This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on May 2nd 2021 by Colin D via zoom. For the audio please click here. To listen to the worship please click here.
Why are we here?
We’ve been going through the Resurrection appearances of Jesus. Today will look into the account of the ascension of Jesus from Acts 1:4- 11 “4 And while staying[a] with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and 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.”
Jesus gave some instructions to his disciples before his ascension. But why is the ascension important?
· Marked the end and success of Christ’s earthly ministry
· Disciples witnessed a supernatural event
· Demonstrated how Jesus would return
· Jesus is going to send the Holy Spirit soon
Today we will identify 3 things through the ascension of Jesus. Why are we on the earth? What does God want us to accomplish?
1. Remember the Purpose
Acts 1:8 gives the purpose. It is to be his witness. This instruction was given just before the ascension. We need to start witnessing in our Jerusalem first.
What is your Jerusalem? Your family, your friends, your neighbours and colleagues. This is the bare minimum.
Matthew 28:19 is the command Jesus gives us – Therefore Go and make disciples of all nations. We are called to be fishers of men. His kingdom plan is very simple, it’s a chain reaction. We need to be careful not to break our chain by not witnessing about him.
We are here because many obeyed this command. We need to get the assignment right. We might be great at our job and our role in our homes, but if we forget this assignment it is all a waste.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 says “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” God desires all to be saved. Our duty is to share the gospel we are not the saviour.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 “ that is, in Christ God was reconciling[c] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God”
In Christ God reconciled the world to himself and he entrusted that truth to us. People are looking for vaccination, but more than that they need the gospel.
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” The harvest is plentiful in India, let us rise up and get to work.
The assignment is to be his witness.
2. Receive the Power
We receive the power when the Holy Spirit comes on us. What does it mean that the Holy Spirit comes on us? How is it different from Jesus breathing on the disciples? This is referring to Baptism in the Holy Spirit – it means to be immersed in the Spirit.
Why do we need this power?
a. Power is for the purpose
b. Power equips us for the war
i. Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”
ii. We are at war with a host of enemies – “no weapon formed against you will prosper. But make no mistake, the weapon will be formed ” – Christine Caine
c. Power ignites a zeal in us
i. Peter who was locked in a room before the holy spirit came upon them spoke boldly once he received the power? The disciples were transformed – burning with zeal for Jesus.
ii. How to receive this power? When Peter and other disciples were waiting in one place (Acts 2); Cornelius and his family were baptised when Peter was preaching (Acts 10:44) and so on. So how do we get baptised today? Just ask. Luke 11:13 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” IF you are already baptised in the Holy Spirit, seek to be filled continuously.
3. Rejoice in the promise
Acts 1:11 – Jesus will come back in the same way he went into heaven – visibly and physically. In Rev 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.” With joy, we wait for his return!
Let us not forget the purpose for which we are here. In Isaiah 6 when he had an encounter with the Lord, God said whom shall I send? Isaiah responded without waiting for anyone else to show up and said, “here am I, send me”.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.