#ChurchOnMission Series
  • At His ascension, Jesus commissioned his disciples to preach his gospel. That same mission continues today, unbroken and unhindered for almost 2,000 years since. The book of Acts is an encouragement for the church today as Christians contend for the gospel of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. How did the disciples begin executing the biggest mission in the history of the world? The Bible says that while waiting for the Holy Spirit, they devoted themselves to prayer—they talked to God. The apostles led by following Scripture—through it, God responded. Consequently, the early church experienced success—but not without undergoing failure first. What can we learn from what they did? Join us Sunday ACTS #churchonmission.
2. The Means of the Mission - The Role of The Holy Spirit Acts 1:4-14
  • Jesus promised to give the Church His Holy Spirit to empower them to share the gospel with all people.
Talk it Over Discussion Guide 
  • Interpretation - What is the text telling/showing us?
    • Describe the Holy Spirit. Remember, the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead. He is fully God. 
    • How does the Holy Spirit guide one into truth? Why would that be particularly useful in the early church? 
    • Why did the Apostles (and why do we) need the Holy Spirit? 
    • What does it mean to be baptized in the Holy Spirit? 
    • Does the Holy Spirit “come upon” each and every believer?
  • Implementation - What should the listeners response be?
    • What was the Holy Spirit's role to be for the Apostles? What is the Holy Spirit's role with the church in general? With our church? 
    • How can we, both individually and as the church, be empowered by the Holy Spirit?
    • As you think about your answer, ask God to impress on you how you should respond in your every day life, and what things you perhaps should be doing differently. Then ask Him for the strength and heart to obey what He reveals to you.
Sermon Teaching Notes (as compiled by Pastor Dick Murphy)
  • Investigation - What's generally going on in this area of scripture?
As we noted in the last lesson, the first eight verses of the first chapter of Acts provides some details about what happened over the period when Jesus remained on earth after His resurrection and prior to His ascension. He spent time with the Apostles, speaking about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3b), and instructed them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit to come (Acts 1:4). Verse 6 indicates that the apostles asked Jesus if He was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel. As good Jews, they had been taught that the prophets foretold of such a restoration, and now that Jesus was alive again, it seems reasonable that they should ask if the time was now.

Notice that Jesus did not directly answer the question, nor did He show any impatience towards the apostles. Instead, He basically said, “That's not for you to know; God the Father has that under control and it will happen when the time is right.” But He went on to commission them to their (and our!) earthly mission, namely to be His witnesses – to speak of who He is, of His death and resurrection, and of His Lordship, and to do so worldwide. (Acts 1:8) After Jesus' ascension, the Apostles obeyed His instruction, returned to and stayed in Jerusalem. They gathered in an upstairs room with the women, Jesus' mother and brothers, and others – a total of about 120 believers (Acts 1:13-15). Together they prayed and waited. Specifically, they waited for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, knowing that Jesus had said the gift would be given “in a few days.” (Acts 1:5b)

Before His crucifixion, Jesus had taught the Apostles them about the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity). He taught that the Holy Spirit is a Counselor (John 14:16, 25; 15:26; 16:7) who would be with them forever, that He is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:12), that He will teach them all things and remind them of what Jesus had taught them (John 14:25), that He will testify of Jesus (John 15:26), that He will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11), and that He will bring glory to Jesus and take what is from Jesus and make it known to them. In the record in Acts 1, Jesus adds some more detail by saying they will be “baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5), that the Holy Spirit will “come upon” them (Acts 1:8), and that they will receive power from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).

With all this teaching from Jesus, one wonders if the 120 in that upstairs room were remembering it and talking about the Holy Spirit as they waited. So, Jesus had outlined the mission for His church and given the Apostles the focus of the mission, namely Himself. And He had confirmed the promise that God the Father would be giving them the means by which they could carry out the mission – the Holy Spirit. They would not be alone; they would not have to carry out the mission on their own strength and under their own power. They would be able to accomplish the mission fully equipped to the task. All they had to do was wait, surely a difficult thing to do it would seem. What would happen? What did Jesus mean that they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit?