The Mission of the Church
November 7th, 2018 | Acts 1:1-11
Some churches use the branding tools and methods of the marketplace to attract worshipers and publicize their programs. They design logos, build web pages, and craft slogans. A few churches franchise themselves in an effort to extend their ministry’s influence. The metaphor Jesus uses in our passage today comes from a very different context, however. It is from the legal realm instead of the marketplace.
After His resurrection, Jesus spent the next 40 days proving to the disciples that He was really alive and talking to them about the kingdom of God. He told them not to leave Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Spirit who had been promised to them (John 14:16, 26).
This prompted the disciples to ask whether Jesus intended to restore the kingdom to Israel “at this time” (v. 6). Jesus’ disciples had initially expected the Messiah to establish a political kingdom and drive out the Romans. Their question reveals that after 40 days of Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom, they were still expecting an earthly dimension to it.
Jesus did not disagree with their assumption but noted that the timing was not their concern. Instead, the disciples were to wait for the promise of the Spirit so that they could serve as witnesses. In the courtroom, witnesses give a testimony and evidence of what they have seen or experienced. In the Old Testament law, credible witnesses were required for a conviction, especially in serious crimes (see Num. 35:30). To be a witness in the sense that Jesus describes means to speak of both what we have experienced and what we believe. We give an affirmation of our faith and an articulation of evidence for its truth.
APPLY THE WORD
The nature of the church’s task requires the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. No matter how persuasive our message might be, ultimately it is the Spirit who convicts people of their sins (John 16:8). Marketing and branding tools might have their place, but they will never be sufficient to add new believers into the community of faith.
PRAYER | PAKISTAN
Pray for safety and protection for Christian women and girls who must live under the threat of abduction, rape and forced marriage. We pray today for God to continue to guide women and girls and keep them safe.
Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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