Believers' Response: Proclaimed Among the Nations
"but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
Most of us have a favorite subject: ourselves. When we hear of someone being sick, we immediately think of an illness we once fought. If someone has a new grandchild, it is hard to resist the temptation to pull out the 8 X 10's you've got in your purse to show them your grandchildren, isn't it? Have you ever noticed how easy it is to have a "what's in it for me" attitude?
Jesus' prophecy in Acts 1:8 flies in the face of that natural attitude. Notice that I called His statements a prophecy. This passage is not a command, telling Christians what they should do it is a prophecy telling us what we will do when empowered by the Spirit. This text says, that when the Spirit's power falls upon the disciples they will be witnesses both here and there. Amazing! Those of you with a strong Biblical background know that the prophecy was fulfilled. God's people stopped talking about themselves and started talking about Him and they did it throughout the world. It is part of the "mystery of godliness" that people will be so consumed with the gospel that they spread the news everywhere.
This morning I want us to consider the witnessing patterns of the First Century Church, first notice:
The Completed Work of Jesus.
The great High Priest never sat down on the Day of Atonement until his work was finished. Using the imagery of the Old Testament Priest, Hebrews 1:3 depicts the completed work of Christ "When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (NASB) Jesus' work is not in process, it is finished!
His completed work made Salvation Possible
Acts 4:12 makes it crystal clear. "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."
His completed work also made evangelism a priority.
Let's look at the context for Acts 1:8: And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:6-8 NASB)
The disciples asked a question about the end times and Jesus redirected their attention to a task at hand. It is easy to become fascinated with a future that no one can control and miss today's opportunity.
Please also notice:
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