ACTS 1 - CHRIST'S CONTINUED MINISTRY

Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved


The Continuation of Christ's Ministry

A. The completion of a former record - Acts 1:1-2

The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. (Acts 1:1-2)

B. The commandments of a risen Christ - Acts 1:3-8

To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:3-8)

C. The culmination of an earthly ministry - Acts 1:9-11. Jesus ascended literally, visibly, and bodily. He will return again in the same manner per 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11)

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

The Commencement of the Christian Church

A. The gathering of the church - Acts 1:12-14  A "Sabbath day's journey" was less than two miles.

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying; that is, 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. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. (Acts 1:12-14)

B. The re-organization of the church - Acts 1:15-26

And at this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, "Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. "For he was counted among us, and received his portion in this ministry." (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) "For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'LET HIS HOMESTEAD BE MADE DESOLATE, AND LET NO MAN DWELL IN IT'; and, 'HIS OFFICE LET ANOTHER MAN TAKE.' "It is therefore necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us--beginning with the baptism of John, until the day that He was taken up from us-- one of these should become a witness with us of His resurrection." And they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, "Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two Thou hast chosen to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place." And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:15-26)

Reasons why the selection of Mathias may have been wrong:

1. They were told to wait, not act. - Acts 1:4

And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; (Acts 1:4)

2. Paul declared that he was the twelfth apostle - 1 Corinthians 15:7-11

then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. (1 Corinthians 15:7-11)

3. Casting lots has never been the method of the Holy Spirit in other decisive situations.

4. They asked the Lord to bless what they had done in selecting two men.

Study Questions

1. Who wrote the Book of Acts? (compare - Acts 1:1 with Luke 1:1-4)

The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, (Acts 1:1)

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word have handed them down to us, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you might know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1-4)

2. What are three proofs of the resurrection of Christ that were important to the disciples? - Acts 1:3-4

To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; (Acts 1:3-4)

3. Acts 1:8 is the key verse of the Book of Acts. What is the most important word in this verse?

but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

4. According to Acts 1:9, Jesus ascended into Heaven literally, visibly, and bodily. How will he come again? (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9)

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

5 In Acts 1:14, one of the keys to the success of the early church was that they were in "one accord." This expression is used several times in the Book of Acts. How many can you find?

These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. (Acts 1:14)

6. This book could properly be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit rather than the Acts of the Apostles. How many times is the Holy Spirit referred to in Acts 1?

7. How did the expression "blood money" refer to Judas? - Acts 1:17-19

"For he was counted among us, and received his portion in this ministry." (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) (Acts 1:17-19)


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