Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts by clicking here.
Read and meditate on Acts 1.4, 5.
The mention of “the promise” would have cued up at least two significant ideas in the mind of the disciples. First would have been the promises made to Abraham (Gen. 12.1-3), a people blessed with the favor of God, provided for in every way, and extending the blessings of God to all the earth and every generation. Second would have been the promise of the Spirit, which was prominent in the preaching of such prophets as Joel and Ezekiel. They would still have to wait a bit for God to bring these, but Jesus was making it clear: Their time of waiting was nearly at an end.
1. Jesus was promising that soon God would begin to bring both of these into the possession of His disciples in a new, more powerful, and more permanent way than ever before. And that spiritual reality would begin to unfold over all the land (the earth) just as it did in Joshua’s day. Put yourself in their places: How would this have made you feel? What affections and expectations might this have stirred in you?
2. We shall see, in these early parts of Acts, some striking similarities with the book of Joshua, and this is not without reason. What comparisons can you discern between the book of Joshua and the book of Acts? In what ways is that upper room in Jerusalem rather like the plains of Moab, where Israel prepared to cross the Jordan?
3. The baptism of the Spirit will fulfill the promise of Deuteronomy 30.1-10 and Ezekiel 36.26, 27, of a new immersion in the life of the unseen realm, one in which we are indwelled, suffused, instructed, transformed, and empowered from a reality not of this world. How do the promises of God affect the way you live each day?
4. “Not many days” (v. 5). Isn’t that just like Jesus? He holds out these incredible promises, and we take them, as we should, to be certain. But we cannot be certain precisely when or how those promises will be ours. That’s in the Lord’s hands. What’s in our hands is to wait. How do you wait for God’s promises?
5. How thorough is your understanding of “the promise of the Father” as Jesus suggests it in these verses? Is your own life oriented toward the promises of God? According to Peter, what should we expect as we live toward God’s promises each day (2 Pet. 1.4)? What keeps us from living this way?
Jesus is always pointing us forward, based on what has been revealed to us in the past. By looking back to God and His Word, and looking forward to what God promises each day, we can fill our present with the reality of the Kingdom, which is precisely what Jesus was preparing His apostles to do. Which of God’s promises will give new direction to your life today?
“The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”
Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
T. M. Moore
Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies Acts.
Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. For more insight to His work in our here and now, order the book, The Kingship of Jesus, from our online store by clicking here.
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