward him. Acting quickly, he grabbed his chute and ran to the edge of the track. Out of breath but uninjured, he thought, “How lucky can I be?” Relieved, he turned, stepped into a gopher hole and sprained his ankle.
b. Similarly, on NBC’s Tonight Show, Johnny Carson read an item from the lost-and-found column of a midwestern newspaper: “Lost dog—brown fur, some missing due to mange, blind in one eye, deaf, lame leg due to recent traffic accident, slightly arthritic. Answers to the name of ‘Lucky’!
c. Folks, there is no such thing as luck. If we believe that the God of all creation is watching over us this morning, then nothing happens without His knowledge. God is at work in the earth moving and directing. Scripture tells us that the number of hairs on your head (some of us have a decling number) are known by Him. The age old question – If a tree falls in the forest, who hears it? The answer is God. God hears it.
i. But, like I mentioned earlier, the choosing of the new apostle was an important event in the early church at Jerusalem. The scriptures we are going to look at this morning deal with the suicide of Judas Iscariot, and the subsequent selection of a replacement for Judas in the office of apostle.
ii. In the previous weeks, we looked at the promise of the coming Holy Spirit, and next week, we will look at the fulfillment of that promise on the day of Pentecost.
iii. Now stuck in between these two events is the choosing of the new apostle. The question that naturally comes to mind is why? Why is this here?
iv. Well, it has to do with God’s Will being done on the earth no matter what the circumstances. Obviously, the other eleven apostles were shocked and surprised at Judas’ betrayal, even though Jesus wasn’t.
v. Really, if you take a look at these eleven verses, we get a look at the sovereignty of God. We see God’s plans being carried out even though the apostles were one short. We will see this played out in our lesson today. Our passage comes again from Acts chapter one, starting in verse 15, and continuing to the end of the passage. We will finish up chapter one this week, and in February, we will start up with Acts chapter 2. So, follow along with me if you would. If you need a Bible, just raise your hand, and we will get one to you.