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This is the first sermon in our series on the book of Acts on “The Ascension”. Preacher: The Rev’d Adam Lowe. Bible Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Next Steps this Week
BIBLE READING: Acts 1:1-11
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 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. 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.”
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
CONNECT: Who is one person, on your front line, you can pray for, share the good news with, and disciple this year?
Have you ever considered the ascension of Jesus to be critical? Why or why not?
Have you ever had a moment where you suddenly understood who Jesus is more clearly? Have you ever shared that with anyone else?
READ Acts 1:1-11
As you read the introduction to Acts, what gives credibility to this report?
Why does Luke both finish Luke and commence Acts with the ascension account? If the ascension didn’t happen, what are the implications?
READ Hebrews 7:23-27
What are the implications of Jesus being alive? What does it mean that he is our permanent priest?
In what was does the living Lord Jesus intercede for us? What gives you confidence to run to him with both your greatest need (for forgiveness) along with all other needs?
What does it mean to you that you can not only know ‘about’ Jesus, but actually know him?
In what way is Jesus both the perfect High Priest and perfect sacrifice? How does that make him worthy of our praise and our devotion?
READ Luke 24:45-53
What is the significance of the disciples worshipping Jesus immediately after the ascension?
What is different about Jesus’ assumption into heaven compared to Enoch’s or Elijah’s?
What exactly were the disciples to be witnesses to? How about us?
Why did the disciples have to wait until Pentecost to continue Jesus’ mission on earth? How are we equipped for this mission too?
How should Jesus’ return motivate us to go into the world as witnesses of Jesus?
APPLY This Week: What is one key opportunity for you to connect with or pray for your ‘one key person’ who are hoping becomes a Christian?
Heavenly Father, thank you so much that Jesus died, rose, and ascended to sit at your right hand. Please help us to be witnesses for Jesus, in the power of your Spirit, as we await for his return. Amen.
On Your Frontline This Week: Invite someone along to discover different ways that we can pray for our community, city, and world at the Prayer Night.
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