The seventh in a series of 9 sermons
In POWER Christ laid down His life and by His power He took it up again.
At His ascension He promised the disciples they would receive the Holy Spirit and with the Spirit’s coming, the power to fulfill the mission He was giving them. As the Father had sent Him, now He was sending them into the world.
As the Church reflects on these truths at the time of Lent and onwards to Pentecost, especially in times of trial and growing resistance, it is important for us not to become timid as to Christ’s mission. We need to remember that while individual expressions of the Church might dissolve in a given locality, the Church of Christ as His body, cannot be overcome by the world… not even the gates of Hell can prevail against Christ’s Church.
This series helps us to look up and remember the mission we have is from Christ and in all situations He will provide, according to His plans and purposes. With hands and knees strengthened in faith, we press on in our time to be Christ’s light and salt in our world, so in need of the Gospel.
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Acts 1:1–11 (NIV84)
1In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach
2until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
3After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
8But 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.”
9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
11“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.”
Ephesians 1:11–23 (NIV84)
11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.