Sermon Acts 1a Series Message
“Ultimate Mission of the Church”
Introduction: As we continue to think about the church, we learn from Acts the priority of the church. Jesus is about to ascend into heaven and He gives two commandments. Think about this for a minute. If you were about to leave your loved ones and knew your would not see them again what would you concentrate on? Certainly you would tell them how much you love them! Why? Because that would be a priority, Jesus gives us the priority of His heart – Evangelism.
I. The Promise of the Spirit, 4-5
Jesus once again made reference to the “Promise of the Father” as being given to them. They were to wait for it in Jerusalem. I like what John MacArthur states here…
“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. To prevent that error Jesus, after gathering them together, commanded them not to leave Jerusalem (cf. Luke 24:49). To the apostles, who were no doubt fired with enthusiasm and eager to begin, that must have seemed a strange command. 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.”
This promise of the Spirit was taught by our Lord in John 14, 15, and 16. The Spirit’s coming was to ensure them of a few things…
1. The Spirit would come and dwell within, Jn 14:15-18
2. The Spirit would be their teacher, Jn 14:25-26
3. The Spirit will convict the world, Jn 16:5-15
The Baptism of the Spirit is so understood in our time. Some refer to it as the “second blessing” evidenced by speaking in tongues. But that is not what the Scripture teaches. Baptism refers to two things
1. Baptized (joined) with the body of Christ
2. Baptized in Holy Spirit – permanent indwelling
II. The Problem with Clock Watching, 6-7
As world events unfold in the Middle East some in the church are getting preoccupied with the events that will lead up to Christ return. Now don’t get me wrong we are to be “watching” but there is a difference. I need to watch and work, not watch and sit. The disciples thought that now that their Messiah was raised from the dead that it was time for a political revolt to take place. But our Lord told them not to be concerned with “times & seasons” because only the Father knows when this will all take place anyway.
Some people are so heavenly minded they are not earthly good.
III. The Power for the Mission, 8
The Spirit’s giving was for the empowerment for witnessing. A witness is one who has experienced something and can give testimony to that event. What Jesus was telling His disciples (us to) is to tell others about Him!!! The priority of the church is to be witnesses! Notice Jesus didn’t say that we would receive power to worship! Or Fellowship! But to Witness! If the church ceases to worship she ceases to obey the commandments of the Lord.
MacArthur, J. (1994, c1996). Acts (15). Chicago: Moody Press.