Saturday, November 27, 2021

Hubris & Hope


Hubris comes from the ancient Greek. It means to possess a great or foolish amount of pride or to exhibit excessively dangerous overconfidence. Based on the ancient Greek meaning it is always seen as negative. However, I believe at times God grants extreme confidence to the meek who put their trust in Him.

This was not the case with King Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned in Babylon from 605 until 561BC. He is rather the picture of a Godless conqueror. Many others throughout history have been compared with him. Men with such hubris as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, King Herod, Napoleon Bonaparte, and even Adolph Hitler. Men who believed or acted as though they were greater than God and not subject to Him. Men who believed they ruled by their own power, might, and wisdom. Men who falsely imagined themselves untouchable … foolishly overconfident.

The account of King Nebuchadnezzar is a story of Hubris and hope.

King Nebuchadnezzar ruled the whole known world and there was none to match his earthly reign and glory. However, the prophet Daniel records King Nebuchadnezzar’s problem in his own words:

Daniel 4 NLT

30  As the king looked out across the city, he said, “Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.”

31  While these words were still in his mouth, a voice called down from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you! You are no longer ruler of this kingdom.”

Hubris can be both powerful and dangerous. Powerful in the lives of the humble whose lives are in the hands of God (ie. Moses), and dangerous to nations, family, and friends when in the prideful hands of mortal man. The Bible plainly explains that God sets up one and brings down another. Paul reveals that there is no power or authority on earth but that which God allows. God governs in the affairs of men. And as the prophet foretold, God is determined to orchestrate the gathering of nations together so that He might pour out of the wrath of His indignation against them. (Zep 3:8)

If we were to read the full account of King Nebuchadnezzar’s fall from power, we would find that he went insane and lived like an animal for seven years. His hair grew long like eagle’s feathers, and his fingernails became like claws. After those 7 years he came to his senses …

Daniel 4:34  And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation.

The account we have been given does not include the whole story. We don’t know how the kingdom of Babylon and its citizens faired during those seven years, People under the prideful power of a godless conqueror often suffer abuses which can take years from which to recover. However, God is a God of hope. What we are told is that in the end, after Nebuchadnezzar repented and offered true respect and devotion to Almighty God, the nobles sought him out so that they might restore him to the throne.

This story of King Nebuchadnezzar teaches us several truths about God and how He governs in the affairs of men. We learn that:

·        God is a kind, just, and patient God.

·        God loves and includes even the godless in His plans.

·        Pride goes before a fall.

·        There is always something we can do to please God.

o   God gives us warning and instruction before He corrects us.

o   And He always gives us a way back to Him.

It is with this thought in mind that we are going to turn to our text for today in Luke 6. Just like God used first a dream and then the prophet Daniel to warn King Nebuchadnezzar, God has also not left us without instructions on how we can live a godly life.

Luke 6

37 ¶  “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

38  Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your lap. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Let’s take a closer look at these instructions from Jesus. There are two negative reactions we are told to avoid and then Jesus shares two positive admonitions we are instructed to actively pursue.

1.  Do not act like you are God.

a.   Only God can judge another person … (Romans 2:1)

b.   And only God knows when it’s time.

c.    The judgment Jesus is speaking of is judgement we make about others in our own hearts and minds.

d.   He simply says, “Judge not, and you will not be judged.”

2.  Do not condemn others.

a.   While judging others is something we may do in our own heart and mind …

b.   Condemning others is an act we perpetrate against others because we have judged them worthy of public condemnation.

c.    God is never pleased with our efforts to hurt other people.

3.  Forgive

a.   Forgiveness is an active pursuit.

b.   Forgiveness says nothing about the person who is being forgiven and everything about the person who is forgiving.

c.    When we forgive someone, it is the measure of God in us, not in the other person.

d.   Your forgiveness of another person who has hurt you does not let the other person off of the hook with God, it lets you off.

e.   More than once Jesus reveals that our attitude of forgiveness towards others will count for us with God in heaven.

f.    All in all, Forgiveness is a pretty good insurance policy.

g.   If you expect to ever need God’s forgiveness, forgive others now.

4.  Give

a.   Giving is an active pursuit.

b.   Whereas forgiveness sets us free, giving helps God to set others free.

c.    Jesus encourages us to participate with Him in His Kingdom efforts with the resources we have in our hand.

d.   More is said in the Bible about finances than about heaven and hell combined.

e.   God has chosen to advance His Kingdom plan through the giving of the tithes and offerings of His children.

f.    God is willing to give to you in direct proportion to what He can give through you. His policy is “you first” … sow then reap …

g.   Giving is nothing less than a partnership with God. It’s like lending to the Lord. He will remember and repay. (Pro 19:7)

h.   Giving to the Lord is The Best Investment we can ever make.

