Introduction and the Ascension of Jesus
Text: Acts 1:1-11
I. The book of Acts is a continuation of the book of Luke (Luke 1:3)
A. Both books are addressed to Theophilus.
B. It is important to know the author as he refers to himself in the text.
C. Like Luke, the book is noted for its detailed historical accuracy.
1. Despite being written in an era when political boundaries constantly changed and various people came in and out of office, his account was always correct.
2. The book is the history of the establishment and spread of Christianity
D. The introduction reminds Theophilus of what the first book described
1. Luke covers the life and teachings of Jesus up until ascended after giving instructions to his apostles
2. He had also proved to these same men that he was alive by many convincing proofs.
3. He spoke with them over a period of 40 days and gave them further instructions concerning his kingdom, the church.
4. Since his death, the new covenant could now go into effect - Hebrews 9:16-17
II. Jesus then instructed his apostles to remain in Jerusalem until they receive the promise
A. The promise was given in John 16:5-15
B. The promise would be fulfilled within a few days.
C. There was also a promise to build his church - Matthew 16:18
III. Even now the disciples did not understand Jesus’ purpose
A. They wanted to know if he would be setting up his physical kingdom on earth soon, restoring Israel to her glory.
B. Jesus responded that it wasn’t for man to know the plans of God.
C. Soon they would receive the Spirit of God and they would become Jesus’s witnesses, starting in Jerusalem and reaching to the remotest parts of the earth.
IV. While speaking with them, he arose in the air, disappearing in a cloud.
A. While they gazed in wonder, two angels appeared and asked why they were staring into the sky.
B. They said that Jesus would return in the same manner as he left (with the clouds).