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Are we clothed in POWER?

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Acts 1:6–14 ESV
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 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.” 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. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 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.” 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, 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. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
So this is where we are headed indirectly…so indirectly that we will not return to this verse…but this is where we will start.
1 Corinthians 14:1 ESV
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
Do we earnestly desire the Spiritual Gifts?
If so why? And why would God tell us to…and why would He give them?
And the point i want to make is this...
100% of the Power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to those who have the Holy Spirit...
if we…
Desire
Ask
Believe
For the right reason…to give Jesus glory as we proclaim the Gospel to unbelievers!
Let me show you…something…listen to the Role of the Spirit in the life and ministry of Jesus.
1. Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was empoered by the Spirit
Luke 1:35 ESV
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
2. Jesus Christ led a holy and spotless life and offered Himself without spot to God through the working of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 9:14 ESV
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
3. Jesus Christ was anointed and fitted for service by the Holy Spirit.
Acts 10:38 ESV
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
4. Jesus Christ was led by the Holy Spirit in His movements here upon earth.
Luke 4:1 ESV
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness
5. Jesus Christ was taught by the Spirit who rested upon Him. The Spirit of God was the source of His wisdom in the days of His flesh.
Isaiah 11:2–3 ESV
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
isa
6. The Holy Spirit was on Jesus in all His fullness and the words He spoke were therefore the very words of God.
John 3:34 ESV
For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
7. Jesus Christ wrought His miracles here on earth in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 12:28 ESV
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
8. It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.
Romans 8:11 ESV
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Which brings us to a question…screen
Galatians 2:3 ESV
But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.
Galatians 3:2 ESV
Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?
Do you believe that you have recieved this Spirit…not in a mystical…fanciful…hard to understand…gypsy fortune teller gold dust sort of way…but in a personal…in your physical body…sort of way?
Why Physical?
John 14:16 ESV
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
John 15:26 ESV
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
HE…so this power comes to us…let us not make this so floaty that we can not believe it....
us persons…from a person…who is God…He gives us this power…in our physical bodies....this Spirit…this power…to us…His Body…the church.
Do you believe that?
Romans 8:11 ESV
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Again with Paul I say and ask...You have heard…do you believe? Do you have faith in that?
Galatians 3:2 ESV
Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?
Gal 3:
You know the answer…but do you have faith?
This brings me to our text.
Turn to:
Acts 1:6–11 ESV
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 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.” 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. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 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.”
To prepare the apostles to be his instruments he does four things prior to this:
To prepare the apostles to be his instruments he does four things:
he gives them a Spirit authenticated commandment (v. 2);
Acts 1:2 ESV
until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
he verifies his resurrection from the dead by appearing to them for 40 days (v. 3);
he teaches them about the kingdom of God (v. 3);
and he promises to baptize them with the Holy Spirit (vv. 4–5).

And the Disciples Ask a Reasonable Question

Now when the apostles hear the promise of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, they ask in verse 6, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
In other words they knew that the Old Testament promise of the outpouring of God's Spirit was a promise for the last days...when God would establish his kingdom on the earth and restore his people.
For example, in God says, "I will restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel . . . I will not hide my face any more from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God" (vv. 25, 29).
So when Jesus says that the long awaited outpouring of the Spirit—the baptism with the Holy Spirit—is just a few days away, they would naturally ask for a clarification: "Do you mean the end is that close? The final kingdom is about to be established in just a matter of weeks or months?"
And since we know
So when Jesus says that the long awaited outpouring of the Spirit—the baptism with the Holy Spirit—is just a few days away, they would naturally ask for a clarification: "Do you mean the end is that close? The final kingdom is about to be established in just a matter of weeks or months?"
2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
2 cor 3 20
All of Gods promises are answered Yes in Jesus...So when Jesus says that the long awaited outpouring of the Spirit—the baptism with the Holy Spirit—is just a few days away, they would naturally ask for a clarification:
All of Gods promises are answered Yes in Jesus...So when Jesus says that the long awaited outpouring of the Spirit—the baptism with the Holy Spirit—is just a few days away, they would naturally ask for a clarification:
"Do you mean the end is that close? The final kingdom is about to be established in just a matter of weeks or months?"
And they knew from the Old Testament that this restoration was going to be the result of a great outpouring of God's Spirit.
Ezekiel 39:29 ESV
And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
; ; ; .;
Isaiah 32:15 ESV
until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
; ; .;
Joel 2:28 ESV
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
Isaiah 44:3–5 ESV
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel.”
Isa ; .;
Zechariah 12:10 ESV
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
.;
So it is not a foolish question to ask, "Do you mean Jesus that this is the time—if you are finally pouring out the Spirit of God on us---are these the last days?"
That was their question…what will happen when we receive the power of God in us?
So it is not a foolish question to ask, "Do you mean the restoration is in this time—in our lifetime, or even in the next few months?"

