Witnesses

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Intro

Where we’ve been concerning Jesus:

Expectation

Acts 1:4–8 NKJV
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus instructed the disciples to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ disciples were expecting the “restoration of kingdom to Israel”.
Jesus made it clear that this wasn’t for them to know.
Rather, they needed to be prepared to receive power when the Holy Spirt came upon them.
Transition: This power would be needed for them to carry on the mission Jesus had for them.

“You Shall Receive Power”

The power of the Holy Spirt would enable the disciples to “be witnesses to me (Jesus).”
Following Jesus would be no easy task. Power would be needed.
Not just any power, but the power of the Holy Spirit!
What does it mean to “witness” to Jesus?
Witness is the same word for “martyr”.
It refers to a person who provides a testimony.
A witness testifies to what they’ve seen, heard, or experienced.
We’ve somewhat misapplied this idea of “witnessing”.
We’ve often made it about preaching, proclamation, evangelism, and power encounters.
This makes sense because we see this in the book of Acts.
Transition: Yet, there’s more to the idea of witnessing that this.

The Spectacular

There are times when Holy Spirit empowered people powerfully proclaim the gospel.
There are times when Holy Spirit empowered people are enabled to be a part of powerful encounters.
Yet, this isn’t the only way we are empowered to witness.
In fact, we can sometimes “set the bar too high” for most Christ–followers.
This can result in disappointment if we don’t see the “spectacular” results we expect.
Disappointment can lead to discouragement.
Discouragement can lead to inactivity.

The Everyday and the Ordinary

Let reiterate what Jesus said:
Acts 1:8 NKJV
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
A “witness” or “martyr’s” very life testifies to what they believe.
EMPHASIS: Our lives should testify to a new reality in which we are living.
This new reality is the Kingdom of God, willingly submitting our lives to Christ who has redeemed us and given us the right to become children of God.
Our very lives are a witness; we are on display for the world to see what it looks like to live in the kingdom of God.
Romans 14:17 NKJV
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The outstanding characteristics of kingdom people are righteousness, peace, and joy.
This should exemplify our lives.
Remember, The people of Israel were to be a “light to the Gentiles”.
In how they related to God in worship and obedience.
They were “kingdom people”.
The church is now God’s kingdom people in Christ.
Our witness in the everyday and the ordinary if how we live in a world desperately needing redemption and restoration.
We witness to Christ is through declaration, words and demonstration, deeds.

Final Words

Believers in Jesus Christ are called to witness.
This witness is empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Though it may be spectacular it is also everyday and ordinary.
EMPHASIS: This witnessing to Jesus is the “Creation Mandate reset!
Man was created to glorify God by responding to his excellence in worship and obedience.
Man was mandated to be “fruitful and multiply” and to “have dominion” over the earth”.
This mandate would be extending beyond Eden and into the world.
Redeemed humanity now continues this mandate under the authority of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Great Commission
“Go into all the world.”
“Be witnesses in all Jerusalem, all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
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