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Can I get a Witness?

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Christ has commissioned us as witnesses, and he has properly equipped us to do so

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Good morning church. It’s good to be in God’s house. I have heard enough bad news for the week. It’s time for some good news. One of the things that is obvious is that we are living in troubling times. Because we are living in troubling times we as a church must serve our purpose for being here. Introduction:
Good morning church. It’s good to be in God’s house. I have heard enough bad news for the week. It’s time for some good news. One of the things that is obvious is that we are living in troubling times. Because we are living in troubling times we as a church must serve our purpose for being here. Introduction:
1. Many people today are concerned about the problems of the church, particularly it’s ineffectiveness in the world
1. Many people today are concerned about the problems of the church, particularly it’s ineffectiveness in the world
2.Here are a few of the many solutions to these problems that are proposed: People suggest that we need more social work. We need more soup kitchens. We need more homeless shelters. We need to be more focused on the poor in our community. If we can just fight to get the right politician in office this will somehow solve the problems of the world and make the world a better place.
2.Here are a few of the many solutions to these problems that are proposed: People suggest that we need more social work. We need more soup kitchens. We need more homeless shelters. We need to be more focused on the poor in our community. If we can just fight to get the right politician in office this will somehow solve the problems of the world and make the world a better place.
Now, I’m a young man, but I have lived long enough to know that these activities will never solve the world’s problems.
Now, I’m a young man, but I have lived long enough to know that these activities will never solve the world’s problems.
The problem with the world is not the lack of money. It is not about the lack of activities. Ever since , the worlds problem has been sin. Sin will forever be a problem until the Lord Jesus Christ creates a new heaven and a new earth. People are trying to capture what was lost in . They are trying through vain religion, money, extravagant vacations. People are searching for peace with God, other people and themselves.
The problem with the world is not the lack of money. It is not about the lack of activities. Ever since , the worlds problem has been sin. Sin will forever be a problem until the Lord Jesus Christ creates a new heaven and a new earth. People are trying to capture what was lost in . They are trying through vain religion, money, extravagant vacations. People are searching for peace with God, other people and themselves.
The ball has been placed in court, to offer the solution to the sin problem in the world. The solution to the sin problem is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. The inside of a person must be changed before we see change anywhere else. God is in the business of changing people.
The ball has been placed in court, to offer the solution to the sin problem in the world. The solution to the sin problem is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. The inside of a person must be changed before we see change anywhere else. God is in the business of changing people.
3. We need to introduce people to Christ. I believe that the first church has I believe that a return to the witnesses of the church of the New Testament effectively demonstrates how we can offer the best solution to the world’s problems. Witnessing has been described as a beggar of the past showing a beggar of the present where to find food
3. We need to introduce people to Christ. I believe that the first church has effectively demonstrated how we can offer the best solution to the world’s problems. Witnessing has been described as a beggar of the past showing a beggar of the present where to find food. People’s souls are hungry we have to show them how to find the bread of life.
The Lord left us here for a purpose, and I want to make sure that we know what that purpose is. I also want to encourage you to live in that purpose. Amen? What is that purpose? Well I am glad that you’ve asked. Go with me to our object of study this morning is the witnesses of the First Century. Acts is unique among the New Testament writings that deal with the life and mission of the Christian community in the age of the apostles.
The Lord left us here for a purpose, and I want to make sure that we know what that purpose is. I also want to encourage you to live in that purpose. Amen? What is that purpose? Well I am glad that you’ve asked. Go with me to our book of study this morning. We are going to be in the book Acts.
Acts is important and unique among the New Testament writings that deal with the life and mission of the Christian community in the age of the apostles.
It must be understood that Acts is not a historical account of a one-time, never-to-be-repeated act of the the Holy Spirit, but a benchmark for us and future generations.
I believe there is a reason God preserved the book of Acts. Act is not a historical account of a one-time, never-to-be-repeated act of the the Holy Spirit, but a benchmark for us and future generations.
Acts chapter 1:
8 But ye shall receive ppower, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. [1]
Acts chapter 1:
8 But ye shall receive ppower, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. [1]
Now if I were to give a title to this sermon, it would be called, “Can I get a Witness?”
Introduction to Acts: The book of Acts was written as a two-part treatise to a Greek official named Theophilis about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and what He continued to do after the Resurrection through the church
Now if I were to give a title to this sermon, it would be called, “Can I get a Witness?”
