MARCHING ORDERS

 

 

Acts 1:1-11 - PAGE 1

The Model Church, Lesson 1

 

Over the next several weeks we plan to study the early church as found in Acts 1-12. This church, in many ways, is the model of how we should do things, and what we should expect to happen in church as we obey God.

 

This week we consider the directions our Lord gave the early church, as he left for Heaven by way of the Ascension.

 

Although called the "Acts Of The Apostles", it might better be called the "Acts Of The Holy Spirit", for it is His work in building the early church that is featured. In the first 12 chapters we find much about the ministry of Peter. In the last 16 chapters, Paul is the main character.

 

PREFACE Vss. 1-3

 

Vs. 1 The former treatise was the Gospel of Luke. Luke 1:1-4

 

Both Luke and Acts were addressed to Theophilus.

The name Theophilus means "Friend Of God". The title would imply that he was some sort of official. Luke's purpose was that of instruction and so that he would know the certainty of what he had been taught.

 

Vs. 1 - There is an interesting word in this verse. The word is "began".

Luke is the story of what Jesus began to do and teach.

Acts is the continuation of that story.

The only difference, is that Jesus was now in Heaven, and that Jesus was now working through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Vs. 2 - We are shown the extent of the material covered by Luke's Gospel. Luke's Gospel had covered the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven. The ascension was preceded by commandments given to his apostles.

 

In the broadest sense, his apostles are all those who were witnesses of the resurrection. In the strictest sense, the Apostles are the 12.

 

Vs. 3 Over a period of 40 days Jesus made several appearances, showing himself to be alive, and giving instruction concerning the Kingdom of God. I believe Jesus shared with them how the Kingdom would work while he was gone, and what would happen when he established His earthly kingdom.

 

PROMISE Vss. 4-5

 

The Apostles were to remain in Jerusalem.

They were to wait for a very special event.

It was the initial baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit which God had promised through the Lord Jesus. John 14:16-18, John 16:7-15

 

Vs. 5 - John's Baptism was symbolic. So is believer's baptism. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the real baptism.

 

Speaking of Jesus, John the Baptist said in Mark 1:8, I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

 

Believers are baptized today with the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 8:9

 

PROGRAM Vss. 6-8

 

Vs. 6 - It is very easy for us to criticize the Apostles for this

question. After all, hadn't Jesus been teaching them?

Notice that Jesus didn't rebuke the Apostles. Why should we?

The disciples had always associated the work of the Messiah with the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel. If you read the Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah and Zechariah, you will find that this teaching is very much present. They were looking for the promised Millenial Kingdom. They were not wrong to be looking for it.

 

"Lord," they were asking, is now the time?

 

Vs.7 - Here is a great reminder for you and I.

The Apostles were told that it was not for them to know the

exact time of when God would do what was in his power to do.

There are many people who have gone overboard making predictions about when Jesus would come. This is not in the realm of things we are to know.

Beloved, when God doesn't tell us things that are under His own jurisdiction, let us not waste our time trying to figure God out. If God doesn't tell us something, let's just trust him!

 

Vs. 8 - Here is the program of God for the church. He endues the members of the church with Holy Spirit Power.

Power to have victory over sin.

Power to live a Godly life.

Power to pray.

Power to bear fruit.

Power to have supernatural joy, thanksgiving, and submission.

 

But most of all, the purpose of the power of the Holy Spirit is to give power to witness.

 

We witness by our words. 2 Peter 2:15

We witness by our works. Matthew 5:16

 

Notice the program of witness began at Jerusalem.

It proceeded to the other side of the tracks, to Samaria.

It went on to the whole world.

 

Our witness as a church and as individuals begins at our Jerusalem.

It continues to areas not far from here.

It progresses to the whole world.

 

Don't expect to be a witness to the world until you are a witness to your own Jerusalem. Some feel called to foreign missions. Foreign missions begins in Jerusalem.

 

The Great Commission is a three-fold project. Matthew 28:18-20

 

PROGRESSION Vs. 9

 

Jesus has progressed to Heaven. In Heaven He sits at the right hand of God interceding for us.

Romans 8:34, Hebrews 4:14-16

 

How He looks today is described in Revelation 1:12-16

 

PREDICTION Vss. 10-11

 

Jesus is coming again.

I do not believe that the angels are talking about the rapture here. I believe that they are talking about his physical coming to earth again.

 

Zechariah 14:1-4

 

 

RETURN TO ACTS INDEX

RETURN TO MASTER INDEX