Jesus' Response

Since it is not a foolish question, Jesus does not rebuke them. He does not correct their theology.
He corrects their assumption that they can fully understand the timing of it.
He says in verse 7, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority."
In other words, don't assume that the long-awaited outpouring of the Spirit will immediately bring in the kingdom and restore the fortunes of Israel.
God has appointed the times and the seasons for all things, and YES! the Spirit is going to be poured out on my people…into my people…the promise is about to be fulfilled…power is coming!
But then Jesus goes on to tell them what the baptism with the Spirit will mean for them…and for us.
It does not YET mean immediate full restoration of physical Israel; it does not YET mean the immediate, full establishment of the kingdom.
BUT—verse 8—BUT, here's what it does mean.
Acts 1:8 ESV
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.”
"You shall receive power"—in other words, even though it doesn't mean the end is tomorrow…Jesus is saying...hear me! Please hear and trust me!
"You shall receive power"—in other words, even though it doesn't mean the end is tomorrow…Jesus is saying...hear me! Hear me!
BUT . . . it does mean this:
"You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."
Jesus doesn't want to minimize the wonder and power of what he is promising them. The full kingdom is not here in Jerusalem and it is not tomorrow BUT the power is here…in us.

Four Parallels Between and

Turn back to Luke 24
Four Parallels Between and
Notice four things here. I want you to see them in as well, so that we can sense how utterly crucial they are for Luke as he tells us this account.
Second, there is the witness itself, the testimony to the truth of Christ.
Third, there is the Holy Spirit that comes upon the disciples.And fourth, there is the power—power to be witnesses.
Now turn with me to
Luke 24:45–49 ESV
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Luke is also the writer of Acts…so at the end of Luke there is some overlap into ....
Now turn with me to . You realize, don't you, that volume one and volume two overlap by 40 days? So Luke tells us about the last words and the Ascension of Jesus twice—at the end of the gospel and at the beginning of Acts. You can see this now as you compare to . Picking up the words of Jesus in verse 47 he is telling the apostles that
Luke is also the writer of Acts…so at the end of Luke there is some overlap into ....
So Luke tells us about the last words and the Ascension of Jesus twice—at the end of the gospel and at the beginning of Acts.
You can see this now as you compare to .
Look what Jesus is telling the apostles...
Luke 24:45–49 ESV
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Luke 24:45-
. . . repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.
Open our minds…miracle...
Jesus says to them...
I came…I died…I was raised…I am the Messiah…the King…all of this had to happen and has happened so that…verse 47.
Luke 24:47 ESV
and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
Luke 24:
So that we would proclaim repentance for forgiveness...
That is the gospel…the good news is that sinners can repent and return to God for forgiveness.
Revelation 14:6–7 ESV
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
You can read it all and we will talk about it in a couple of Wednesdays…but look at how it ends...
Revelation 14:12 ESV
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
So Jesus before He ascends says…I am empowering you for witness…to witness to the Gospel of forgiveness through repentance…and you are going to need power to speak that message…and bring that message to you community and to the ends of the earth...
So Jesus says 4 things...
First, we see the goal to begin at Jerusalem and reach the end of the earth in verse 47:
"forgiveness of sins is to be to be proclaimed in his name to all the nations to the end of the earth beginning from Jerusalem."
Second, the apostles are called witnesses in verse 48: "You are witnesses of these things."
Third, the Holy Spirit is promised in the words "the promise of my Father" in verse 49—these are the words in that refer to the coming baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Finally, there is explicit reference in verse 49 to the power needed for this mission: "stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high."
The Ascension of Jesus
Then in both and the very next thing that happened was the Ascension of Jesus: he was taken up from them and out of their sight.
Acts tells us that two men in white robes—in other words, two angels in the form of men—said (in verse 11),
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.
Acts 1:11 ESV
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.”
So the last words that Jesus said in and in are clearly meant to be words to guide his disciples (us) in the time between his Ascension and his return.
So the last words that Jesus said in and in are clearly meant to be words to guide his disciples (us) in the time between his Ascension and his return.
So let's go back now and ponder these things again.
And then in conclusion we will look ahead to verse 14 to see how the disciples prepared to receive the power of God…
So I have a question?

