Acts 1 Christ ascends/Disciples wait

Tod Kennedy, May 16, 1999

Applications or “So what?” from Acts 1

  1. God has his own timing for his blessings; we are to practice faith-rest and faith-waiting while we press ahead with our Christian lives (Acts 1.4, 7-8, 11).
  2. The resurrection of Christ has been demonstrated by convincing proofs (Acts 1.3).
  3. We are to witness about Christ—tell others who he is and what he has done for us. This is the first mission of the church. The second is to teach and learn the Word of God (Acts 1.8).
  4. The return of Christ is just as sure, and will be in the same way, as His ascension—bodily, in clouds, in view of mankind, to bring in the visible kingdom (Acts 1.10-11).
  5. We are to concentrate on what he has revealed and press on with our Christian lives instead of speculating on what God has not chosen to reveal, such as exact dates for future events (Acts 1.6-8).
  6. The Holy Spirit was sent to give power and purpose to his church (Acts 1.8).
  7. These believers were armed with what they needed as they awaited the beginning of the church age: clear instructions about what to do (Acts 1.1,2,4,8,11,16), unity (Acts 13-14), leadership (Acts 1:13,15,21-26), the Word of God—spiritual knowledge (Acts 1:1,11,16), anticipation of future ministry (Acts 1:13-15,22), and faith-waiting for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4, 8, 13, 14).

Bible Doctrines related to Acts 1

Doctrine: Luke

  1. Scripture that speaks about Luke:
    • Acts 16.10-17; 20.5-21.18; 27.1-28.16. The “we” passages of Acts fit with Colossians 4.14 and Philemon 24. All the passages taken together tell us that Luke traveled with Paul during at least part of the missionary trips. Luke was the author of Luke and Acts. Luke was with Paul onboard the ship from Caesarea to Rome. He was even with Paul in Rome during the first Roman imprisonment (Acts 27.1-28.16).
    • Colossians 4.14. Luke was a physician and well loved. Luke knew many of the same believers that Paul knew.
    • Philemon 24. Luke was one of Paul’s fellow workers (sunergo~).
    • 2 Timothy 4.11. He stayed with Paul in Rome throughout Paul’s second imprisonment, probably risking personal danger to himself.
    • He wrote Luke and Acts (Luke 1.1-4 with Acts 1.1, the “we” passages of Acts, the medical references, and the notes in Col 4.14 and Philemon 24.
  2. A summary of Luke’s history:
    • He was a physician. Paul and others loved Luke—in the divine love sense and personal friendship love sense. This indicates that Luke was orientated to God, to Bible doctrine, to grace, to life, and to people.
    • Luke was very loyal to his friend, apostle, and co-worker Paul. He stayed with Paul during the difficult and dangerous times. Luke, therefore, must have had a strong and virtuous character.
    • Luke was a member of Paul’s team. He had a very effective ministry, though he was not a professional pastor-teacher or missionary or evangelist or youth director or song leader.
    • Luke was Paul’s physician, right hand man, and God’s historian for the early church age.
    • Luke and Titus were possibly brothers (2 Corinthians 8.16-24; 12.18; Galatians 2.3).
  3. Principles for faith application:
    • The clergy laity distinction is a false distinction. People other than “professional ministers” are necessary and productive in God’s plan. These believers are fellow workers with communicators of the Word. Together, they do God’s work.
    • Luke illustrates that teamwork in the ministry brings results in the ministry. Believers work together and accomplish more; the communicator has the time to study and teach; believers with spiritual gifts have opportunities to serve together. Camaraderie and mutual support develop.
    • Spiritual endurance and loyalty benefit believers and the ministry. The team members that really helped out Paul are those who stayed with him through the most difficult times and did not try to compete with him for his job, his authority, or his people. Luke subordinated other careers and used his abilities for Lord, not just for himself. Careers, fame, and fortune are unimportant compared to serving the Father at the right time and in the right place.
    • We all have spiritual gifts, ministries, and effects. We must use our gifts and ministries for the Father. He will produce the effects. We have the privilege and opportunity as priests to serve God.
    • God also uses believers with professional education and training for his service. Remember that Luke was a physician and an historian. Whatever your education, training, profession, or vocation may be, God wants to use you.

Doctrine: Baptism of the Holy Spirit

  1. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the act by which God the Holy Spirit indwells a person the moment he believes in Christ and by this indwelling identifies and unites the believer with Christ and his spiritual body, the church (1 Corinthians 12.13; Ephesians 1.23).
  2. Jesus prophesied the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Matthew 3.11; Mark 1.8; Luke 3.16; John 1.33.
  3. Jesus said that the baptism of the Holy Spirit would occur after his ascension. It was therefore not a part of the age of Israel, but was the fundamental and basic sign of the church age (Acts 1.5).
  4. The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred and was explained in Acts 11.15-16.  Peter said that this was what Jesus had spoken about in Acts 1.5.
  5. The baptism of the Holy Spirit happens at the moment one believes in Christ and it happens to every church age believer. You cannot be a believer and in the church apart from the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11.17; 1 Corinthians 12.13).
  6. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a fact, not an experience. It is not something that is felt or has confirming signs. It is an act of God that occurs at the moment a person believes in Christ.
    • It is supernatural.
    • It is not an experience.
    • It cannot be improved upon.
    • It is complete and perfect when it happens.
    • It is not evidenced by signs.
    • It is revealed only by the Word of God.
    • It is the basis for the supernatural Christian life.

Doctrine: Ministries of the Holy Spirit

  1. He convicts the unbeliever of his need for salvation (John 16.8-11). He convinces about sin—we are guilty before God, about Christ’s righteousness and our need for it, and about judgment that falls on those who disbelieve in Christ.
  2. He does at least five spiritual services for a person the moment one believes in Christ—regenerates (Titus 3.5), indwells (1 Corinthians 6.19), baptizes (1 Corinthians 12.13), seals (Ephesians 1.13), and gives a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12.11).
  3. He carries out spiritual service for every believer–assures of salvation (Romans 8.16), fills (Ephesians 5.18), teaches (John 14.26), guides (Romans 8.14), glorifies Christ (John 16.14), prays for believers (Romans 8.26-27), produces the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22-23), and gives the ability to live without giving in to the old sin nature (Galatians 5.16-17).