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The Apostles' Motivation

The Book of Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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I believe that, ultimately, why we do what we do for the Lord is as important as what we do for Him.

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I believe that, ultimately, why we do what we do for the Lord is as important as what we do for Him.
Proverbs 17:3 KJV 1900
The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: But the Lord trieth the hearts.
There are many compelling motives to live for the Lord, but there are none so compelling as His imminent return. After His return, we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV 1900
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2 C

1. The Motivation of the Ministry (vs. 9-11)

The Lord was about to depart from earth and return to His former glory. Before doing that, He was going to leave the apostles with a final and powerful motivation to faithfulness.
A. The Lord’s Glorious Ascension
Jesus is now in His resurrected body.
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and spent time with them, teaching them what they would need to know to carry on his work.
b. The apostles are standing on the Mount of Olives.
Luke 24:50–51 KJV 1900
And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
B. The Angle’s Wonderful Promise
The angle gave the disciples the promise that they were not being forsaken. Not only would the Holy Spirit come as Jesus had told them, but the very same Jesus who had now ascended into Heaven would one day return to the very spot on which they were standing.
Zechariah 14:4 KJV 1900
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, Which is before Jerusalem on the east, And the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, And there shall be a very great valley; And half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, And half of it toward the south.
This same Jesus will return. This promise becomes an amazing motivation for us to work.
Romans 13:11–14 KJV 1900
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
John 9:4 KJV 1900
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

2. The Members of the Assembly (vs. 12-13)

The Apostles were chosen by the Lord, and they were personal witnesses of the resurrected Saviour.
A. They were Gathered According to God’s Sovereignty
Acts 10:39–42 KJV 1900
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: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 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. 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.
Matthew 10:1–4 KJV 1900
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
These Men were chosen by God for the particular moment in history.
Peter- was impetuous, but zealous.
James- the brother of John, would die a martyr’s death; he was faithful and courageous.
John- was gentile and passionate; he was responsible.
Andrew- was concerned for others.
Philip- was practical and thorough.
Thomas- was a doubter.
Bartholomew- was blameless and patient.
Matthew- left all to follow Christ.
James- was humble and quiet.
Simon- had been a member of the Zealots.
Judas- the brother of james was steadfast.
Mary and the half brothers of Jesus were present in the assembly. They would provide leadership in the church at Jerusalem.
These were men of like passions to us. They had recently lost a good friend, or so they thought, in Judas Iscariot. They were brought together for a purpose.
B. They Were Waiting Obediently
Jesus had given them instructions to stay in Jerusalem until they recieved the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:4 KJV 1900
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
They were a “Sabbath day’s journey,” which is about 3/4 of a mile. This was the distance that the Jews were allowed to walk to a synagogue on the Sabbath day for worship.
They are waiting in the upper room. This was probably a large room on the second floor of a believer’s house.
As the day of Pentecost approached, they spent their time in the temple and the upper room waiting for God’s power.
Luke 24:53 KJV 1900
And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

3. The Method of the Waiting (vs. 14)

Have you ever waited for something important? There are many ways to wait.
In ten days time, this small group of people would be part of the greatest moving of God in history.
A. Perseverance
the bible says they “continued” in Jerusalem. Many times we fail to see God’s power revealed because we give up to soon.
Galatians 6:9 KJV 1900
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
They did nit know how long they would wait, but nothing would stop them now.
They would not stop praying until they recieved the promise of the Spirit.
B. Unity
The bible says they were in “one accord.” There was no dissenting voice or murmuring or gossip in te upper room.
The had a oneness of heart and mind. they were after the same thing.
The Greek word used here for unity is used 11 times in scripture, and 10 of those are found in the book of Acts.
a. They were united at the commands of Christ.
b. They were united at the doctrines of Christ.
Charles Spurgeon those in his day who promoted unity over the truth. He wrote, “A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, “Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless… Unite, unite!” Such teaching is false, reckless and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignment. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord’s prayer in must be read in full context. Look at verse 17: “Sanctify them through the truth: they word is truth.” Only those sanctified through the Word of God can be one in Christ. To teach otherwise is to betray the Gospel.”
People will disappoint you, but we must reunite around truth.
If we gather with common belief and a common cause, we will seek and find a common unity.
Perseverance, Unity, and lastly
C. Prayer
The Apostles realized that there was a gap in their ranks caused by suicide of Judas. They were also, no doubt, praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Our prayerlessness will often reveal itself throughout the day. A daily time of worship with God is vital. It is so important, that when we miss it others can notice. Such was the case when four-year-old Andrew made an honest mistake and spilled something in his house. His mother responded with a screaming tirade. the little theologian made an astute observation: “Mommy, you forgot to ask Jesus to help you be nice today, didn’t you?”


Do you long to see God work mightily in these days? we know that we can see such work, because we serve the same resurrected Saviour as the apostles did. He still delights in using ordinary people; therefore, we must wait in unity for His power and blessing!
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