Introduction: The book of Acts was written anonymously as a two-part volume to a Greek official named Theophilis. The author is never named in the book. However, ancient church leaders have stated that Luke is the author of both the Gospel of Luke and Acts. Luke was a co-laborer and companion of the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul, makes a few references to Luke in his letters. Luke was his companion (; ; )
The Book of Acts was written anonymously. However, we have external evidence from ancient church leaders that have stated that Luke is the author of both the Gospel of Luke and Acts. We also have a little internal evidence from Scripture that implies that Luke was a co-laborer and companion of the Apostle Paul. If you are familiar with some of the letters of the Apostle Paul, there are references to Luke in Paul’s letters We know from Paul’s letters that Luke was his companion in Rome (; ; ) The “we” references in Acts
Look at The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,[2]
A lot of times there were issues that had to be addressed when the apostles and other church leaders wrote. For example, 1 Corinthians was written to address moral issues in the Corinthian church to a man named Luke wrote Theophilis to give him accurate information about What Jesus did and what he taught during his earthly ministry. He also wanted Theophilis to have accurate information about what Christ taught through his church. Let’s look at
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.[2]
The former treatise that Luke is referring to is the Gospel of Luke. Let’s look at
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.[3]
Luke didn’t want Theophilis confused about anything that the Lord and the Apostles taught.
I believe that we have to get back to the basics. I believe that there are many benefits to studying the first witnesses. We can learn a lot from good examples. They show us a pattern to follow. If I want to be successful at anything, I want to see a good example of someone who has done what I endeavor to do. Show me how you did it. Show me how you became a success. If you are a successful husband, father, friend or employee, show me how you did it so that I can reap the success as you have. In this case, I want to know how to be a good witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who is Theopholis? Scripture does not tell us who he is. Scholars believe that he is someone who either possessed a lot of authority or he was very wealthy. Luke refers to him as most excellent Theophilis. That title most excellent, tells us that he was someone who had authority.
What is the Purpose of Luke and Acts? A lot of times there were issues that had to be addressed when the apostles and other church leaders wrote. For example, 1 Corinthians was written to address moral issues in the church. However, Acts is an exception. Luke states his purpose in writing. that his purpose for writing was to give Theophilis an accurate account of what the Lord before and after the resurrection and ascension.
I thank God for Acts, we would not know what witnesses are supposed to look like had it not been for Acts.
Our knowledge of witnessing and what should be said and done would be greatly impoverished had Luke not conceived of his “second book to Theophilus.”
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first,
to write unto thee in order, most excellent
Now let’s get back to the text. Look at But ye shall receive ppower, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.[3]
Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.[4]
Summary of the narrative of the text: At this time the Lord Jesus Christ has spent forty days proving to the disciples that he has risen. Death could not conquer him. He proved to them without a doubt that he was risen. He also taught them how to continue his ministry when he left. This text records our Lord’s last meeting with His disciples while He was here on earth. He is preparing to ascend back into Heaven to sit down at the right hand of God. Before He leaves, He commands and commissions His men to reach the world with His message. He reminds them of what should be the central focus of their ministry. He reminds them that they are to keep the main thing the main thing! He doesn’t want them focused on end time events. He wants them focused on sharing the gospels
 He had to overcome a distraction, v. 6-7. The disciples want to talk about future things.They want to know if the time has come for Jesus to establish His kingdom here on earth. He tells them that the “times and seasons” are not their concern. Their responsibility was to be faithful to Him and work while they waited. The Lord doesn’t want us sitting around on our hands while we wait on him, he wants us working while we wait.
Nothing has changed. Our duty is not to get caught up in future events, or any other theological dispute that distracts us from the main thing. We need to be careful that we do not allow Satan to distract us from our very purpose in being left in this world. Our duty is to be busy working for the Lord while we wait for Him to return. Verse 8 tells us what our duty is.
·      Jesus, here, commands His disciples, living in all time periods, to be His witnesses to the world of His Gospel and of His saving grace.  ;  
Luke didn’t want Theophilis confused about anything that the Lord and the Apostles taught.
But he was not going to leave them to do it themselves. If our message is to have any power; if our methods are to be successful; and if our mindset is ever to be what it ought to be; we are going to need help from outside ourselves. Jesus tells us in this verse that our help comes from the “Holy Ghost”. 
      The people in the upper room were promised that the Spirit of God was coming, and that when He came, He would fill them with God’s power, . When that power came on the day of Pentecost, those terrified disciples, who had been hiding from the Jews in fear, became bold preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, . When they preached the Gospel, 3,000 souls were saved, .
