Acts (Part 1)

My prayer has been and will continue to be for God to transform lives in our city. I want people to know God and to walk in the salvation and truth that He has provided them. I want to be a church that is having significant impact on our city because we are faithful to walk in the power of the Spirit. God continues to stir my heart for a move of God in our city. I want to see the lost found, the blind see, the lame walk, the terminal healed, those bound in addiction freed, and the broken restored.

As I have said before, we are not going to preach a powerless Gospel. We are going to follow the example of Jesus and do exactly what He showed the Apostles to do. He has given us authority to preach the Kingdom of God, to heal the sick, and to cast out demons. God has called Resonate Church to minister this way to our city and we have experienced some of these things over our time here in Sioux Falls. He has been building our faith so that we will see these happen on a daily basis. There is no better place to learn this than in the book of Acts. There were never more challenges and opposition for the church to advance the Kingdom of God than when the church first started after the death and resurrection of Jesus. I believe God is going to do a powerful work in these weeks ahead and I pray that we will have fresh revelation from His Word and a fresh outpouring of His Spirit in our lives.

I. The pattern of Jesus’s ministry

Luke 4:1: Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,

Jesus’s ministry began after He was baptized by John. He was filled with the the power of the Holy Spirit at his baptism and was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Everything Jesus did in ministry on earth was done through the power of the Holy Spirit. He did this so that we can pattern our lives after His.

Why did Jesus perform miracles?

John 10:24-25: The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name.

The miracles were proof that He was ministering on behalf of the Father and that He was the Son of God.

Luke 9:1-2: One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Jesus gave the disciples power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Why did he do this? Because He gave us a pattern to follow in order to fulfill the Great Commission.

This validates the message of the cross and the power of the resurrection. People cannot deny God’s existence when we walk in His power and authority.

John 1:32-34: Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”

There are two baptism that every believer needs to experience.

Water Baptism

  • Our public declaration that we are alliance with Jesus.

  • We are dying to old man and are being raised to new life in Christ.

Baptism with the Holy Spirit

  • The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

  • This what empowers us to live the Christian life and to minister in the power of God.

II. Jesus’s last message to the Apostles

Luke 24:44-49: Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

The book of Acts is just a continuation of the Gospel of Luke, both having been written by Luke.

Jesus appears to the disciples and reminds them of what the Scriptures said pertaining to His death and resurrection. He also mentions that this Gospel message was to be proclaimed to all nations beginning in Jerusalem. They were the key witnesses to the life and ministry of Jesus and they would be the ones to proclaim this message and establish the church that Jesus would return for.

He also knew that this was an impossible task to accomplish without the power of the Holy Spirit. He tells them to stay in Jerusalem until they had received the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:1-5: In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

We know that Jesus was on earth for forty days after He rose from the dead. He spent these forty days giving the Apostles further instruction of what they were to do.

He appeared to them several times to prove to them that He was actually alive. This is a powerful point - if we are not convinced that Jesus rose from the dead, then everything the cross provides for us has no value to our lives.

He continued to teach the about the Kingdom of God. He commanded them to stay in Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is important to a believer’s life. How were they going to know when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit?

Acts 1:6-11: So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

The Apostles were still focused on the wrong thing. They wanted God to free Israel. Jesus wanted them to fulfill the Great Commission so that He could come back for the church.

What is the purpose of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?

The purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is to empower His followers to be witnesses of the message of the cross, telling everyone starting in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, Samaria and throughout the earth.

We have been commissioned to make disciples and we cannot achieve that without the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Apostles watch Jesus descend into heaven. I love what the two angels say. “Why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

We are not to just sit back and wait for Jesus to return. We need to advance His Kingdom until He returns!

III. United in Prayer

Acts 1:12-14: Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

The Apostles did what they only knew to do. They followed Jesus’s instructions and waited in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit was poured out. There were 120 believers who gathered together and were constantly united in prayer.

We may not know exactly how God is going to do His work, but we will be ready as for what He does as we stay untied together in prayer.

Take time to pray for God to pour His Spirit over our church and over our city. God wants us to be a church that operates in His power and authority. We don’t need great programs to reach people in our city. We need God’s power. God’s salvation is not just the forgiveness of sin but also healing and deliverance. We need to invite God to do whatever He needs to help us individually in these days ahead, so that we can be ready for the move of His Spirit in our city.