God's Work In Acts
Acts 1:1-8 opens up the book of Acts and lays out for us not only the progression of Acts, but also God’s plan. In these opening verses we are introduced to all three persons of the Godhead… Father Son and Holy Spirit:
The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
The ongoing theme through our study in Luke and Acts has been, “I Will Build My Church”.
As we went through Luke the primary focus was on Jesus
This work of building up the church is a work NOT just of Jesus Christ but involves the work of all three persons of the Godhead.
In Acts we see each of them and their unique yet unified roles and work in the building of the Church...
God the Father is referenced over 400 times
God the Son is referenced almost 300 times
God the Holy Spirit is referenced over 70 times…
In that we also have to realize that this boo is called Acts or the Acts of the Apostles… in which the Holy Spirit dwelt as well.
Let me draw your attention to our churches doctrinal statement on this topic...
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and each having the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; II Corinthians 13:14).
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
Today I want to briefly introduce you to the person of God The Father...
Invisible to man… But His works are very visible, His character is clearly seen… Exodus 33:20
But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”
He is relational… creator of man for relationship… Genesis 3:8
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
He is still seeking to walk among us be with us… Leviticus 26:12; Psalm 139:1;7
‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
He is to be feared… Proverbs 1:7; Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 Peter 2:17
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.
Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
WHY have a reverent fear of Him???… Because He is HOLY, All POWERFUL, All KNOWING; He is EVERYWHERE PRESENT
A wonderful definition is found in Acts 17:23-28 our God is… One who desires TO BE KNOWN!!!
“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’
God Is Working!
God Is Working!
He has had a plan from the beginning… Acts 2:17
‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams;
It was God’s Word going out to the world… Acts 4:31; Acts 6:7
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
It is absolutely AMAZING to watch God work… We may not see Him, but we see His work clearly Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Even those who oppose Him understand that His work cannot be stopped! Gamaliel’s advice Acts 5:38-39
“So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
We see God doing the work of dealing with SIN… Acts 10:15;28; 11:17-18
Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.”
And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.
“Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
We have seen just a glimpse of who God is, at best scratched the surface on what He was doing in Acts, BUT so what… what does that mean for the church in 2020?
God Is Unchanging!!!
God Is Unchanging!!!
Malachi 3:6 states this characteristic concerning God...
“For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
All that God Is… remains true today, His Power, His plan, His Word!
Peoples ideas of right and wrong change
BUT… who God is, what He is doing NEVER changes
Now how He works may look differetnt
God is STILL WORKING today, and He still uses His people!
He is relational… and is still seeking relationships with lost sinners
He is still doing the work of cleansing sinners!
The power of God’s Word is still changing lives… Romans 1:16-17 I will close with this verse!!!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”