The Book of Acts (Part 1)

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A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day – October 8, 2019

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:4-5)

Next week, my wife and I are going to start teaching a very important multi-week course on the Book of Acts at our local church. So, what I thought we would do in conjunction with that study and teaching would be to give you guys some highlights of the things we are going to be teaching on rather than developing an entire new set of devotionals. It will help us study and prepare, and hopefully it will help you guys also.

Before we dive into the Book of Acts, we want to look at what preceded the birth of the modern day church. Let’s call it a preamble to the Upper Room experience.

The Upper Room, known as the Cenacle, is located in the southern part of the Old City of Jerusalem on Mount Zion, and is perhaps best known as the traditional site of the Last Supper since the fourth century AD. The buildings on this site have been destroyed, changed hands, and rebuilt many times but the actual site is thought to be the right site.

According to tradition, this is where the apostles stayed when they were in Jerusalem. It is where the Last Supper took place. The Cenacle is where Jesus washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1–20). It is where the concept of a loving friendship with Jesus was introduced, as set forth in John’s Last Supper discourses (John 14—16), and gave the apostles a glimpse into the beautiful prayer life of Jesus, sometimes known as the “high priestly prayer,” recorded in John 17. It is the place where the disciples gathered in fear after the death of Jesus and prayed for the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 20:19–23).

By tradition, this is the same room where Jesus appeared, both before and after the resurrection. It was here that Jesus made visible his wounds to see and touch, and the room where the faith of Thomas emerged. It is where the Jesus breathed on them the Holy Spirit “on the evening of that first day of the week” (John 20:19).

I see this site as representative of Jesus preparing His disciples for His departure. We could spend months going over all the things Jesus told His disciples during that time but the following are just a few examples of foundational truths that are critical to the Church today. Some of these truths have been lost over time or so watered down that they have lost their power.

1. John 14:8-9 – Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
2. John 14:15 – If ye love me, keep my commandments.
3. John 14:26 – But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 14:8-9 is a great example of reading the Word backwards. If you want to understand the Father, you must look at the Son. The modern Church tends to define the Father by everything that happened in the Old Testament. John 14:15 is a great example of the power of loving God. The emphasis should be on loving God and not keeping the commandments. If you love God, keeping His commandments is easy. John 14:26 highlights the critical importance of being baptized in the Holy Ghost.

(To Be Continued)

 

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