Acts 1: The Holy Spirit Leads You To The Truth

Acts 1 tells us how the Church of Jesus Christ began. At the end of Matthew Jesus gives us the great commission and then returns to heaven.

Before that, Jesus had stated that he needed to return so the Holy Spirit could come. Jesus is a physical being, while the Holy Spirit is Omnipresent, and besides that, Jesus needed to return to heaven and be our advocate.

The early days of the church were an exciting time for Christians. The promise God had given them a couple of millennia before was finally happening.

And God was speaking again, most people don’t realize this but there are around 400 years of dead time between the Old Testament and the New.

During this time God didn’t speak, and while some people continued to cry out, many became religious. Being religious is looking holy on the outside, but being filthy inside.

Acts 1: The Promise of the Holy Spirit

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.”

Acts 1:1-5

One of the first verses in Acts 1 has Jesus stating a final command. He tells them to wait for the gift he promised. We all know Jesus is the way, and that was an amazing gift. However, this was something deeper.

Jesus wanted to give his disciples power, so they could crush the evil one, and show nonbelievers that God was real and he loved them.

What’s more, is that this power is available to us today, but most of us are too scared or busy to use it.

The ministry of Jesus was only 3 1/2 years (give or take) and he transformed the world. Jesus spent his entire life preparing for those few years, then he died and rose again.

We only prepare for a few years, then we try and transform the world. I wonder what would happen if we actually tried to focus on God more than anything else.

Acts 1

Acts 1: The Ascension of Jesus

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. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “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!”

Acts 1:6-11

Here in Acts 1. Luke describes the last conversation Jesus had with his disciples and his ascension to heaven. It was the final straw, a hail mary as he reminded his followers to do the will of God.

If God wanted he could save us all this instant. He could transform the world and make us all ‘love’ him. But that wouldn’t be real love.

The reason God put the tree of knowledge in the garden was that he wanted us to have a choice. Unfortunately, we chose wrong and now live in a world of sin.

That’s why Jesus had to come and die for us, being absent from God is being absent from everything that is Good and Holy. And when we sin we reject him and everything he comes with.

Essentially this is the answer to why a good God can send good people to hell.

They didn’t get sent, instead, they chose to go there by rejecting their own source of life, and choosing to live in darkness.

Many of us don’t understand this concept, because we are fully or partially blind to it. But it makes sense when you think of the world as a whole, and love it for what it is.

If God wants to give us a choice, we are free to reject him, but when we do we are also rejecting every gift that comes with him.

Take Up Your Cross

Acts 1: Matthias Replaces Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. 13 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). 14 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.

15 During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. 16 “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. 17 Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”

18 (Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines. 19 The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)

20 Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’

21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— 22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.

Acts 1:12-26

Acts 1: The Holy Spirit Starts Transforms The World

Mathias and Joseph are interesting choices for followers of Jesus. The text says they were there from the start, but I don’t think they’re ever mentioned in the Bible.

Part of me kind of likes that, it means when you’re faithful with little, you’ll be given much. And these men were definitely faithful, and they didn’t even have the title.

Acts 1 is the start of many beautiful and wonderful things. My hope as I read through this chapter is that I grow deeper in my relationship with God. I understand the spiritual gifts better, and that I can share the love of Jesus more.

Earlier today I realized how much of a coward I am, and while I’m my biggest critic, I know that I can do better in my life.

Whatever God has in store for you, make sure you run for it. Don’t let it out of your site. Because the plans of God are what you’ll find the most fulfilling thing in your life.

Acts 1

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