·      What made the difference? It wasn’t their eloquence. It wasn’t their oratory. It wasn’t their delivery. What made the difference was the power of God.
·      Where did that power come from? IfThe Lord knew that they needed some divine enablement to do what he did while on earth. He said, “when the Holy Ghost comes upon you, he will empower you…” If you will notice that he did not say when the Holy Ghost comes upon you he will enable you to holler, shout and scream! He does not come to slay you in the spirit. But he comes to empower you to witness.
Some may question why we need to study the first church? I believe that we have to get back to the basics. I believe that there is a benefit to studying the first witnesses. We can learn a lot from good examples. They show us a pattern to follow. If I want to be successful at anything, I want to see a good example of someone who has done what I endeavor to do. Show me how you did it. Show me how you became a success. If you are a successful husband, father, friend or employee, show me how you did it so that I can reap the success as you have.
I think we have to be careful what we blame on the Holy Spirit. I remember prior to giving my life to Christ, I went to a Pentecostal church. They got to playing the loud music and people began to shout and dance. I asked my relative, “what is wrong with them?” She said, “oh they alright, they just caught the Holy Ghost.”
I later got saved and studied the Scriptures and learned that the Holy Spirit is not something that we catch. But it is God the Spirit, that comes to indwell us at the point of belief. The key things that the Holy Spirit does to empower our witness are 1) He convicts us of sin. He does this so that we will repent. Blatant sin will affect our testimony. Christians should dread being called the “H” word, hypocrite. 2) According to He regenerates us. All of our lives we have been programed by sin, the Holy Spirit comes to reprogram us so that we think and act different 3) According to and 15:26 He teaches us the truth and reminds us of what Christ teaches. The Holy Spirit prays through you when you can't pray. Have you ever gone down to pray and not be able to find the words to pray and then the Holy Spirit touches on issues the you were not aware of? He does this to empower our witness.
Thank God for Acts, we would not know what the church is supposed to look like had it not been for Acts
Our knowledge of witnessing and what should be said and done would be greatly impoverished had Luke not conceived of his “second book to Theophilus.”
Simply put, a witness is someone that testifies to the truth. But the word witness here in is a little more complex than that. The Greek word used for comes from the Greek word “martys” from which we get the English word martyr. This word appears over 29 times in Acts alone. It is a key word in Acts. This kind of witness would in essence be so dedicated to witnessing about the truth that he or she would be willing to give their lives. Even to the point of death. , Paul is give his testimony and he begins making references to deacon Stephen given his life up for the faith. Paul, prior to his conversion approved of the stoning of Stephen. The word also appears elsewhere in the New Testament. In , Peter stated that he is a martys, or one who is willing to lose his life on behalf of his testimony in Church tradition tells us that the man who once denied Christ, was crucified upside down on the basis of his testimony about Christ.
I believe that it is also beneficial to study the first witnesses because they had certain advantages that we do not have. They had more information than we have.
As witnesses here in America, we might not have to lose our lives on the basis of our testimony, but we should dedicate our lives to being his witness
1. These first witnesses had personal knowledge of Christ. I believe some of them were there who were there when Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. There was no doubt some in the first-century church that witnessed the Lord Jesus Christ’ miracles, resurrection and ascension.
I believe that Luke used some of them as sources of information in the writing of his gospel. Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
The first witnesses had certain characteristics that we are required by Scripture to emulate.
3. Another benefit is that some of them had to be there to witness the Lord teach. They heard the teachings and parables for themselves. In fact, there may have been some there who gave testimony to help Luke finish his Gospel
The Witnesses had two motives for witnessing
1. To be obedient
4. Another benefit is that they had the inspired apostles. Can you imagine walking and talking with the apostle Peter and Paul? Can you imagine witnessing some of the marvelous things that God performed through them? The casting out of spirits, healing the blind and raising the dead. They had a lot more information than we have at this present time.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.[4]
Now let’s get back to the text. Look at But ye shall receive ppower, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.[5]
1 Corinthians 3:11 KJV 1900
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Summary of the narrative of the text: At this time the Lord Jesus Christ has spent forty days proving to the disciples that he has risen. Death could not conquer him. He proved to them without a doubt that he was risen. He also taught them how to continue his ministry when he left.
