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Acts of the Holy Spirit Acts 1 1-11

 

 

 

Today is the first Sunday of 2018.

 

Are you looking forward to what God will do with us and through us to grow the body of Christ. 

2018 will be journey through the first century church, the Book of Acts.

 

NIV calls it ACTS

King James and NASB calls it Acts of the Apostles

We see how the apostles spread the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus

I prefer another title- Acts of the Holy Spirit

 

3 references to Holy Spirit in first 8 verses, mentioned 58 times in Acts

 

As we take this trip through Acts you will hear stories of:

 

·       miraculous healings, the dead brought back to life, visions, salvations

·       shipwrecks, riots, snake bites

·       martyrs, trials before governors and kings, persecutions

 

It is more than a history book, it is lesson on how to live as a Christian; what happens when the church becomes complacent and what happens when it becomes supercharged by the Holy Spirit.  Yes, I think it can properly be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit.  So let’s dive in. 

 

Acts 1:1-3

Luke has written two books, the first is his gospel and now this second book. 

Both addressed to Theophilus, whose name means “friend or lover of God.” 

Cool Name!  Jim, not so cool

Assume Theophilus to be a believer

Luke wants to share a truthful and factual account with him

 

 

Regardless of who this book was addressed to we must remember that all Scripture was written for our benefit.  It is here to help us understand what has taking place in the past and guide us into our future as believers in Jesus Christ.

 

Luke show Jesus was:

·       a man

·        the Son of God

·       not a myth

·       who would die for our sins

·       be raised again through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

In fact it was by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was on earth.  An angel has come and told Mary that she will have a son.

 

Luke 1:34-35  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am still a virgin?”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So the holy one to be born will called the Son of God.”

 We see a similar account given in the Gospel of Matthew. 

 

Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 

 

It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was born and lived.

 

“Synoptic Gospels” which translates SYN meaning together with and OPTIC meaning seeing, or Seeing Together.

 

Luke’s gospel provides proof of the resurrection through witness accounts, two then 11, then more, also in Matthew, Mark, and John

 

Luke did not want any of his readers to doubt the truth of the resurrection. 

 

Acts 1:4-5

 

Jesus knows that His time with them is short so He reminds His friends of the promises that He has made to them, that He would not leave them alone.

 

John 14:15-17 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever-the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees him nor knows Him.  But you know Him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

 

Imagine what it would be like for the apostle’s when Jesus leaves them if they did not have the Holy Spirit?

·       Fear and doubt might creep in. 

·       manifests as inaction and a pulling back.  

·       not what Jesus plans for His friends, or His church. 

·       He wants us to have confidence, to push forward, to share the truth He has given us.

 

The disciples will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.   All believers will undergo this same baptism.  Some say it happens at conversion, others say it come at a different time, when our faith deepens.  I am not here to debate when this happens to believers but I am here to say that all believers are given the Holy Spirit to live inside us. 

 

Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of His Glory.”

This is the fulfillment of what Jesus spoke.  You will see in another few verses why this is crucial to us.

 

Acts 1:6-7

 

Disciples are still thinking and seeing Jesus’ kingdom in worldly terms. 

Jewish nation awaiting its Messiah, many expect Him to restore the kingdom of Israel on earth. 

 

Disciples may have been thinking the same way as evidenced by their question.  Jesus is trying to growth their thinking and get them looking beyond a worldly view and see the bigger purpose for which He came, died and rose again.  Jesus is going to tell them not to think too much about the future but instead be ready for what is about to happen and prepare for that.

 

Have you ever been given instructions that you clearly heard but made no sense to you?  Story about Caroline and I driving in Petaluma.

 

Sometimes it is hard for us to override what we think and submit to the proper authority and instruction. This maybe what happen when the apostles heard Jesus instruction in verse 4 and 5.  They didn’t clear their memory banks and they continue to think in old ways rather than in the new reality that Jesus knew was coming.

 

·       Do you find yourself spending time thinking ahead?

·       living in a world with a lot of uncertainty. 

·       Scriptures tell us there will be war, famines, earthquakes, families against one another, the world turning away from God. 

·       Are the end times here?

·       Is Jesus’ kingdom coming soon? 

·       I don’t know.

·       I hope we still have time left to us.  Why? 

·       Because I don’t think we’ve achieved our mission yet.

