Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #364 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading reading Luke 24 today and our focus is on What Does It Mean to Be Clothed With Power From On High? The Best and Only Biblical Church Growth Method. We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in . Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
What can we learn about WHO we are and HOW we are to fulfill our calling as Christians in 2022 from a bunch of Middle Easterners that lived almost 2000 years ago?!
At the end of Luke 24: Jesus has been resurrected, and He is surrounded by His followers. He tells them that He is sending them out – to the entire world, to carry the good news of His resurrection and His teaching. BUT, the apostles are to STAY IN THE CITY UNTIL CLOTHED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH.
Acts 1:8 elaborates a little bit on this mission from Jesus: 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
And Acts 1:14 shows us how the disciples obeyed Jesus’ command to STAY until they were clothed with power: Acts 1:14 14 All these were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.
The Disciples were instructed by Jesus to stay in Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on high. So, they basically quarantined themselves until the Holy Spirit came on them in POWER. The Holy Spirit that fell on them and empowered them is the SAME Holy Spirit that is there today. We may not be quarantined right now, but things are a little dodgy around the world and there has been no better time in our entire lives than NOW to seek the fullness of God and the depth of relationship with His Spirit that Jesus promised us. This is the hour to be comforted by the peace of Jesus and clothed in power by the Spirit of Jesus.
The first century church exploded in growth despite persecution everywhere it went. It had no money, it had unprofessionally trained leaders, it owned no property or treasure, and it had no civic influence, but it had the Holy Spirit of God. We must, again, sit down and wait for the Spirit. Seek Him in prayer. When we are clothed with power from on high, our witness to Jesus will be unstoppable and irrefutable. Maybe we are stuck inside our homes far more than we’d like, but maybe this is a sovereignly appointed time to SIT DOWN and seek to be clothed in the person and power of the Holy Spirit.
We talked yesterday about my first pastor, Reverend Frank Barker, who pastored a church in Birmingham called Briarwood Presbyterian that exploded in growth during the first decades of its existence. We talked about how Barker was a mighty man of God and a man of humilty, but not the best orator or most forceful personality. How did the church grow? Dr. Barker atrributed the growth of Briarwood Presbyterian to PRAYER – the people prayed, and specifically, in the early years of the church, there was a group of men who met on Saturdays for a prayer breakfast who prayed and fueled the growth of the church. This is no surprise or new church growth gimick – this is the way it was from the beginning of the church – when God’s people are clothed in the power of His Spirit, they will reach the lost and make disciples of Jesus. There is NO other way than this to grow God’s church.
Of this clothing with power, Charles Spurgeon wrote:
A man with God’s Holy Spirit within him, can anybody estimate his worth? God says that he will make a man more precious than the gold of Ophir; but, to a man filled with his Spirit, mines of rubies or of diamonds cannot be set in comparison. When the eleven apostles went forth, on the day of Pentecost, endowed by the Spirit of God, there were forces in the world whose very tramp might make it quiver beneath their feet. God send us once more many of his servants, within whom he has put his Spirit in an eminent and conspicuous manner, and then we shall see bright days indeed! The command to such still is, “Tarry until ye be endued with power from on high.”…The promise of the Father was, as you know, the gift of the Holy Spirit. By this gift our Lord’s rising again into glory was celebrated. The Holy Spirit was the heavenly largess of the great King by which he did honour to the return of his Son to his ancient throne. The apostles and the other disciples were to wait for this gift. They might have to wait for some days, but it is better to wait for divine equipment than to go out to holy service in our own strength. All that you do will have to be undone unless it is done in the power of the Holy Ghost.But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Has that command ever struck some people who profess to be serving the Lord? Are there not men who preach whom God never sent to preach? The best advice we could give them would be, “Tarry ye.” Are there not some who teach, and some who take office in the church, whom God has never endued with gifts or graces for such work? Powerless workers stand in the way of true workers, they block up the path of those whom God sends to serve him.
C. H. Spurgeon, “True and Not True,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 51 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1905), 419.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Where Is the Lord?,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 38 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1892), 254–255.
Bible Memory passage for the month of December: Revelation 5:12, “They said with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
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