Final Instruction Before Leaving

The Gospel of Luke ended with an introduction to Luke’s second book, Acts of the Apostles. Acts summarize and expand on Jesus’ words in Luke.

Just as Luke addressed Theophilus in Luke, he did so in Acts. Theophilus means “friend of God,” and may have referred to an individual or a group of lovers of God.

Acts 1.1-5In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning

Until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me;

“For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The risen Jesus encountered his disciples on several occasions for forty days. There was one time when over 500 people saw the risen Lord (1 Corinthians 15.6).

While Jesus was with his followers, the Holy Spirit empowered him to instruct the apostles about the kingdom of God and their role in it.

The emphasis on the Holy Spirit is significant. Jesus began his ministry only after the Holy Spirit came upon him at his baptism. The disciples were to wait for the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance before they began their work.

Application

The Bible is a living document and applicable to every age. Our mission is the same as the first followers of Jesus.

The kingdom of God is as real today, as it was when Jesus was teaching the apostles. The power and direction of the Holy Spirit are available for today’s disciples.

We can learn at the feet of Jesus through the Bible and the presence of the Spirit. As we learn, we will engage the people around us with the good news of God’s love.

Questions

There were many questions the disciples wanted to ask Jesus, but their messianic hopes were at the forefront.

Acts 1.6-8So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set 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, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

There are some things that are not for us to know. On the other hand, there are some things that we must know.

The time for the restoration of Israel is not for us to know. The command to witness in the power of the Holy Spirit should be known and practiced.

A witness is someone who tells what they know about an event. We are not “salesmen” for Jesus. We are witnesses, and there is a difference.

A witness experiences something and tells other people what has happened. The Holy Spirit will help us, and he will use our words to help others experience God’s loving work.

I pray that everyone who takes the time to read my blog will also be filled with the Spirit and active witnessing to what Jesus has done for them.

Ascended

Paul wrote, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

“Even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

“And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2.4-6).

How can Jesus raise us up and enable us to sit with him in heavenly places? He is able to do so because he first was raised up and seated in a position of power.

Acts 1.9-11When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.

They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Isaiah 53 provided a commentary on the death of Jesus some 700 years before it took place. Isaiah also prophesied of Jesus’ exaltation.

When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
(Isaiah 53.10b-12)

A New Study – 1 and 2 Corinthians

Please join me tomorrow for a new study in 1 Corinthians. Rudy Ross and I will continue the daily video presentations on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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