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The Promises of Christ (Acts 1:1-1)

February 12, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon revealed that the power of God the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary to accomplish anything for God. Pastor Carter reminds us of our need and dependence on God’s provision. The focus of this sermon is on the faithfulness of Christ in making three promises to His disciples before he left:  The Promise of the Holy Spirit; The Promise of the Witness; The Promise of Christ Return.

Acts Series

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. (Acts 1:4-5; ESV).”

God is always faithful. There are many examples of His faithfulness throughout Scripture, from His delivering the children of Israel from Egypt to His providing an ultimate Seed to atone for the sin of Adam. Here we see yet another testimony of His faithfulness in Christ’s promise to His disciples that He would send the power from Heaven to fit them for the task given them. But, much like the patriarchs before them, they would have to wait on God’s timing not theirs, in the matter in which He prescribed, namely, staying Jerusalem. Since it was a promise, they were not only to wait, but also to anticipate the glorious baptism of the Holy Spirit, and when He came He would identify them as God did with Christ.

The Promise of the Witness

So when they had come together, they asked him, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:6-8; ESV).

The promise of the Holy Spirit was also a promise unto witnessing. Pastor Carter described three important things about this witness, The Power for this Witness: Holy Spirit; The Person of the Witness: Jesus Christ; and The Pattern of the Witness: Here, There, and Everywhere. The Holy Spirit provided the early Church with the power they needed to accomplish what Christ called them to do, and for this reason, they had to wait for God’s provision. Secondly, the ministry of the Holy Spirit was and still is to make much of Christ, not of Himself. Lastly, we see when you get the power of the Spirit, and you understand that power comes upon you for the witness of Christ, you begin to witness here (i.e. home), and as you become effective at home you go there (i.e. local area, neighborhood, job, community), and then if you have a heart for the things of Christ, you want to tell all the world what He has done for you.

The Promise of Christ’s Return

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.(Acts 1:9-11; ESV)?

The great motivation of the early church was based on two realities, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His return. These are the two realities that the early Church staked their lives and witness upon, the promise that Christ will return. How did He go up? He went up gloriously! He went up unexpectedly!  How will He return?  He will return unexpectedly! He will return gloriously!

Will you be ready when The Lord returns?

Many of us can agree that waiting is difficult for us. Don’t run out and call yourself doing your thing for God; wait until God has really done His thing in you; slow down and wait until the Holy Spirit comes and guides you into these truths. If you believe the Lord has called you to a ministry, you should wait until He has actually prepared and filled you so that ministry can be fruitful (cf. Moses).

God’s timing is rarely our timing, therefore, it is necessary to always seek to be patient and wait on the Lord, anticipating the fulfillment of His promises. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an identification, marking you out for the One in whom you have baptized, to which, you are no longer your own, you belong to Him.

How do you know you belong to Him (Rom. 8:16)? His Spirit will bear witness to your spirit that you belong to Christ. The Spirit comes to make much of Jesus and empower us to do the same. Understand that Christ promised that He would be raised from the grave and He did; He also promises He will return. How do I get ready? Great question, you live your life standing on the promises of Christ, believing that there is salvation in no else, but Jesus Christ and Him alone (Acts 4:12)!

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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