Monday, October 25, 2021
“But 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.” Acts 1:8
Twenty-five years ago as my ministry was beginning at Calvary, I did an in-depth study of the book of Acts called “Let’s Have REAL Church.” The principles we learned became the solid foundation of truth upon which the church still stands.
The book of Acts in the Bible is the story of the continuing work of Jesus Christ on the earth through His Holy Spirit. In the past centuries, the book was called The Acts of the Apostles, but this is not an accurate title, and should be called The Continuing Acts of Jesus Christ. In Acts 1:1-5 we read this:
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After 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. On 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. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Notice how Luke, the author, states clearly that in his previous book, the Gospel of Luke, he wrote about what Jesus “began to do.” The book of Acts is Luke’s description of what Jesus continues to do, even though now He does His work through His Spirit in us while He himself sits on the throne in heaven.
I want to share a summary statement of Acts chapter 1 with you, and then break it down into its individual parts over the next few days. Here is the summary:
A REAL church is one that is focused on the presence of Jesus Christ, is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, is passionate about fulfilling God’s purpose of proclaiming Jesus Christ to the world, is expecting the promised return of Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom, and is constantly in prayer.
For today, read that statement as many times as is necessary to get the following points firmly planted in your memory bank.
1. Presence of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:1-5)
2. Power of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)
3. Passion to serve Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)
4. Purpose of proclaiming Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)
5. Promised return of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:11)
6. Praying intimately with Jesus Christ (Acts 1:14, 24)
The church will only be as real as each individual in the church, and that makes each one of us significant. We must evaluate our lives with these six characteristics and be willing to become REAL people so we can have REAL church.
Beginning tomorrow we will look at each of these characteristic of a REAL church in detail. For today, reflect on the total package and ask God to prepare your heart for the cultivating work of the Holy Spirit.