Acts #1: Even without Jesus on earth, his work extends throughout the world Acts 1 v1-11
title : Acts #1: Even without Jesus on earth, his work extends throughout the world Acts 1 v1-11
Renens on January 17, 2021
In a very rainy autumn,
the Lutschine overflowed its banks to the point that you could hear its roar as far as Isenfluh, 400 m above.
Hence the thought of constantly renewed floods of Christ’s and His Grace.
Jonah – Chapter 3
1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time:
2 “Get up, go to Nineveh, the great city, and proclaim there what I command you.”
3 Jonah got up and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.
Now Nineveh was a huge city:
it took three days to walk around it.
4 Jonah first marched in the city for a day; he proclaimed:
“In 40 days, Nineveh will be destroyed!”
5 The people of Nineveh believed in God.
They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth, from the largest to the smallest.
6 The king of Nineveh heard the news. He rose from his throne, took off his cloak, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat down on the ashes.
7 And he caused this proclamation to be made in Nineveh:
“By order of the king and his guards,
let men and beasts, oxen and sheep taste nothing, eat and drink no water!
8 Let men and beasts be covered with sackcloth,
let them cry out to God with strength,
and let them all renounce their evil conduct and the acts of violence of which their hands are guilty!
9 Who knows if God will not change his mind and reconsider his decision
if he will not give up his fiery anger so that we do not die?”
10 God saw what they were doing, he saw that they renounced their evil conduct.
Then God regretted the evil with which he had threatened them and did not do it.
Word of Jesus
7 Likewise, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who do not need to change their attitude.
9 The Lord is not slow in fulfilling the promise, as some think; instead, he is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.
What is in Acts?
Clearly following the Gospel of Luke,
the Acts of the Apostles relate
- the events following the death and ascension of Jesus
- and therefore the beginnings of the Church,
- A particular interest is in two apostles: Peter and Paul.
Extension of the Gospel
The author describes the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the known world at the time, according to the outline indicated by Jesus in Acts 1.8 .
It concludes with Paul’s detention in Rome (AD 60-62).
Title of the book
The titles of our Bible books are not inspired by the Holy Spirit. Men gave the titles of the Bible books for easy navigation.
For the Acts of the Apostles, the Acts of the Holy Spirit could also have been chosen as a title.
The Acts of the Holy Spirit
His common presence to the disciples of Christ is a novelty in history.
I have a question.
Are you struck dead when you lie to a church leader?
2. flame of fire
At the time of your conversion to Christ, did a flame of fire position itself above your head?
3. speaking in tongues
At that time, did you begin to speak particularly difficult languages perfectly (Swiss German or Romanesh)?
4. viper bite
Are you sure everything will be fine?
5. if a viper bites you.
No need to bother the ER and Rega with that?
Yet the book of Acts shows us this in the lives of the disciples.
And it doesn’t match our reality
- Would God lie to us? Nope
- This part of the Bible would not be inspired. Nope
- We are not good enough disciples. Yes, but that is not the problem.
The book of Acts tells us what happened.
It is a narrative text.
Who tells a story?
With purpose, it shows us the beginning
- from the church
- and expansion of the gospel
Not a standard
What happens if there is no norm?
In the sense that we should literally live now.
But others are and yet some aspects like being witnesses of Christ near and far
are part of the road map of all followers of Christ.
So how do we sort?
- What is descriptive, and useful for our instruction
- And what is descriptive and what we must live now
It is very simple. Illustrated descriptive text illustrates truths about God or men.
Ananias and Sapphira’s lie that ends in instant death
Emphasizes the importance of truth in the family of God.
The description must live now.
And that we must live now is taken up clearly
- in the words of Jesus
- or in the epistles.
There we have to live it.
Acts 1 / 8 invites us to be witnesses of the Gospel
- It’s a word of Jesus.
- It is also taken up by Him at the end of the book of Matthew.
- The destination of the epistles shows this normative side.
It’s a standard
Why Jesus and the disciples?
Why check against the lyrics ot
- And apostles?
- Jesus is the basis of our redeemed lives
- The apostles had the role of transcribing
- basics of faith
- of the life of the Church of Christ
- basics of faith
20 You were built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ himself is the cornerstone.
What is the use of this information?
Why am I pissing you off with these details?
Quite simply because the slight differences between different types of evangelical Church come frequently
- in what we believe, especially about the Holy Spirit
- Or in what is practised in the local church, speaking in tongues and healing in a normative way
These differences come largely from understanding the book of Acts.