God gives us warnings and instructions so that we might check ourselves, challenge ourselves, and change where needed. Do this today! Let’s lift our eyes to heaven … King Nebuchadnezzar did, and it worked for him!

Hopefully we won’t have to wait 7 years before giving God the honor and glory only He deserves!

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Block Seven – Grace


John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Love could have made God feel sorry for mankind

Love could have caused God to feel sad concerning man’s plight

Love could have left God angry at man for his sin and separation

Love could have simply hurt God’s feelings

But, God’s love motivated Him to give … this is “Grace”

God was not obligated to give … He gave because He is full of grace

Important Points:

1.  Grace is the unearned, unmerited, and undeserved goodness of God towards all men.

2.  Grace provides.

2 Corinthians 8:9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

2 Corinthians 9:8  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

2 Corinthians 8:7  But as you abound in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us — see that you abound in this grace also.

3.  God’s grace is sufficient.

2 Corinthians 12:9  And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

4.  Grace is God giving more than He has to because He wants to.

Ephesians 2:7  That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

5.  God’s grace surpasses man’s sin.

Romans 5:20  Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more ...

6.  There is an inexhaustible supply of God’s grace.

a.   God gives it to whom He will, when He wills

b.   God offers man direct access to His grace by inheritance

c.    There is an entry point which requires an access code

d.   Next week in Block Eight, I’ll teach you the code

Romans 5:2  Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


When God created Adam and Eve, He was pleased with them and the relationship they all enjoyed together. They were a happy family living in the blessings of the goodness God intended. However, man rebelled against God, sin was born. Sin separated God’s family and relationships were lost. Instead of God continuing as a loving father, He was forced to become law giver and judge.

The peaceful, caring, and nurturing Creator now appeared angry, critical, and condemning. Laws were made and the words seemed harsh and unforgiving. Man could never do enough to please God, restore relationship, and appease sin. Laws were cold letters engraved in stone and every infraction punished. Many paid for their sin with their very lives for failing to obey every word of God.

The law was a harsh, uncaring, unrelenting pathway leading man to death. No one could satisfy God’s law, for the law required perfection or death and mankind was unable to achieve perfection on his own. Somehow, sin’s requirement had to be satisfied and mankind reconciled to God.

Knowing there was nothing man could do, God gave His only begotten Son, who was perfect in every way, holy, and without blemish, a spotless lamb, and the Lord of all glory, to take upon Himself the sins of the world, bear man’s punishment, and make relationship possible once again. The holy nature of God disallows Him to peacefully coexist with sin. Therefore, God even in His attempts to teach mankind the perfect law was yet unable to tolerate failure.

God hates sin and was therefore continually angry with man. When Jesus paid the debt of sin, he satisfied God and made grace available. Our relationship with God is dependent on grace paid for by what Jesus did.

Grace is the unmerited, unearned, and undeserved goodness and favor of God. God took sin and nailed it to a tree, not because He had to, but because He wanted to. Now He is free to fellowship mankind, bless us through Christ and offer us salvation, forgiveness of sin and eternal life. This is God’s grace. Everything God has is available to us and all made possible through grace.

We access this storehouse of grace by faith.

Supporting Scriptures:

·        Romans 5

·        Romans 6:1; 14 & 15

·        Ephesians 2:8-9

·        Acts 4:33

·        Titus 2:11

·        Revelation 22:21

God’s grace does not provide justification to sin but a justification from sin.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Peace in our Time



Tomorrow families across the United States as well as Americans living or visiting in foreign countries all around the world will celebrate Thanksgiving. This holiday feast dates back to November 1621, 400 years ago this year, when the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag People gathered at Plymouth for an autumn harvest celebration, an event many regard as America’s “First Thanksgiving.” To whom were they giving thanks? To Almighty God, the Father of Jesus, their Lord and Savior.


For over 2 centuries families, communities, and states chose their individual dates each year upon which to offer their thanks to Almighty God. When we elected our first president, President George Washington, he felt it needful and fitting to place among his first official duties to lead the people of the United States in a national day of thanksgiving to God. 


Today our history books in many public schools leave out his 1789 proclamation so let me read the first portion to you.  


Presidential Proclamation, October 3, 1789


Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.


Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country …




Seventy-four years later, on October 3, 1863, in a speech given to a divided United States during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln made another Presidential Proclamation where he officially declared the last Thursday of each November as the official National Day of Thanksgiving for the United States of America. 


