Summary: Encouragement from the first witnesses to the risen Christ to witness together to those around us.
Preached: Sunday 12th April 2015
Sermon: 'Witnesses Together'
Acts 4:32 "Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common."
Some people, theologians, philosophers and thinkers of various persuasions, have taken great encouragement from this passage. They think it indicates a perfect society, a utopia, which they can belong to. Indeed, they think it’s the way the world should be.
But this is not any kind of communism or even a type of socialism they dream of.
What we can do is concern ourselves with the central message of the passage and indeed the message of the whole Book of Acts.
So, what was the central message of the church after the resurrection of Jesus the Christ?
The whole community, ‘the multitude’ it says in v. 32, who believed in the Person and work of Jesus as God’s Messiah, were His witnesses.
They were united in this witness because the Holy Spirit had brought them together and had come upon them in power in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. (Ch. 1:12-14; 2:1-4)
33 “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.”
Now we are onto solid ground. The whole book of Acts is written to tell us what the believers in Christ DID after His resurrection.
They were witnesses to Jesus Christ.
Here it is summarised in a few words: “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.”
I say again, this is the central teaching of Acts.
The result is: “And great grace was upon them all.” (33c)
If you are a witness, with others, to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, then great grace will be upon you.
Do you want that? Do you want great grace to be upon you? I am sure you do...
The Lord wants witnesses. The Lord needs witnesses. In the courtroom of world opinion the Lord wants you as His witnesses.
Enough of negative talk!
Enough of self-accusation that we do not do witnessing as we should.
Let’s take the advice of Nike! What advice is that?
Yes, as Nike says: “Just Do It!”
Enough of the negative talk that is thrown at the church, probably to put her off her message: “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” (1 Tim 1:15)
It is time for us to witness to the Jesus we know.
We can tell people that without having a theology degree, we can tell people without an extensive knowledge of the Bible or even without the help of any other teaching.
Why? Because it’s our own story. It’s your own story!
We can all tell people what we do know.
We can all tell people what Jesus means to us.
We can tell them what He has done for us.
Witnessing is simply one person telling another one what Jesus means to them.
Of course as many churches in the Middle East are discovering, witnessing can be very costly. It can mean martyrdom.
It did for the 1st Century Christians. Eleven out of the 12 Apostles died for claiming Jesus is Lord.