This is more than a problem of identity but of faith. The problem is not only an aspect of the identity of different churches but that a misunderstanding can cause
- question the faith
- Masking the object of our faith; Christ for secondary things
- if I don’t speak other languages
- If I don’t heal anyone (in parenthesis it’s God who heals, not men)
- Either someone is questioning my faith
- Either I question my faith
- See worse, I question Christ
This is a misunderstanding.
While the central problem
- is a misunderstanding of the Bible.
The problem is not
- nor your faith
- Neither Christ
- Misinterpretation & Application of the Word
- And a bad lesson.
We will therefore always have to look
- the words of Jesus
- or in the epistles
to see if what is described is still
- for us
- For our news
and not specific to this particular period of the beginning of the Church.
Acts chapter 1
1 Dear Théophile, in my first book,
(Which we know as the Gospel of Luke)
I talked about all that Jesus began to do and teach
2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven after having given his orders, by the Holy Spirit, to the apostles whom he had chosen.
3 After suffering,
he presented himself to them alive and gave them many proofs of it: for 40 days he appeared to them and spoke concerning the kingdom of God.
4 While he was with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised,
“What I told you,” he said to them, “
5 for John baptized with water,
in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 While the apostles were assembled, they asked him:
“Lord, is that when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He answered them:
“It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has set by his own authority.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Matters of Joy
And in this morning’s text,
there are 2 subjects of joy that are communicated to us:
- Christ’s victory over death
- And the imminent baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Christ’s victory over death by his resurrection.
It is a fundamental aspect of our faith
If not death
If Jesus Christ is not dead,
- The punishment for sin
- The Righteous Wrath of God,
- His judgment,
Were not made in relation to sin.
That would always have to be done.
If not the resurrection,
If Jesus Christ did not resurrect,
then there is no victory over death and therefore over sin.
These 2 aspects are commonly attacked, indeed if one or the other were not true. All faith in Christ would be empty. However, Jesus died & rose again
What Luke reminds us here is fundamental.
- Jesus is indeed dead
- Jesus has indeed risen. (to be resurrected you have to be dead first)
The Epistles also recall the same thing.
Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures;
4 he was buried and rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures.
5 Then he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6 After that he appeared to over 500 brothers and sisters at once, most of whom are still alive and a few of whom are dead.
The apostle could not write nonsense because he wrote it during the lifetime of many witnesses.
May this certainty fill us with well-founded joy, deep and contagious.
And also, the imminent baptism of the Holy Spirit.
In the history of mankind, before the victory of Christ
God equipped with men the Holy Spirit,
one or other of his servants (prophets, kings, or others) to accomplish the mission assigned to them.
But there was never any question of giving it so generously.
Baptism of John
Here Jesus compares:
- Baptism of John
- With the future baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Thus, can we understand that
- Just as the repentant were immersed in the Jordan, with John the Baptist
- Disciples will be immersed in the person of the Holy Spirit
However, there is something more and new that Jesus indicates:
- More complete
- More general
Looking into the epistles
And indeed, if we look at the first epistle to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 12:13 , it says exactly the same thing.
13 For whether we are Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, we have all been baptized in one Spirit into one body.
what was specific
- More complete
- a standard
- and a divine bond to all followers of Christ.
Huge privilege to do what?
An immense privilege that equips the believer not to have superpowers but to make a superkingdom and to accomplish the mission that Jesus assigns to his disciples.
Be people who
- & announce
the gospel, near and far.
If there is a verse to which we must pay particular attention it is this verse 8:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Understanding of the book
This verse is both a grid for understanding the mission order of the book of Acts and at the same time, the road map of the disciples of Christ.
It’s a Founding Verse and for us, a Biblical Action, for it is one of the 3 founding verses of the AB mission
Understanding what this verse tells us:
1. The Holy Spirit is going to be God’s special helper to witness Christ
- throughout Judea,
- in Samaria
- and to the ends of the earth
2. The arrival of the Holy Spirit & the Gospel
What we are going to discover by reading the book of Acts,
it is at the same time
- The arrival of the Holy Spirit in these 4 geographical dimensions
- The Gospel arrives in these 4 geographical dimensions.
Peter to Witness, Paul the Link to the Expansion
It is the apostle Peter who will be the witness of these arrivals for a little while.
Then, after this inaugural phase,
the apostle who is the link to the expansion of the gospel is Paul.
The Gospel Must Spread
This means that the gospel must reach all these spheres.