No we can’t stop with the foundation. We could have the right foundation, but we need to build on it. We have to be wise because God is going to judge us based on what we build on that foundation. Look at verses 12-14
But he was not going to leave them to do it themselves. The Lord knew that they needed some divine enablement to do what he did while on earth. He said, “when the Holy Ghost comes upon you, he will empower you…” If you will notice that he did not say when the Holy Ghost comes upon you he will enable you to holler, shout and scream! He does not come to slay you in the spirit. But he comes to empower you to witness.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as hby fire. [5]
I think we have to be careful what we blame on the Holy Spirit. I remember prior to giving my life to Christ, I went to a Pentecostal church. They got to playing the loud music and people began to shout and dance. I asked my relative, “what is wrong with them?” She said, “oh they alright, the just caught the Holy Ghost.”
Paul here is concerned with the quality of materials that we build with. The qualities have to do with three things Its permanence, beauty and value. Gold, silver and precious stones are permanent, beautiful and valuable. Wood, hay and stubble are temporary, ordinary and often times ugly and smelly. It’s also cheap.
We have to build on the foundation with sound doctrine. Every now and then I would turn on TBN or The Word Channel and hear teachings about how to be successful with money. Money is good to have, but money is temporary. We can’t take it with us… I’m willing to just stick with Paul and know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We have to stick with sound doctrine.
I later got saved and studied the Scriptures and learned that the Holy Spirit is not something that we catch. But it is God the Spirit, that comes to indwell you at the point of belief. The key things that the Holy Spirit does to empower our witness are 1) He convicts us of sin. He does this so that we will repent. Blatant sin will affect our testimony. Christians should be afraid of being called the “H” word, hypocrite. 2) According to He regenerates us. All of our lives we have been programed by sin, the Holy Spirit comes to reprogram us. We have to think and act different 3) According to and 15:26 He teaches us the truth and reminds us of what Christ teaches. The Holy Spirit prays through you when you can't pray. Have you ever went down to pray and not be able to find the words to pray and then the Holy Spirit touches on issues the you were not cognizant of?
Another characteristic that the first witnesses had was one message. Their message was quite simple. It was quite different from the Gospel message that is preached in a lot of churches today. Their message was that Jesus came, was buried and rose on the third day and you can have forgiveness of sin through him. This information requires a response. Repent and believe.
file:////Users/large27inch/Library/Group%20Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/msoclip1/01/clip_image002.pngWhat is A Witness? We need to have the biblical understanding of it.
Simply put, a witness is someone that testifies to the truth. But the word witness here in is a little more complex than that. The Greek word used for comes from the Greek word “martys” from which we get the English word martyr. This word appears over 29 times in Acts alone. It is a key word in Acts. This kind of witness would in essence be so dedicated to the truth that he or she would be willing to give their lives. Even to the point of death. Four times the word martys is used in reference to people who have given their life on the basis of their faith. , Paul is give his testimony and he begins making references to deacon Stephen given his life up for the faith. Paul, prior to his conversion approved of the stoning of Stephen. Peter stated that he is a martys on behalf of his testimony in . Church tradition tells us that the man who once denied Christ, was crucified upside down on the basis of his testimony. mentions Old Testament witnesses who have gave their life up the basis of faith.
Look at Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.[6]
Abel lost his life on the basis of faith. He expressed his faith by making an acceptable offering to God. His brother got jealous and killed him.
Peter full of the Holy Spirit declares the Gospel. Now first let me say, don’t let verse 38 confuse you! Baptism does not save you. I was baptized before and was still hell bound. I was still on my way to hell. When I was younger, my father was saved and attended church and he made me and my brothers get baptized. I didn’t even know who Jesus Christ was and what he did. The people who baptized me did not tell me who he was they just dipped me in some cold water.
Sometimes you have to give your life up Enoch, had so much faith and walked so closely with God, that one-day God raptured him
I think it is very important that we understand something about baptism. We must understand that baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality. Baptism is a public declaration of your faith. Water does not wash you sins away.
Abraham left his life on the basis of his faith. He left his family and land going to an undisclosed location that God did not show him until he arrived at the location. Abraham waited 75 years before he seen any evidence of God’s promise to him. These witnesseswere a part of the great cloud of witnesses found in . They had strong faith. These martys did not die, but they lost something.
Look at 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.[7]
As witnesses here in America, we might not have to lose our lives on the basis of our testimony, but we should dedicate our lives to being his witness
The first witnesses had certain characteristics that we are required by Scripture to emulate.