This long-standing celebration is a time when we in America come together to recognize and to acknowledge Almighty God for the abundant blessings He has poured out on our nation. We are truly a blessed people, and I am 

proud to be an American. My hope has not changed, and my faith is not wavering. I pray God will continue to unify and bless us and our children in the years that lie ahead. 


Join me right now as we pray for America and thank God for all His many blessings. 


Allow me to add a quick little historical note that will serve to support our Thanksgiving message this evening.


As I said earlier, in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday of each November as the official National Day of Thanksgiving. It remained set on that day for 75 years. In 1939, at the tail-end of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in efforts to boost our nation’s economy by giving shoppers more shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, moved Thanksgiving Day to the third Thursday of November. This attempt to further commercialize this Holiday Season didn’t bode well with the nation.


After the public backlash and all the complaints made to congressional representatives and the pressure they put on President Roosevelt, he changed his mind. In 1941 he re-set the fourth Thursday of November as the permanent official Thanksgiving holiday and thus it has been since.


Tomorrow’s celebration marks the 400th Anniversaryof our nation showing respect to Almighty by acknowledging our thanks for all He has done and our trust that He will yet bless our land. 


This evening we are going to read from a passage of scripture that is very familiar to our Church On The Rock family. During the American Revolutionary Warera, during the Civil War, during the Great Depression, and today in the wake of the national division and the unrest around our country, it has always been and is still our best decision to turn to the Word of God for comfort, faith, and for direction. 


God wants us to have peace in our nation, with our families, and in our hearts.


Tonight we will be reading from the New Testament book of Philippians, chapter 4. It is God’s hope that we will find Peace in Our Time.


Philippians 4  NLT

6  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

7  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.


Our hope is not in the US dollar, our hope is in God. Our hope is not in our job, our hope is in God. Our hope is not in our national leaders, our hope is in God. He has never and will never fail us, forsake us, or forget us. God is the source of all life and peace.


Don’t worry about anything … pray about everything. Tell God what you need and be thankful for all He has done. Then … 


Then you will experience God’s peace. A peace that exceeds anything you can understand. His peace will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. Together, we can have peace in our times.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Be Thankful


Colossians 3:15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

This morning we are going to discuss three important commands God gives His children. And, because this week is Thanksgiving in America, we are going to start with God’s instructions for His children to:

1.  Be Thankful

“Be thankful” is not a suggestion, it is an admonition of the Lord.

Far too often we imagine thankfulness as an option or that the lack of thanksgiving in our hearts and minds has no negative repercussions. However, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Over and over throughout the Bible God takes notice that His children from time to time have failed to be thankful. When we lose a sense of gratitude for what we have been given or for all God has done for us, we depreciate those things in our lives for which God and others paid a dear price. Thanksgiving is a very powerful force both in heaven and earth.

We have so much for which to be thankful.

·        God loves us and has a plan for our lives.

·        Salvation and the forgiveness of sins.

·        The freedoms I enjoy, the instructions I receive, and that there is always something I can do to please God.

·        We are a blessed people indeed …

We have  been called by God to be faithful stewards of His blessings. The very first commandment God gave to mankind when He presented Eve to Adam is found in Genesis 1:28:

2.  Be Fruitful

God expected Adam and Eve to appreciate the life, the garden, and the opportunity He had given them to participate in His plan. We are also given that very same opportunity each and every day.

Notice that the moment God added one other person to the equation of life, God encouraged each one of them to be good stewards over the other. God was not only interested in the individual but also interested in the family as a whole. This theme of families, households, communities, and nations continue throughout the whole Bible.

Colossians 3:15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Colossians 3:15 says we are called into “one body”. Our calling is the same as that of Adam and Eve. In this case we are called to be good stewards of our relationships with others. It is important to God that we are a functioning part of the body. In Romans 12 and in 1 Corinthians 12, the Holy Spirit reminds us to acknowledge and appreciate every other member of the body. Each has its function and is needed to complete the body so that the body can accomplish what God began on the earth.

Romans 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

God admonishes us to care for each member of the body. It is unlikely Adam and Eve would have ever accomplished the other commands God gave them if they could not or would not acknowledge and appreciate one another.

We must check and challenge ourselves to be good stewards of the body to which we have been called. This simply means caring for on another. Caring if others have food, water, clothes, shelter, encouragement, and especially care if others have heard the Good News about Jesus.

Stewardship of the body to which we have been called requires caring for:

·        Its Health

·        Its Wealth

·        Its Mission

Adam and Eve are a picture of God’s intent. Although two individual people, individually created by the hand of God, they were one body in the eyes of God. “They two shall be one body …” (Genesis 2:24).

