April 28, 2019
Pastor John Welborn
The Movement: A Journey with Theophilus
The Mission of the Movement
“The Gospels model the Christian life as lived by the perfect Man; Acts models it as lived out by imperfect men.” Kent Hughes
“Luke had to build a bridge between his Gospel & the Book of Acts. At the close of his Gospel, he had left the believers in the temple, praising God. Now he had to pick up the story & explain what happened next.” Warren Wiersbe
“In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do & teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days & speaking about the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:1-3
Church: The church is the ekklesia (called out assembly) categorized by two expressions 1) Universal Church (historical & present worldwide) & 2) Local Church (individual congregations like Salem Church).
Main Idea: The Church is a Movement of Witnesses Empowered to Fulfill the Mission of God!
“So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, & you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem & in all Judea & Samaria, & to the end of the earth.’ And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, & a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, & said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’” Acts 1:6-11
Two Essential Steps to Fulfilling the Mission of God:
I. Repent of Misplaced Priorities
“A dispute arose among them (the disciples), as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, & those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, & the leader as one who serves.” Luke 22:24-26
“She (mother of James & John) said to him, ‘Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand & one at your left, in your kingdom.’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking...to sit at my right hand & at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.’” Matthew 20:21b-22a, 23b
• Personal Priorities: We tend to make our highest priorities our personal health, family, wealth & comfort.
• Local Church Priorities: Pet ministries, attractive buildings, music preferences, accessible amenities & keeping everybody happy become a priority.
II. Invite Jesus to Reset our Priorities
“...Go into all the world & proclaim the gospel...” Mark 16:15
“...Repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:47b-48
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” John 20:21b
“...you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem & in all Judea & Samaria, & to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8b
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for Everyone, Everywhere!
• The Urgency of the Mission
“To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go & bury my father. And Jesus said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go & proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Yet another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow & looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:59-62
“The Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.” F.H. Henry
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, & you will be my witnesses...” Acts 1:8a
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:9-11
Just as sure as Jesus is Alive, the Holy Spirit will Empower you to Join His movement & Fulfill His Mission!
Sources and Further Reading Opportunities:
• Bible Exposition Commentary – Warren Wiersbe (1996)
• Holman NT Commentary: Acts – Kenneth O. Gangel (1998)
• Preaching the Word: Acts – Kent R. Hughes (1996)
• New Bible Commentary – D.A. Carson (1994)
• New American Commentary Series: Acts – John B. Polhill (1992)
• Daily Study Bible Series: Acts of the Apostles – William Barclay (1976)
• Word Pictures in the New Testament – A.T. Robertson (1933)
• MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Acts 1-12 – John MacArthur (1994) • The IVP Bible Background Commentary – Craig s. Keener (1993)
• When God Moves, His People get Desperate – Vance Pitman (2015)