Monday, January 10, 2022

2022.01.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Acts 1:4–8

Read Acts 1:4–8

Questions from the Scripture text: With whom was Jesus assembled (Acts 1:4a)? What did He command them not to do (verse 4b)? What did He command them to do instead (verse 4c)? What had John done with what (Acts 1:5a)? Now what would happen to them with Whom (verse 5b)? When (verse 5c)? What did they ask Him when they assembled (Acts 1:6)? What was not for them to know (Acts 1:7)? What would they receive (Acts 1:8a)? When what happened (verse 8b)? And what would they be by this power (verse 8c)? Where? 

In this passage, we have the Father’s promise and plan, the Son’s pouring, and the Spirit’s empowering. The Lord Jesus emphasizes the Triune collaboration that occurs in the ministry of the apostles. 

First, there is the promise of the Father. God had promised the sending of the Christ since the garden. And from the beginning, it was apparent that He would be One Who was more powerful even than the devil (cf. Genesis 3:15). Eventually, it would be plain that He would be God Himself (cf. Isaiah 9:6). Now, in the fullness of time, God had sent His Son (cf. Galatians 4:4). But God had also promised to pour out His Spirit (cf. Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 36:27; Joel 2:28; Galatians 4:6). Although in all of His actions, God operates as One, Christ highlights to us the Father in these promises and in the planning of Acts 1:7—when to send the Son, when to send the Spirit, and when to restore the kingdom.

Then, there is the Son’s pouring. John baptized with water (Acts 1:5a), and John promised that Jesus would do the same but with the Holy Spirit and with fire (verse 5b, cf. Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). Here is the amazing thing: Yahweh said that He would pour out His Spirit. And it is Jesus Who pours out the Spirit as He baptizes with the Spirit (cf. Luke 24:49), as which is how we know that water baptism is rightly, biblically administered by pouring water (cf. Acts 10:44–48, Acts 11:15–16). Surely, Jesus is Yahweh, and the Spirit is His Spirit. It is God Who has died and risen again for us. It is God the Son Who pours out upon us God the Spirit.

Finally, there is the Spirit’s empowering. The disciples were still looking for a particular kind of earthly power. They wanted to be able to take control of the government and the culture. “Lord will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). 

But this is a much lesser power than what Jesus was promising. Jesus’s point in Acts 1:7-8 is clear. What power the Father gives to others by His power isn’t the disciples’ business. On the other hand, by contrast, there is far greater power that is their business. “Not many days from now” (Acts 1:5b) “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon You” (Acts 1:8a). 

And this power is not merely for the political takeover of one kingdom, but for the Spiritual and eternal takeover of all of the kingdoms. Yes, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (the southern and northern kingdoms of Israel), but far beyond that: to the end of the earth. For, they will be witnesses who proclaim repentance and remission of sins in Christ’s Name to all nations (cf. Luke 24:47–48). Christ gives God Himself, the Spirit, to His people in order to apply to them and work out through them all that He has earned for them.

How does the involvement of each of Person of the Trinity move and encourage you?

Sample prayer:  Our Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—we bless Your Name for how You have loved us from before the world began, and in the redemptive work of Christ, and still now and forever by Your Spirit. Forgive us for when we think about salvation in an impersonal way, or as something that depends upon ourselves. Grant instead that we would know Your great love for us and great power upon us by Your Spirit, through Jesus Christ, AMEN! 

Suggested songs: ARP25A “To You I Lift My Soul” or TPH212 “Come, Thou Almighty King”

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