Get Ready, Get Ready

There is a well-known pastor in the Dallas area that is famous for saying “Get Ready Get Ready!”  This week we are considering the instructions of Christ and the disciples response as Jesus gave them specific orders of preparation for the birth of the greatest enterprise every known to man; the Church.  Our text for today helps us head that way.

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” [1]

 

Not only did Jesus give the apostles proof of his resurrection, but he also continued to instruct them in the “kingdom of God” (v. 3a), just as he had done during his earthly life. The kingdom, always with the meaning of God’s reign or rule, had been the main subject of Jesus’ teaching.

This reminds me of the text from Matthew 24:14: “This Gospel will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to every nation and then the end shall come. It’s interesting that Matthew would use this term “Gospel,” which would naturally replace the phrase “kingdom of God” in Acts, since in light of the resurrection one enters the kingdom by responding to the good news about Christ.

But Jesus wanted the disciples to be ready and well equipped to preach the Gospel.  As a result, he instructs them to not go anywhere until they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit.  It would happen soon and would be so important to proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth that Jesus made sure they understood to wait for the promise.

This week, we will continue to examine the story in Acts about the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower the church for her mission.  Many denominations have different views about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  However, one thing is undisputed:  It was necessary for the beginning of the church and they were not to leave home without it.  We also know it is different than water baptism and that it serves a different purpose. 

By the end of the week, we will get to that purpose and hopefully see from scripture that it is an experience for all Christians in every generation and available today.  He still wants us to be will equipped.  Get ready, get ready.  


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ac 1:1–5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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