July 8 - Worship and Witness (Acts 1:1-11)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
Levi Regalado will continue teaching Encounters with Christ in the youth room. This study considers the interactions that Jesus has with different individuals throughout the four gospels.
Nik Lingle and Phillip Taylor will continue teaching through the book of Revelation in the Adult 1 classroom.
1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
4 And while staying 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 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.”
The book of Acts is unique in that it traces the incredible work of the Holy Spirit in the young and inexperienced church. In these 28 chapters we see the Gospel move and spread like a flame across Asia and Europe. Over the next six weeks, through various passages in Acts, we will be reminded of the characteristics of the mission of the church. I want us to be refreshed in our identity as 'witnesses' of Jesus and the Gospel to the very ends of the earth. As you read through this passage you will see that the church is clearly not a building or even an institution, but a movement of people, saved by Grace, lovers of God and called to a mission of declaring the saving work of Jesus.
Review and Apply
How do you tend to reduce or shrink the gospel? Do you individualize it, trivialize it (i.e. just getting out of hell)?
Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses." What does it mean to be a witness?
What is your most common excuse for not being a witness? (for example, fear of others, don't have time, not gifted, etc.)
In the last week, how did your life witness to the truth of the gospel in word AND deed?
In what ways have you contributed to the nations hearing of the gospel? How can this increase?
How does Jesus' ascension increase our confidence to be a witness?
In what ways can others hold you accountable to be a more active witness?