Morning Bible Study
Ruth Ann. She’s here! Born on Wednesday morning.
Ask the Pastor – if you have questions you’ve always wished you could ask
the pastor, write them down on a card and drop them into the Agape Box, or hand
them to me. We’ll also entertain
questions on Thursday Night if we have time.
Movie Nights – Movies meant to give you reasons why we believe.
Coming Sundays: Next Week Samy Tanagho, then Daniel Grant, then we start
the book of Proverbs.
Luke told us what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:
(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son
of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
He would do this by dying for our sins.
We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on the previous Sunday, Palm Sunday, to
the shouts of an adoring crowd, crying “Hosanna”.
By the following Friday morning Jesus had been arrested, tried, and
He was buried in a borrowed tomb on Friday afternoon.
Early Sunday morning, some women went to the tomb, found the stone rolled
away, the tomb empty, and two angels told them that Jesus had risen from the
Later that Sunday, Jesus appeared to:
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus
The disciples gathered in the upper room.
24:44-48 The Great Commission
:44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you
while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were
written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms
:45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the
:45 He opened their understanding
We could say, “He opened their minds”.
Taught by God
We talked a few weeks ago about how the Scriptures are impossible to
understand correctly when you are an unbeliever.
(1 Corinthians 2:14
NLT) But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from
God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for
only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
Yet when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, we now have the “equipment”
needed to learn from God.
At this moment there are all sorts of images, sounds, and data zipping
through the air around us. Unless we
have appropriate TV receiver, radio, computer, or cell phone we won’t be able
to receive any of it.
(John 14:26 NLT) But when the
Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will
teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
The apostles were specially taught by God.
We want to pay attention to what the apostles taught.
It was part of the early church:
2:42 NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and
to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
We have a record of what the apostles taught in the New
Jesus had opened their understanding.
We too can be taught by God.
Just not at the same level as the apostles.
Paul prayed for the Ephesians that…
1:18 NKJV) the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know
what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His
inheritance in the saints
Let me give you some tips.
In the movie “Karate Kid”, Daniel-son wants to learn karate from Mr.
Miyagi. Yet at the beginning all it
seems Mr. Miyagi is doing is having Daniel do tedious chores like waxing his
car and painting his fence.
Video: Karate Kid –
Lessons Come Together
The things I want to share may sound basic or even
pointless to you, but until you start to practice them on a regular basis, you
will struggle in what it means to be taught by God.
Pray before you read.
Ask God to teach you.
Read the whole book
The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible.
The more you read and understand the whole of the Bible,
the better equipped you will be to understand the parts.
I’d like to challenge you to read the Bible in a
year. And then do it again. And again.
Don’t worry about not understanding everything. Keep a file open in your head called “waiting
for further information”. You will find
that the more you read your Bible, the less things there are left in that file.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions from those are a little
older in the Lord than you are.
A young fiery preacher named Apollos had to be pulled
aside by two of Paul’s friends (Aquilla and Priscilla, Acts 18), and get some
of his doctrines straightened out.
Sometimes you can find these “older brothers” in a
In warning about false prophets, Jesus said,
7:16 NKJV) You will know them by their fruits.
Whether it’s a teaching from someone on the internet or
some crazy idea you’ve got from reading your Bible, don’t be afraid to ask the
What happens when I live my life this way?
Do I become a hateful, angry person?
Paul told us why he wrote his letters:
Timothy 1:5 NLT) The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled
with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
:46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary
for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
:46 it was necessary for …
Jesus now does for the apostles what we saw Him to earlier in the day with
the two fellows on the road to Emmaus.
(Luke 24:27 NKJV) And
beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the
Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His
name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
:47 repentance and remission of sins
This is Luke’s record of what we call “The Great Commission”.
Luke says our message has two parts to it.
We often think of “repentance” to mean “stop sinning”.
And that’s certainly a part of it, but the concept goes a
little deeper than that.
repentance – metanoia – a
change of mind
Away from sin
Repentance means to change the way you think about your
9:13 NKJV) …For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to
Repentance means that you realize that your sin is wrong,
and that you need help.
Repentance isn’t just turning away from something, but
turning to something. It’s about turning
to God. Paul talked about…
20:21 NKJV) …repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are travelling down the road of sin in your life,
repentance doesn’t just stop heading towards “Sin City” and then heads just
anywhere (like heading towards “boy scout city”)
It means you make a complete turn around and start heading
towards God. It means you get on the
path God wants for you.
It means you start trusting in Jesus.
is a change of mind, it’s a change that’s so deep that it leaks out into the
way you live.
John the Baptist said,
3:8 NKJV) Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance
People around you won’t know of your repentance because
you go forward at a church service, or even because you tell them you’ve
They will know you’ve repented because your life will
begin to actually change.
Forgiveness (remission of sins)
remission – aphesis (“let
go”) – release from bondage; forgiveness or pardon
This is what happens when you turn to God in repentance and faith.
He forgives your sins. He lets it
go. He no longer holds your sins against
(1 John 1:9 NKJV) If we
confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
He is faithful in that He will let it go if you will
He is “just” because His Son Jesus has paid the penalty
for our sins by dying on a cross in our place.
Jesus paid our debt.
Our message is about repentance and forgiveness.
:48 And you are witnesses of these things.
:48 witnesses of these things
We talked about this last week.