Do you see the pattern in the message? Death, burial and resurrection. Belief is required for the remission of sins.
One more, let’s look at the apostle Paul deliver the Gospel. This is actually the conclusion of his message. Read the beginning of . But Acts 1336 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. 38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.[8]
The Witnesses had one Foundation
The act of witnessing was not meant to be an experiment. It was not something that was just meant for the first-century church, it was something that was to last forever because it was built on a foundation that lasts forever..” And that foundation is Jesus Christ
Do you see the pattern church? Death, burial and resurrection. Required response: Believe for the remission of sins.
1. There is only one foundation that can be laid.
Another characteristic for the first witnesses was that they were given a method for delivering the Gospel.
2. Everyone who has the same foundation. weren’t following differ
Let’s go back to But ye shall receive ppower, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.[9]
3. They also had the right materials to build on that foundation
They were to begin in Jerusalem and then Judea. This was to be taken to people that they were familiar with. People who should have been prepared to hear the Gospel. Then they were to take it to people that they had cultural barriers with. Jews and Samaritans had disdain for each other. The Lord wanted them to tear down cultural barriers and share the Gospel with people that they are unfamiliar with. Then they were to take it to other non-Jewish people.
If you want to get comfortable with witnessing begin with people that you are familiar with. Family and friends should be the first ones that you take the Gospel to. After you are comfortable with that, you can share it with others. They may not accept the Gospel, but they should at least know where you stand, Amen?
As the hymn goes, Jesus Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. We are not building on some famous preacher they were building on God the Son. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.[6]
No we can’t stop with the foundation. We could have the right foundation, but we need to build on it. We have to be wise because God is going to judge us based on what we build on that foundation. Look at verses 12-14
Not only did these witnesses have a foundation, method and message, they had certain activities that they did to empower themselves
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as hby fire. [7]
The church had some activities that they participated in to empower themselves.()
Acts 2:42–47 KJV 1900
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
They dedicated themselves to the Apostles teaching we should have a healthy dosage of God’s Word. We should have a strong desire to hear God’s voice.
Paul here is concerned with the quality of materials that we build with. The qualities have to do with three things Its permanence, beauty and value. Gold, silver and precious stones are permanent, beautiful and valuable. Wood, hay and stubble are temporary, ordinary and often times ugly and smelly. It’s also cheap.
These first witnesses were dedicated to fellowship daily (), God, did not make us an island. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to strengthen us. We need each other for accountability purposes. We need prayer and other services.
We have to build on the foundation with sound doctrine. Every now and then I would turn on TBN or The Word Channel and hear teachings about how to be successful with money. Money is good to have, but money is temporary. We can’t take it with us… I’m willing to just stick with Paul and know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We have to stick with sound doctrine.
Another characteristic that the first witnesses had was one message. Their message was quite simple. It was quite different from the Gospel message that is preached in a lot of churches today. Their message was that Jesus came, was buried and rose on the third day and you can have forgiveness of sin through him. This information requires a response. Repent and believe.
They Dedicated themselves to Prayer
They dedicated themselves to worship. The witnesses that we meet in the Book of Acts were not content to meet once a week for “services as usual.” They weren't worried about an order of service.
Look at Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.[8]
Go with me to 7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. [10]
Peter full of the Holy Spirit declares the Gospel. Now first let me say, don’t let verse 38 confuse you! Baptism does not save you. I was baptized before and was still hell bound. I was still on my way to hell. When I was younger, my father was saved and attended church and he made me and my brothers get baptized. I didn’t even know who Jesus Christ was and what he did. The people who baptized me did not tell me who he was they just dipped me in some cold water.
These verses made me very uncomfortable and it made me question my worship. The Apostle Paul preached all day and night. One of those who attended the service fell asleep, fell out of the window and died. Paul stopped preaching, went downstairs and God used Paul to bring the young man back from the dead. Church still wasn’t over. They went back upstairs and Paul continued preaching again until the next day. I started thinking what made Paul preach for so long?
I think it is very important that we understand something about baptism. We must understand that baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality. Baptism is a public declaration of your faith. Water does not wash you sins away.
