Acts 1:8, “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.”
Boys and girls, waah, great singing and praising! I believe our Lord Jesus is pleased! Remember what Teacher Emily talked about a special virtue from Book of James chapter 5? Yes, ‘Patience,” I am hoping that everyone will be able to show good patience in your daily life. Well, we have done the book of James, today Pastor will start a new series for a new book. Other than the books of the four gospels, there is only one historical book in the New Testament, who knows the name of this book? Acts! Great! As a matter of fact, its complete name is: the acts of the Apostles. It is the history of the works of the Apostles of Jesus. Anyone knows who wrote this book? Yes, Luke did it, who also wrote the gospel of Luke which tells us that Jesus came to the world and taught the truth of the kingdom of God, and He was crucified and died and buried. Then He was raised on the third day. Acts is a continuation of the Book of Luke teaching us the events that took place after Jesus returned to heaven. His disciples spread over everywhere telling people about the salvation of Jesus. Let’s watch a short video.
<play video – Introduction of Acts>
Before Jesus returned to heaven, do you know how long Jesus spent with the disciples? 40 days, waah! He spent 40 days with His disciples proving that He was really alive physically, and telling them about the kingdom of God. And Jesus instructed them to stay in Jerusalem and never went out. Well, how long they had to stay in? Bright, could you read Acts 1: 1-8 for us? Boys and girls, let’s read the verses together with Bright.
”In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them 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. 4 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. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 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.”
From verse 4 and 5, we know that the disciples had to stay in until the Holy Spirit came down to them. Jesus told the disciples: “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)
Last Sunday Teacher Emily taught us about “patience.” Yes, Jesus was also teaching the disciples about patience. They needed to learn to be patiently waiting for the Holy Spirit to come down. And then they would receive the power to be His witness courageously. Jesus gave this command not just to the disciples that time which is also to us, today’s disciples, Jesus’ followers. Pastor will have three points for you to learn today:
1. Pastor would like everyone to think about “the Holy Spirit.” Who is the Holy Spirit? Well, we know our God is the trinity God, who is three persons in one. Who knows these three persons? Yes, they are: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. You know only when Jesus went back to our Heavenly Father, then the Holy Spirit came down. Next Sunday, Teacher Sharon will talk about how the Holy Spirit came to the apostles and how they did powerful works for Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Stay tuned! Well, do you know today the Holy Spirit is still working on earth? For those who accept Jesus as their Savior, they also receive the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if you have accepted Jesus, you have to believe that you have had the Holy Spirit in you. The Holy Spirit will empower you to do good work to obey God’s commands and to be sensitive to the sins so that you can get rid of Satan’s temptation.
2. Pastor would like to talk about “Power.” What is power? Power can mean ability to do something or capability to achieve some works. Power comes in many forms, such as the car engine, or electric power, or dynamite or even nuclear power. The power also refers to the ability or the gifts to achieve a task, just as in verse 4 Jesus said “wait for the gift my Father promised…,” such as the abilities of serving, loving, caring, healing, preaching, etc. It includes the spiritual power for fighting against the Satan and his followers. We all like people to applaud us saying: “waah, you are powerful!” Don’t you? Jesus did show a lot of miraculous power when He was on earth, today Jesus is still showing miraculous power in response to our prayers. And He will give us power to achieve a good work for Him, as well.
3. Let’s talk about “the Witness.” What does the witness mean? Luke was the one who shared what he had seen and had heard about Jesus. Luke is then a witness for Jesus. Therefore, he was able to write the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. A person who shares what they have seen is called a witness. God gives us the power of the Holy Spirit is for us to witness the Lord Jesus. Pastor drew 3 circles here.
Jesus instructed His disciples to be His witness in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The disciples were living in Jerusalem just like we are living in Fremont, Newark, Union City or any local city you are in. This is the first circle. And the second circle is Judea and Samaria for the disciples that time, but for us we can say it is the California state we are living. And the largest circle refers to the whole world. Jesus wants us to be His witness in our local city and in the state and to the whole world.
Boys and girls, you may ask, I have never seen Jesus in person, how could I be His witness? Well, God gave us the Bible to reveal Jesus to us. And when you receive Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit will work in you to change your life. And you should have the power from the Holy Spirit to witness the Lord Jesus. The question is: are you willing to? Are you willing to share the gospel with others? If you are scared to do so, you need to remember that when you accept Jesus then the Holy Spirit lives in you and will give you power and courage to be a witness for Jesus.
Alright, let’s review and memorize the verse Acts 1:8, “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.” Be sure you keep this verse in your heart. Boys and girls, let’s bow our head and pray: “Our heavenly father, thank you for your salvation in Jesus given unto us through the Apostles’ works and witness. Without the apostles’ witness and sharing the gospel to the world, we wouldn’t be able to hear the salvation. For those who haven’t been saved, I am inviting you to accept Jesus as your Savior so that you will have the Holy Spirit and the peace and joy from God, our heavenly Father. Let Pastor know you are willing to accept Jesus, so that I can tell you how to and pray for you for accepting Jesus. And surely I will congratulate you when you do so. For those who have been saved, I am praying that the Holy Spirit empowers you with the courage to be the witness for Jesus anywhere anytime. In the Lord Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!