The apostles would be the primary witnesses of His death, resurrection, and
Jesus made sure they had irrefutable proof of these things before He ascended
Luke recorded how Jesus prepared these “witnesses” for what was up ahead…
(Acts 1:3 NKJV) to whom He
also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs,
being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to
the kingdom of God.
24:49-53 The Ascension
:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city
of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
:49 the Promise of My Father
Jesus is talking about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
:50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and
:50 He led them out as far as Bethany
Video: Bethany Map
Bethany is a village located on the Mount of Olives, two miles east of
:50 He lifted up His hands and blessed them
As I’ve been learning about Church History, I have found it amazing that
the church will argue about all sorts of things.
One church split occurred in England over whether the priest was to “bless”
his congregation with two fingers raised, or three.
Though we don’t have a record of the blessing Jesus pronounced on His
disciples, I think there’s a slight chance it might have been the one from
NKJV) —24 “The Lord bless you
and keep you; 25
Lord make His face shine upon
you, And be
gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His
countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’
What about the hands?
Leonard Nimoy based
the greeting on what he saw growing up in the Jewish synagogue.
The Jewish priests would pronounce this blessing in a manner similar to
Spock’s “live long and prosper” gesture.
:51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from
them and carried up into heaven.
:51 carried up into heaven
Luke tells us in Acts:
(Acts 1:9 NKJV) Now when He
had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud
received Him out of their sight.
We call this event the “Ascension”
Jesus died, and rose from the dead, but He’s still alive today.
He’s alive and well in heaven.
This was a fulfillment of an important prophecy:
(Psalm 110:1 NKJV) The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right
hand, Till I make
Your enemies Your footstool.”
This is Father God talking to David’s “Lord” (Jesus).
This speaks of Jesus being in the most exalted place in
the universe, sitting at the right hand of God.
He will be there until He returns and sets up His kingdom
The ascension is also tied to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day
The night before He died, Jesus told the disciples this:
16:7 NKJV) Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I
go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I
depart, I will send Him to you.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent forty days appearing to the
disciples and teaching them before ascending into heaven.
Ten days later, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out.
:52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
:53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.
:49 tarry … power from on high
Jesus told the apostles to not leave town until they had received God’s
power, which is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Luke told us why Jesus wanted them to wait for the outpouring of the Holy
(Acts 1:8 NKJV) But you
shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be
witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of
The Holy Spirit would give them “power” to be the “witnesses” God wanted
them to be.
The Greek word for “power” (dunamis)
comes from the Greek word “to be able”.
We often hear about the power as “dynamite”, but I think
it’s better to think of it as “dynamic”.
The Holy Spirit gives you the ability to do all that God
wants you to do. He gives you the
ability to live for God and serve God.
Wait for it
tarry – kathizo – to sit; settle down
What Jesus is talking about here is something different than being born
When you became a believer, the Holy Spirit came to be inside you.
When Jesus talks about this “Promise” of the Father, He’s talking about the
“baptism” of the Holy Spirit, or the “filling” of the Holy Spirit.
A person is like an empty glass.
When you become born again, God puts water in the glass.
The filling of the Holy Spirit is when God keeps pouring
water into the glass and the glass starts overflowing, getting everything
around it wet.
We need God’s help in our lives.
We need the ability to say “no” to temptation.
We need the ability to get over our reluctance and share Jesus with our
How do we receive this power?
Jesus told His disciples to wait for it.
When you check in at the doctor’s office, they tell you to
“have a seat” in the “waiting room”.
I think one of the least exciting things about going to
the doctor is having to sit in the “waiting room”.
Sometimes you only have to wait for a few minutes, but
sometimes you have to wait for an hour or two.
I remember taking my boys to the pediatrician, and waiting
for two hours with three little boys.
You have to learn a few parenting tricks to keep everyone sane, like
playing “I spy with my little eye”.
Yet you do it because it’s worth the wait. There is great benefit to seeing the doctor,
whether it’s medicine for an ear infection, or advice after a checkup.
It hasn’t been easy for David and Sarah to wait for Ruthie
to be born. Especially when she was 9
days late. But she’s every bit worth the
Learn to wait for the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus also said,
7:37–38 NKJV) —37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood
and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who
believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of
You need to know that you need the Holy Spirit.
Last year’s movie “Hidden Figures” follows the story of
three black women in the south who helped NASA in the beginning of the space
program. They were mathematical and
engineering geniuses. They did things that nobody thought they could do.
Here’s a clip where one of the gals is asking a judge to
allow her to attend classes at an all-white high school so she can become an
Video: Hidden Figures – Make You
Maybe you think that you’d never be able to be a bold
witness for Jesus.
Maybe you think there’s no way you will ever be able to
conquer a certain sin in your life.
Without God’s help, without the power of the Holy Spirit, you
may be right.
I’m not saying that the Holy Spirit is a racist white
judge, but He is like that judge in that He has the power and authority to
“make you the first”, to help you do things you didn’t think possible.
The question is, how bad do you want it? How thirsty are
You also need to come to Jesus and receive it (drink).
We receive the work of the Holy Spirit by faith.
It’s okay to have people lay hands on you and pray over
you, but you still need to believe if you want to be filled.
The Holy Spirit wants to empower us.
He wants to help.
We need to wait on Him.
We need to be thirsty.
We need to believe.