Sermon Follow Up- Week 45, 2021November 7, 2021 Sermon Application
You and I as followers of Jesus Christ, as his disciples, have been given a gift once again in this eyewitness account of Luke this morning. The disciples are huddled and confused. Filled with doubts and fear. Uncertain in so many ways. Do you ever fell uncertain? Filled with doubt? Fear? Anxiety? Confusion? You bet, right?! Well, listen these disciples and you and I are one in the same. We’re so often only certain of the feeling of being uncertain. And that’s because what we have as the foundation of our certainty is often not what it should be. So this morning, let’s look at this text and allow God to reset the foundation of certainty in our lives that we might then shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life (Philippians 2:15b-16a).
“As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”” (Luke 24:36–49 ESV)
The good news of Jesus Christ will be enjoyed, declared, and displayed in your life for the joy of all peoples as your foundations go deep into the Word and the Spirit.
SUBPOINTS AND REFLECTIONS
1. You can be certain of the Reality of Jesus (vv. 36-43)
Jesus came not to confront, not to correct, not to freak anyone out…rather, he came to bring assurance to his disciple…certainty. To shore up the foundations of their life. Certainty of what? Certainty that he truly was alive. The real deal. Not a ghost. Not a figment of their imagination. In real time, real space, just like every other moment in the history of this planet.
Jesus wanted them to be certain he was alive. Truly. If they’re going to be his witnesses and on mission with him in the days, weeks, months, and years to come, they need to know, without a shadow of doubt that he is truly alive. If they weren’t sure, if they weren’t certain…no way they’d go to their own death for him. There would be no need to tell anyone to put their hope in some mostly dead ghoul like apparition that looked and sounded like Jesus. No, this was Jesus. Really Jesus. They saw him with their own eyes and the foundations of their certainty grew.
- How might your life reveal your level of certainty about the reality of Jesus?
2. You can be certain of the Truth of God’s Word (vv. 44-48)
The scriptures, these wonderful pages in this most remarkable book, tells the story of God’s plan and actions to redeem a people for himself to dwell with forever. Everything points to this plan. And at the center of this plan is the good news of Jesus Christ. It is good news of great certainty. Christianity is entirely unlike any other religion. It’s not about morality or philosophy or self-fulfillment as much as people try to make it out to be. It is about good news that the entirety of this book directs us to. The gospel. The gospel tells us that in Christ we are forgiven and accepted forever. The gospel reminds us that God is at work to change us and conform us to the image of Jesus. And that gospel assures us that God will complete the work that he began. So immerse yourself in it! His word is true. It is sure. It makes the simple wise. It purifies the heart. It revives the soul. It keeps the young man’s way pure. It strengthens and comforts and challenges and confronts and equips (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is the word of God that will not return empty but will accomplish precisely what it wants.
You can count on it and be certain of it. And live in the good of it, and testify of it like those who are in that room on that day 2000 years ago. It’s the same word. But we must be certain of it. You don’t need to shrink back from it though the world around you says you’re nuts to believe something archaic like the Bible. If this truly is the word of God, wouldn’t that be the most amazing thing ever? That when we open these pages we hear the voice of God revealing himself to us and telling us the story of redemption and our hope for the present and for the future. And you see, if we’re certain of it, we’ll live by it and speak it with humility to others and frankly, it won’t stay on our shelves gathering dust. It will become, like Moses stated emphatically to the people of Israel…It is our very life.
- How does your intake of and obedience to God’s word reveal how certain you are of what it really is? Might you consider meeting regularly with someone, beginning this week, to read the bible together?
3. You can be certain of the Promise of the Father (v. 49)
The Promise of the Father. Power from on high. Receiving power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Power for what purpose? With 100% certainty, no matter what church background you have, whether the most Pentecostal or the most non-Pentecostal, 100% certain that Luke records the words of Jesus this way in Acts 1:8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”” (Acts 1:8 ESV)
There is absolute certainty that Jesus promised to send the promise of the Father, power from on high, the Holy Spirit to fill his people and strengthen his people and comfort his people and empower his people to testify of the good news of great certainty in ever broadening horizons.
… do you know anything about this spiritual power, this spiritual realm? Is not this the thing that the church has lost? ...You know when the Spirit of God comes even upon the most ordinary man he can make a giant out of him that can shake a meeting and pass on an inspiration to others and transform them. That is God’s way; that is the Christian church; that is New Testament Christianity. – Martyn Lloyd Jones
And this promise is something we can yet be certain of today. It’s one reason why Paul writes to the Ephesian church
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,… (Ephesians 5:15–18 ESV)
Oh it’s a promise friends. You can be certain of it. Do you feel weak in your testifying of the gospel of Jesus with friends and neighbors and co-workers? Oh be certain of the promise of the Father, the power from on high that is promised as we testify of the good news of great certainty.
When was the last time you prayed for the empowerment of the Spirit, the power from on high, a fresh filling of the Spirit? You can be certain of it. It’s a promise. Being filled again and again and again and again is the will of the Lord. That we would not just exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, as wonderful as that is. That we would not just gain spiritual gifts for the upbuilding of the church, as wonderful as that is. But that we would be bold, joyful, and certain witnesses of the good news of Jesus Christ for the joy of all peoples.
Do you shrink back in fear when it comes to testifying of the Jesus? Will you ask for the Holy Spirit to empower you, to fill you afresh, that you might speak with humble boldness to those God has placed you near?
- Grow in Certainty in the Reality of Jesus
Take some time to read "The Real Jesus" from the Answers in Genesis site.
If you're looking for something deeper, you can purchase our friend, Steve Wellum's book entitled, "The Person of Christ" here.
Looking for more? Listen/watch the Christology Seminar we held a few years back from Steve Wellum. Really worth the time! Links below.
Session 1 (starts at about 16 minutes), Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5
- Spend time in the Word with someone this week.
Who might you begin regularly meeting with to read the bible together? You don’t have to have a 12 week discipleship plan in place. Perhaps a spouse, or a child, or a friend…perhaps any and all options. How about a friend who is not yet certain that Jesus is real? Or that the Bible is as true as you know it to be?
- Grow in Desire for More of the Holy Spirit
Listen to "Foundation for Mission" and to "Foundations for Mission (Part 2)" from the Acts series (2015) for more on the baptism/filling of the Holy Spirit.
- Songs to Encourage