Ready, Steady, Go!

May 21, 2021 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Acts - The Gospel in Motion

Topic: The Gospel, The Church Scripture: Acts 1:1–11

Acts tells the story of the beginnings of the N.T. church of Jesus Christ and its development from Jerusalem to Rome. It is a thrilling and challenging book because it is the account of real people taking seriously the command of Jesus to win others to Christ.

Luke’s words about his gospel, that it contained what Jesus began to do and teach, have the strong implication that His work is not done. He was taken up into heaven, but His work on earth did not cease. Rather, His body, the church, continues to do and teach what Jesus began.

The task of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth is a daunting one. But the Lord in his mercy, from the very start in Acts 1, has provided all the necessary tools and resources to accomplish the job.

If you are a Christian, the fundamental resources you need to be faithful in bringing the Gospel to the world has already been given to you.  The Spirit has been poured out. You were baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit when you were converted.  He indwells you and inhabits you. You know sometimes I worry that we have made the work of mission and evangelism so specialized, so complex, that we fear we could never be of service in spreading the Gospel.  “I wouldn’t know what to say.  I don’t have enough Bible knowledge.  I’m no theologian.  I’m scared.”  And all of that may be true, but Jesus ascended to heavenly glory to pour out the Helper, that is, the Spirit of enabling power, so that you might be His instrument in bringing the good news about Jesus Christ to your family, to your neighbors, to your community, to your world.  The message of the ascension, you know, really is simply a call to faith in the provision of Christ.  You may not feel powerful, but the power of Christ has been given to you if you’re a Christian.  You may not feel equipped, but you are indwelt by another Helper who will work in and through you, even in and through your weaknesses, for the glory of the name of Jesus Christ.  In the end, the question is not really whether you have what it takes to be of any use in the mission of bringing the Gospel to the world.  That is not the question.  The only real question is whether you are willing to believe Christ’s words that the Holy Spirit can empower and enable and equip you to go, all your weaknesses notwithstanding.  

When Jesus returns for his church, we will stand before him, the Holy, righteous judge. And we will give an account to him for what we have done with what we have been given in this life. Will we be found faithful when he returns?

Discussion Questions

  1. How can we use the fact of Jesus’ resurrection in bearing witness?
  2. We must rely on the Spirit’s power when we witness, but we also must use persuasion (Acts 28:232 Cor. 5:11). Where’s the balance? Can we err by using too much persuasion?
  3. Is it possible to be too caught up with the study of biblical prophecy? If so, how would we know it?
  4. Is every Christian to be an evangelist, or only those so gifted? What is the difference between giftedness and responsibility?
  5. How can those in “secular” jobs be engaged in Christ’s kingdom? What does this look like in everyday terms?

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