Summary: If we want to get to where we need to be spiritually we need to have the right mode of transportation.
The Secret to Victorious Living
1. Illustration: In his book "Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life", Charles Swindoll tells a story about the 19th Century agnostic Thomas Huxley (some of you might know that it was Huxley who promoted Darwinism and Humanism in his attacks on Christianity). Huxley was in Dublin and was rushing to catch a train. He climbed aboard one of Dublin’s famous horse drawn taxis and said to the driver -"Hurry, I’m almost late ... drive fast". Off they went at a furious pace and Huxley sat back in his seat and closed his eyes. After a while Huxley opened his eyes and glanced out the window to notice that they were going in the wrong direction. Realizing that he hadn’t told the driver where to take him he called out ‘do you know where you're going?’ The driver replied "No, your honor, but I am driving very fast."
2. Have you ever felt that way? Like you were going somewhere very fast and hurried, but that you were headed in the wrong direction?
3. I think that it is important to realize where we need to be going and how we need to get there. And, for me, the best place to find where we need to be headed and how we get there is by looking at the early church.
4. The early church teaches us about the need for...
a. Spiritual Expectation
b. Spiritual Experience
c. Spiritual Expediting
5. Let's stand together as we read from Acts 1:4-8.
Proposition: If we want to get to where we need to be spiritually we need to have the right mode of transportation.
Transition: The first thing we learn from the early church is about...
I. Spiritual Expectation (Acts 1:4-8).
A. Don't Leave Jerusalem Until...
1. In Jesus' final days with his disciples He taught them to expect a spiritual outpouring.
2. Luke tells us that "Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before."
a. Luke's Gospel condenses the forty days after the Resurrection and jumps to the final exhortation for the 120 to wait in Jerusalem until they were "'clothed with power from on high.'"
b. Luke 24:49 (NLT)
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
c. In Acts 1:4 Luke again goes to the time immediately preceding the Ascension. Jesus was "eating with them."
d. At that time He repeated the command, emphasizing that they were not to leave Jerusalem. This was very important. The Day of Pentecost would have had little effect if only two or three of them had remained in Jerusalem.
e. Further, Jesus began His ministry in the power of the Spirit; so must they (Horton, Acts).
f. Jesus ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit and it they were going to accomplish the mission He had given they too would have to minister in the Spirit's power.
g. Having received the message, and witnessed the manifestation of the risen Christ, the apostles may have been tempted to assume they were ready to minister in their own strength (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Acts 1-12).
h. However, we need to notice that Jesus was telling them to expect something powerful to happen.
3. Jesus continues that exhortation by telling what this experience would be. He said, "John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
a. Just as the Father bore witness to His Son when the Spirit came upon Him (and into Him) in a special way, so the Father bore witness to the faith of the believers by pouring out the promised Holy Spirit giving them power for service.
b. Jesus had already promised this mighty outpouring of the Spirit to His followers.
c. So had John the Baptist, whose baptism was limited to baptizing in water.
d. Note that Jesus made a clear distinction between baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Spirit (Horton, Acts: A Logion Press Commentary).
e. Jesus told them not to do anything until they had received this baptism in the Holy Spirit.
f. To the apostles, who were no doubt fired with enthusiasm and eager to begin, that must have seemed a strange command.
g. Yet, it illustrates an important point: All the preparation and training that knowledge and experience can bring are useless without the proper might. Power had to accompany truth.
h. To make certain the apostles were not only motivated but also supernaturally empowered for their mission, Jesus commanded them to wait for what the Father had promised (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Acts 1-12).