Paul will not stay only in Jerusalem or Judea if necessary,
Where we could make our little kingdom
- But even though the Samaritans hated the Jews
- Even among his pagans in the Roman Empire, see even further among the Barbarians
Corroborate in the Gospels and Epistles
- the gospels,
- but especially the epistles which testify to this expansion,
Let Us Do the same
- By taking up the invitation to take this mission for ourselves,
- By following this the roadmap of being witnesses with the same ambition.
In the 4 Geographical Locations:
- Local, the city, (Jerusalem for the disciples)
- Regional, cantonal, agglomeration (Judea)
- Further, why not confederal, national, European (Samaria)
- And much further, far beyond our borders. (end of the earth)
Obviously, we can not be present on all these fronts at the same time.
But it’s a good source of inspiration to have at heart
- to not only look at local needs
- or conversely, think that the mission of the Gospel is necessarily far away
We receive a lot of requests from the Christian world and cannot respond to everything.
Rather helpful, would be to answer it in a balanced way
Local, Regional, National, and International
Likewise, for the local assembly, our gaze, our interest is it only
- When do we abandon the local aspect for the distant?
Good vision for the expansion of the gospel
God invites us to have the expansion of the gospel at heart.
- in a complete way
- and balanced
At the origin of AB
This was the origin of Biblical Action
Mr Alexander was committed to the distribution
- from the bible
- and the gospel
in all its dimensions.
You will find this starting story
on the local church website.
And the following hymn was composed with this verse in mind as well.
Acts chapter 1
9 Having said this, He rose in the air while they looked at him and a cloud hid him from their eyes. 10
And as they were looking towards heaven while he was going away, two men dressed in white appeared to them
11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing at the sky?
This Jesus who was taken up to heaven from among you will return in the same way as you saw him go to heaven.
It is now up to the disciples to do.
Jesus leaves the hand to the disciples for the proclamation of the gospel
It’s up to them
Jesus will complete this period upon his return.
2 Things to Remember
But the ascension of Jesus to Heaven reminds us of 2 things.
He is divine
and after being
some of his divine prerogatives to accomplish His mission of salvation
He joins the Father to rediscover the full expression of his divinity.
The descriptions of glorious Jesus,
like at the beginning of the book of Revelation
shows the divine greatness of Christ now.
2. Return Certain
And his return is certain.
time can pass, but for those who awaited the coming of the Messiah, Jesus’s
return is certain.
God, through Christ, will have the end of the story of mankind.
He is the winner.
So let’s rejoice for this perfect, complete work of our Sovereign God.
God does not build as you go.
He knows exactly how things should be done.
And He integrates us into this magnificent plan.
In the end,
It is Christ who is victorious.
May this motivate us even more for the gospel
1. The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, concerning all that Jesus began both to do and to teach,
2. until the day in which he was received up, after that he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3. To whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God:
4. and, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, [said he], ye heard from me:
5. For John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence.
6. They therefore, when they were come together, asked him, saying, Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
7. And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority.
8. But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9. And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10. And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11. who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven.
12. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is nigh unto Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey off.
13. And when they were come in, they went up into the upper chamber, where they were abiding; both Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas [the son] of James.
14. These all with one accord continued stedfastly in prayer, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
15. And in these days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren, and said (and there was a multitude of persons [gathered] together, about a hundred and twenty),
16. Brethren, it was needful that the Scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus.
17. For he was numbered among us, and received his portion in this ministry.
18. (Now this man obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
19. And it became known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch that in their language that field was called Akeldama, that is, The field of blood.)
20. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be made desolate, And let no man dwell therein: and, His office let another take.
21. Of the men therefore that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us,
22. beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection.
23. And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show of these two the one whom thou hast chosen,
25. to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place.
26. And they gave lots for them; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Related Links / Notes
Study Notes are translated from the original French version prepared by the pastor Patrice Berger. The orginal French notes are in “note” form, and are not a direct transcription of the video, however they are quite close the original text preached at the church. The notes provided here follow that form, and are detailed enough to help provide a deep understanding of the texts in the book of Acts of the Apostles.
All services as well as some of the bible studies are streamed on the channel YouTube église AB Renens-Lausanne. Also visit the You Tube channel of the Swiss Action Biblique Youth Groups (JAB Suisse Romande)/ Facebook.
Bible verses in the study link to the ASV bible. In addition to the ASV Bible , other versions of the Bible are also available on our website (KJV, Basic English and Darby as well as the Webster version and Young’s Bible on the Action Biblique Suisse website.
The King James Version is available as an audio bible Podcast which can be accessed below.