Is the Power Promised Then Available Now?

One crucial question we need to ask is whether the power promised in and is for us??? or was only for the first generation of Christians or is it something we should seek and desire and ask for from Jesus today?
I hope as we continue to read and soak ourselves in God’s Word together you will see more and more and agree with me when I emphasize that this power, this experience of the "coming upon" or "being clothed" by the Holy Spirit was something beyond what we might call ordinary Christian living.
Before I answer that, let me emphasize that this power, this experience of the "coming upon" or "being clothed" by the Holy Spirit was something beyond ordinary, happy Christian living. In the Old Testament "being clothed" with the Spirit referred to extraordinary times of empowerment and prophecy as in the lives of Gideon and Amasai and Zechariah (; ; ). But it is most obvious from what happened on the day of Pentecost—wind and sound and tongues of fire and miraculous languages and prophecy and exuberant praise and 3,000 conversions.
In the Old Testament these same words of "being clothed" with the Spirit referred to extraordinary times of empowerment and prophecy as in the lives of Gideon and Zechariah (; ).
But it is most obvious from what happened on the day of Pentecost—wind and sound and tongues of fire and miraculous languages and prophecy and praise and witness and repentance and 3,000 conversions.
What Happened at Pentecost
Let me use an illustration from Martin Lloyd-Jones in his book Joy Unspeakable to describe the difference between common Christian living and what happens when the Holy Spirit "clothes" a person with power or "comes upon" a person with this unusual power.
He says it is like a child walking along holding his father's hand. All is well. The child is happy. He feels secure. His father loves him. He believes that his father loves him but there is no unusual urge to talk about this or sing about it. It is true and it is pleasant.
Then suddenly the father startles the child by reaching down and sweeping him up into his arms and hugging him tightly and kissing him on the neck and whispering, "I love you so much!" And then holding the stunned child back so that he can look into his face and saying with all his heart, "I am so glad you are mine." Then hugging him once more with unspeakable warmth and affection. Then he puts the child down and they continue their walk.
This, Lloyd-Jones says, is what happens when a person is baptized with the Holy Spirit. A pleasant and happy walk with God is swept up into an unspeakable new level of joy and love and assurance and reality that leaves the Christian so utterly certain of the immediate reality of Jesus that he is overflowing in praise and more free and bold in witness than he ever imagined he could be.
The child is simply stunned. He doesn't know whether to cry or shout or fall down or run, he is so happy. The fuses of love are so overloaded they almost blow out. The subconscious doubts—that he wasn't thinking about at the time, but that pop up every now and then—are gone! And in their place is utter and indestructible assurance, so that you know that you know that you know that God is real and that Jesus lives and that you are loved, and that to be saved is the greatest thing in the world. And as you walk on down the street you can scarcely contain yourself, and you want to cry out, "My father loves me! My father loves me! O, what a great father I have! What a father! What a father!"
What Happened at Pentecost
They were so filled with the fullness of God—they were overwhelmed with the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of Christ—that they began (as says) to speak continually of "the mighty works of God."
Their mind was full of a fresh, new, breathtaking vision of God and their mouth overflowed with prophetic praise—sons and daughters, old and young with one mission and one vision…so talkative and confident and bold and full of power…people thought they were drunk.
I believe that this kind of experience is what Jesus meant by the "witnessing" in that will be able to extend the gospel to the lukewarm and unbelievers.
"You will receive this power . . . and you will be my witnesses."
Power....witnesses...
Under the influence of this power—this experience of the Spirit of the risen Christ—you will speak with the unwavering assurance of one who who has saved you…so that all doubt is gone.