A third and final important command of God we will discuss today is the command to:

3.  Be at Peace

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts …”

John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Lack of peace in our lives, especially with our neighbors or within our neighborhoods, is often a sign people need to get right with God. We cannot blame others because we do not sense the portending peace of God in our lives. When we please God, we have peace with ourselves, and:

Proverbs 16:7  When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

The indication is that in order to live in peace with others we must first live at peace with God. This means we are not able to continue lying; cheating; stealing; spreading or listening to gossip; having outbursts of anger; fostering unforgiveness; hatred; sexual immorality; stubbornness; jealously; selfish ambitions; or pride, and live at peace with God and others.

Please take a look at Galatians 5:19-21 to review those things which place people at odds with God and others.

The way we treat others is very important, but it is secondary to the way we treat God. We cannot live unthankful lives and at the same time expect to be healthy, happy, and productive in this world. So this week remember to: Be Thankful; Be Fruitful; and Be at Peace!

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Block Six – Resurrection


Key Scripture: Revelation 1:18  I am He who lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

1.   Jesus died on the Cross at Calvary with and for sin.

2.   The plan of God was to get His Son down into death.

3.   Jesus defeated principalities and powers and took the keys of death and hell.

4.   Jesus was raised to life again on the third day.

5.   The Resurrection of Jesus is God’s seal and heaven’s sign that Jesus is the Messiah.

God had a plan to destroy the power of sin of which Satan was unaware.

It was necessary that Jesus go down into death in order to defeat him who held the power of death.

But … how could God get Jesus legally down into death?

·        Sin required death … but … death required sin!

·        Only the sinless, pure, perfect blood sacrifice could save mankind.

·        How could Jesus remain sinless, pure, and perfect and still be welcomed down into the chambers of death?

The Truth:

2 Corinthians 5:21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The Process:

Hebrews 2:9-14

We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death … that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone … that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil …


Immediately following the death of Jesus His body was taken and buried in a tomb, which belonged to a friend, in a garden near Mount Calvary, outside the walls of Jerusalem. As the followers of Jesus mourned, the religious leaders convinced the Roman government to seal the tomb and station guards outside the entrance so that no one could steal the body and lay claim to the prophecies concerning Messiah. King David had 1000 years earlier written that God would not leave His soul in hell nor suffer His Holy One to see corruption. They feared any credible claim that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead would further identify Him as Messiah, Savior of the world and indeed the Son of God.

Early in the morning on the third day, although armed guards stood around the entrance, there came an earthquake by the hand of God as angels were dispatched to roll the stone from the door of the tomb. The angels appeared like lightning and their clothes were white as snow. The angel of the Lord sat upon the stone and when the guards saw him, they were afraid, began to shake, and fell down as though dead. Jesus was raised to life again by the power of the Holy Spirit, victorious over death, hell, and the grave. Jesus triumphed over sin and Satan making a show of him openly and took possession of the keys to death and hell.

In order to destroy him who had power over death, that is the devil, Jesus must needs have gone down into death Himself. Only in the chambers of death, ruled by the prince of death, could death be defeated, and captives set free. The resurrection of Jesus is proof that death lost its sting and the grave its victory.

No other religion lays claim to, or has as its leader, one so raised from the dead who appeared alive to more than 500 of His followers and was received up into heaven 40 days thereafter with the voice of angels declaring He would return again. This Jesus of Nazareth is not only the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of the world, but He is also the lion of the tribe of Judah, risen savior and coming King.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Baptism of Power


I believe it was most likely between the year AD60 and AD63, during the time which the Apostle Paul was being held under arrest in the city of Caesarea, that a Gentile physician named Luke took the opportunity to write a well-researched and Holy Spirit inspired account of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth. This account, written as a letter to a man he identified as Theophilus, which means “friend of God,” has been preserved by God for us. It bears the title of “The Gospel according to Luke.”

Luke’s name is mentioned only three times in the Bible (Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24). However, Luke often uses the term “we” when speaking of traveling with the Apostle Paul on several occasions as a member of his missionary team. Luke was with Paul at Troas, in Philippi, on his trip back to Jerusalem, and in Rome during Paul’s first imprisonment.

Some, through the years, have imagined Paul dictated the Gospel to Timothy. However, there are many factors which make that highly improbable. Nonetheless Paul’s influence can be seen and reasonably accepted, seeing Luke accompanied the Apostle as he carried out the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations, especially when it came to reaching and teaching Gentiles with the Gospel.