 

Yes, Jesus has a plan for His Kingdom here on earth.  But He knows that His death was meant to bring salvation to more than just Israel, the whole world is dying and needs to hear the good news. Jesus has a plan for how to do this. 

 

Acts 1:8

 

Is the Christian life difficult? 

Do you find it a struggle to read the Scriptures? 

To attend a Bible study? To get here on Sunday morning? 

Fuel up with the Holy Spirit. 

 

Jesus did not say that your life was going to be easy! No!  In fact He tells us we will face many trials because of our faith. “But you will receive power when the Hold Spirit comes on you”!  If you are struggling then you need to listen to the Spirit that God has placed inside you.  Maybe you need to get on your knees and be quiet and listen to Him for a change.

 

The Holy Spirit is coming

·       The Advocate,

·       the Counselor,

·       our Helper.

·       When He comes we will receive power. 

·       What kind of power? 

The power to speak, the power to heal, the power to preach, the power to teach.

 

Jesus calls us to be His witnesses.  To tell the world what we know.  To share our love for Him and to tell what He has done for us. 

·       Not all are called to be evangelist, to win deep theological arguments

·       each of us is expected to be a witness, to testify about what the Lord Jesus Christ has done in our lives. 

·       That makes many of us very uncomfortable.  But it really shouldn’t. 

If you had won the $450 million MegaBucks or $570 million Power Ball lotteries yesterday, wouldn’t you be sharing the good news with us? If you are sitting here today and Jesus has changed your life why wouldn’t you want to share that with people?

 

I know that many of us find it difficult to speak about what God has done in our life but we really shouldn’t worry about it.  Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit will give us the words to speak.

 

Luke 12:11-12  “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

 

Pastor Warren Weirsbe wrote, “Ordinary people were able to do extraordinary things because the Spirit of God was at work in their lives.  The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not a luxury, it is an absolute necessity.”  As we go through the book of Acts you will see this to be true.

 

How far we do we take our witness? 

·       Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the ends of the earth.

Does that mean you have to go overseas to witness?  Maybe.  God’s calling for each one of us is different.

 

·       time we start acting like we believe the Word of God. 

·       Share your testimony. 

·       Tell somebody about what God has done for you. 

·       God gave me a beautiful wife. 

·       Guided us on mission trips

·       witness to our family

·       to people in prison in Uganda

 

How did all of this come about?  He placed His Holy Spirit inside of us, giving us power to do things we never even dreamed of.  He has called us to testify and serve youth here in the Truckee Meadows.  We do not know where He will lead us next and that doesn’t matter.

 

God has place His Spirit in you too.  I know that many of you are witnessing while leading Bible studies, by loving your families and being an example to them, by speaking to people where you work.  We are all called to witness to what we know.  It does not get much simpler than that.

 

Acts 1:9-11  

 

Looking up, what were they thinking?

Jesus had been appearing and disappearing from them for 40 days. 

Did they think they would see Jesus again in just a few day?

Did they realize that He was gone and not coming back quickly? 

If it were you, would you be thinking, “Now what do we do?” 

 

The two men were probably angels, at least that is what my mind thinks.  Their message was simple: don’t wait around here, stop wasting time looking at the sky.  Jesus will come back but it is time to go and get ready for what He has promised to you.  The power of the Holy Spirit is coming, get back to Jerusalem and be ready for it!  

 

The world was on the verge of a major turning point, the Holy Spirit was coming!  God’s power source for the world; His Holy Spirit would be there soon.  For us, the Spirit has already come.  The power to change the world has already been given to us, so what are we waiting for, Let’s Go!

 

Let’s Pray

Father, Thank you for your Holy Spirit which you have placed inside of us

Jesus, Thank you living, and loving, dying and rising again so that we to may live

Holy Spirit, Thank you for opening our eyes to see the truth of the Gospel and drawing us into the marvelous relationship.  Please guide us to do all that you desire for us to do.  Speak for us when words fail us or when fear overcomes us, help us to persevere in our trials.  God we are in awe of you and all that you have done. 

 

Bring your offerings up front here as we sing this final song.  If you have never acknowledged as your Lord and Savior and want to talk about come see me or Dale or Doug or just about anyone here, but please don’t leave without getting answers to your questions.  Let’s stand as we sing.