You move from being a card carrying club member…to being a witness of the living Christ.
You move from simply accepting Christian truths as valid to proclaiming them boldly as experienced necessary reality…the only reality.
This is the power and the witness that will take Christ to the Nations…and btw your family and Fall Creek are the Nations.
So before I end with an encouragement and exportation
I ask in closing, is it for us or just for the first generation that Jesus was talking to?
And my answer is that it is for us.
And the one argument I will give is simply this. The promise of this extraordinary power—this extraordinary experience of the fullness of God—is given, Jesus says, to enable his witnesses to take the gospel to the end of the earth (), or, as says, to all the nations.
But we have not completed that assignment yet. Therefore I do not think he has withdrawn the promise yet either.
If the promise was given to empower the church to complete the Great Commission, then the promise is valid till the Great Commission is complete, and the witness to Christ has been planted among all the unreached people groups of the world.
Isn’t this what the angles say in ...
Acts 1:11 ESV
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.”
In other words…why are you just standing here…didn’t you here what He said…all of His power…the Holy Spirit of God is available to you…until He returns…why are you standing here?
The power promised here—the extraordinary experience of being "clothed with power"—is for us.
And if we love the glory of God, and if we long for his kingdom to advance, and if we have compassion on the lost and hurting people of the world and in our families and this community we will increasingly desire this power and we will seek this power.
We will increasingly desire this power and we will seek this power. Which means very simply that we will cry out for it like the woman in the parable who wanted the judge to vindicate her cause (). This is what says that the disciples did until Pentecost came: "they devoted themselves to prayer." So should we.
And if we believe this power is for us…then the exortation of the angels is for us…why are you standing here looking into heaven…when you have the power of heaven available to you?
And what does says that the disciples did until Pentecost came: "they devoted themselves to prayer." So should we.
I want to end with prayer today before we worship…and I will put up the words of James to us...
I will start where we ended…but we will answer the question...
Galatians 3:2 ESV
Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?
You have just heard…have you heard…is it with faith…do you believe? Do you trust?
If you do…let us pray...
James 4:2 ESV
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
That leaves one last question. Are you leading a valid, worthwhile Christian life and ministry if you have not had this experience but are seeking to honor the Lord daily in your life? The answer is yes. Let's call that solid steady-state Christianity. It is faithful, honest, obedient, loving, persevering service to Christ and his kingdom. Remember the child walking with his father.
If you do…let us pray...
I do not want us to minimize the blessings God has brought to us in our steady-state life together. They have been many and wonderful. But I ask you, can you not imagine what it might be like if our Father swept us up into his arms? It is not either-or. It is both-and. In the history of the church the steady-state, obedient, faithful, persevering years of life have preserved and nurtured the fruit of the times of extraordinary power. And, to put it the other way around, the times of steady-state, faithful, obedient life have prepared the soil, and extraordinary outpourings of God's Spirit have taken the work of the kingdom forward in a quantum leap, accomplishing overnight, as it were, what people have been laboring years to see.
It is not either-or. It is both-and. I pray that the Lord will give us a double grace: the grace to walk joyfully and obediently in the wonderful mercy of steady-state Christianity, holding our Father's hand; but also the grace to yearn and pray more and more that we might be clothed with power from on high and swept up into our Father's arms, that all the world might know that God is real.
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