Luke not only wrote the Gospel of Luke to this man named Theophilus, but he also wrote a second letter which we have as the book of the Acts of the Apostles. Luke’s research was well done in the access he had to the early Church and its mission outreaches. The book of Acts does not follow the works of all of the Apostles but mainly focuses on Peter, James, and John and the ministry of the first Church in Jerusalem before going on to primarily focus on the many adventures of the Apostle Paul.

Perhaps the reason for this is that Luke, being a Gentile, along with the fact that the initial intended recipient of his letter was also a well-to-do Gentile, meant that Luke and Theophilus both identified with Paul’s ministry more than say Matthew’s. Paul was commissioned by God to become the Apostle sent with the Gospel of Christ to the Gentile nations while Matthew’s Gospel was written more with the Jewish nation in mind.

With that being said, let’s turn in our Bibles to the last chapter of the Gospel according to Luke before going to the book of Acts and connecting the accounts to find what God wants to show us this evening.

Luke 24 NKJV

49  “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

50 ¶  And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

51  Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.

Here we find Luke recording what were remembered by the Disciples as the last instructions of Jesus before being received up into heaven. With this, Luke concludes his letter to Theophilus concerning the life of Jesus and what He accomplished during His earthly ministry. Now let’s turn to the first chapter of the book of Acts. We will find Luke’s second letter to this same man picks up exactly where the first letter left off …

Acts 1 NKJV

1 ¶  The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

2  until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

3  to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

4  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;

5  “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

6 ¶  Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7  And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

8  “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.”

9  Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

I appreciate the classical approach Luke used in documenting his research and cataloging these testimonies. He clearly reveals his intent in writing each of the letters. Luke also separates, and yet connects, the two periods of ministry in one simple statement. The first letter was about what Jesus began to do and teach until He ascended. This one will give you details about the work that continues now through the power of the Holy Spirit in and through the lives of Born-Again Believers.

Notice two verses of prime connection (Luke 24:49 & Acts 1:8):

Luke 24:49 “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Acts 1:8  “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.”

This bridge between the earthly life and ministry of Jesus and the ministry of the Born-Again Believer is clearly the power of the Holy Spirit. It is evident Jesus was filled with power from on high. Let’s take a closer look at this power to be a witness for Christ which we see referenced all through the Gospel of Luke and continuing throughout the book of Acts as well.

The Power to be a Witness … For the sake of time and because I know you to be students of the Word of God, I am going to share the scripture references and make commentary without reading each and every account in full this evening. Please either write these references down or you can access my notes at, and there is also the opportunity to go to our website or COTR App and listen to me preach this sermon again.

·        Acts 2:1-4 

o   The Day of Pentecost

o   All filled with the Holy Spirit

o   They immediately went outside and became witnesses with power from on high.

·        Acts 2:16-21

o   This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel

o   Pour out of My Spirit on sons and daughters

o   Handmaids and menservants

o   All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved

·        Acts 2:38

o   This can happen to you

o   You can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

o   Because your sins have been forgiven

o   You and your children and those far off …

·        Acts 8:4-8

o   Those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word

o   Phillip went down to Samaria and preached Christ to them

o   They listened and were saved, and water baptized

o   There was great joy in the city

·        Acts 8:14-17

o   When the Apostles at Jerusalem heard Samaria had received the Gospel

o   They sent Peter and John to check it out

o   They found that people who believed the Gospel of Christ had been saved and water baptized but had not yet received the Holy Spirit.

o   Peter and John laid their hands on water baptized Believers and they received the baptism of the power of the Holy Spirit.

·        Acts 10:44-48

o   While Peter was preaching at the house of a Gentile Roman soldier, those listening were baptized with power from on high and began to speak in tongues and prophesy like the Jews in the upper room had one on the day of Pentecost.

o   Then Peter asked for water so those who had been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit could be baptized in Jesus’ name.

·        Acts 11:15-18

o   Peter explains Gentiles receiving salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles in Jerusalem.

o   “The Holy Spirit fell on them just like it did on us at Pentecost”.

o   God gave them the same Gift … Who am I to withstand God?

·        Acts 19:1-6

o   Paul found disciples of Jesus in Ephesus he thought were saved

o   He asked them: “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?”

o   They responded: “We didn’t even know there was a Holy Spirit”

o   Paul continues and ends up baptizing them in water in the name of Jesus and then lays hands on them …

o   These 12 men received the Baptism of Power from on high and began to speak in tongues and prophesy just like what happened on the day of Pentecost to those 120 in that upper room … in which … Paul was not present but was rather violently and dead set against it at that point.

·        How does a person today receive the Power to be a Witness?

o   Acts 5:32

§  The willingness to follow Jesus and obey Him

§  Are you willing?

o   Luke 11:13

§  How much more shall the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him …

§  Just ask!

Let’s pray!