I have come to find out that when we are passionate about something that we are doing, we begin to lose the concept of time. When I’m reading or drawing or playing video games I lose the concept of time. Because those are things that I am very passionate about they increased in number daily (). Their Christian faith was a day-to-day reality, not a once-a-week routine. Why? Because the risen Christ was a living reality to them, and His resurrection power was at work in their lives through the Spirit
Look at 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.[9]
Conclusion: Let’s be clear, we all can be a member of a church and still not be a witness. Becoming a true witness of Christ depends on how we answer this question. What think ye of the Christ . If you have not answered that question correctly, you are not a witness. Because the Holy Spirit that empowers us to witness does not indwell you. And if you do not have the Spirit, you do not belong to Christ
Do you see the pattern in the message? Death, burial and resurrection. Belief is required for the remission of sins.
Coming to church does not make you a Witness. Going to Sunday school when you were a kid does not make you a witness. Walking down the aisle and saying a certain prayer does not make you a witness. Joining the choir does not make you a witness. Being on the usher board does not make you a witness. Being a pastor or deacon does not make you a witness. Do you believe what Scripture says about Jesus Christ?
One more, let’s look at the apostle Paul deliver the Gospel. This is actually the conclusion of his message. Read the beginning of . But Acts 1336 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. 38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.[10]
Many people believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but many do not believe what the Scriptures teach about him. There are a lot of people that will tell you that Jesus existed at one time in history, but they are a little flaky about his resurrection. You have to believe in the resurrection in order to be saved.
Do you see the pattern church? Death, burial and resurrection. Required response: Believe for the remission of sins.
Another characteristic for the first witnesses was that they were given a method for delivering the Gospel.
Let’s go back to But ye shall receive ppower, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.[11]
[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
They were to begin in Jerusalem and then Judea. This was to be taken to people that they were familiar with. People who should have been prepared to hear the Gospel. Then they were to take it to people that they had cultural barriers with. Jews and Samaritans had disdain for each other. The Lord wanted them to tear down cultural barriers and share the Gospel with people that they are unfamiliar with. Then they were to take it to other non-Jewish people.
If you want to get comfortable with witnessing begin with people that you are familiar with. Family and friends should be the first ones that you take the Gospel to. After you are comfortable with that, you can share it with others. They may not accept the Gospel, but they should at least know where you stand, Amen?
[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Not only did these witnesses have a foundation, method and message, they had certain activities that they did to empower themselves
[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
The church had some activities that they participated in to empower themselves.()
They dedicated themselves to the Apostles teaching we should have a healthy dosage of God’s Word. We should have a strong desire to hear God’s voice.
[4] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
These first witnesses were dedicated to fellowship daily (), God, did not make us an island. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to strengthen us. We need each other for accountability purposes. We need prayer and other services.
They Dedicated themselves to Prayer
[5] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
They dedicated themselves to worship. The witnesses that we meet in the Book of Acts were not content to meet once a week for “services as usual.” They weren't worried about an order of service.
Go with me to 7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. [12]
These verses made me very uncomfortable and it made me question my worship. The Apostle Paul preached all day and night. One of those who attended the service fell asleep, fell out of the window and died. Paul stopped preaching, went downstairs and God used Paul to bring the young man back from the dead. Church still wasn’t over. They went back upstairs and Paul continued preaching again until the next day. I started thinking what made Paul preach for so long?
[6] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
I have come to find out that when we are passionate about something that we are doing, we begin to lose the concept of time. When I’m reading or drawing or playing video games I lose the concept of time. Because those are things that I am very passionate about they increased in number daily (). Their Christian faith was a day-to-day reality, not a once-a-week routine. Why? Because the risen Christ was a living reality to them, and His resurrection power was at work in their lives through the Spirit
[7] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Conclusion: Let’s be clear, we all can be a member of a church and still not be a witness. Becoming a true witness of Christ depends on how we answer this question. What think ye of the Christ . If you have not answered that question correctly, you are not a witness. Because the Holy Spirit that empowers us to witness does not indwell you. And if you do not have the Spirit, you do not belong to Christ
Coming to church does not make you a Witness. Going to Sunday school when you were a kid does not make you a witness. Walking down the aisle and saying a certain prayer does not make you a witness. Joining the choir does not make you a witness. Being on the usher board does not make you a witness. Being a pastor or deacon does not make you a witness. Do you believe what Scripture says about Jesus Christ?
Many people believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but many do not believe what the Scriptures teach about him. There are a lot of people that will tell you that Jesus existed at one time in history, but they are a little flaky about his resurrection. You have to believe in the resurrection in order to be saved.
[8] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[9] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[10] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[4] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[5] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[6] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[7] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[8] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[9] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[10] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[11] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[12] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
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