To the Ends of the Earth
The Primary Purpose of the Power of God – Acts 1:6-8, Romans 10:9-15
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – Aug. 7th, 2022
- If I were to ask you, “what was the primary purpose of Jesus giving us the power of the Holy Spirit?” how would you respond? You may respond with a number of reasons, perhaps along the lines of the spiritual gifts or in line with the fruit of the Spirit. However, Jesus Himself told us the reason He would be sending the Spirit in power.
- The very last thing that Jesus said before He ascended (Acts 1:9) was that the Spirit would be given to empower us to witness about Him.
We are empowered to witness
Acts 1:6-8 ESV
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 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.”
- It is both comical and sad that the same question those disciples asked Jesus is the same question we continue to ask today. We want to know when He is coming back. I think that this is partly the case because we want to know the future, and partly because we want to get out of here and have Jesus come fix everything. Some people make this their primary pursuit and preoccupation as they are continually looking for “signs” and figuring out the end. Human nature has not changed.
- Jesus bluntly answered the question by saying that it is not for us to know the time or season that the Father has chosen by His own authority, which means this is something that He has done, and it is not dependent on or influenced by any of us. Tragically, we become so focused on looking into the future that we lose sight of what we are to do in the present.
- Jesus, like a good parent, refocuses our attention from the future to the present, telling us what we are to give ourselves to before He returns. This is what we are to engage ourselves with doing. We are to stop wondering about when He will come back and start witnessing until He comes back.
- The primary purpose of His power is to enable us to witness about Him, here where we live, in our surrounding communities and countries, and to the ends of the earth. The Spirit’s empowerment coming upon us (not working within us) is to powerfully enable us to witness about Jesus Christ, who He is, what He does, and what He taught. This is why Jesus gives us His Spirit’s power to testify to all people everywhere that He is God and that all who believe in Him will be saved.
- The truth is that we carry the good news of the Gospel. This is how our Father has designed the fullness of His message to be communicated. He communicates generally through what has been created (see Romans 1:18), and He communicates specifically through His word, often times coming from your voice.
We carry the good news of the Gospel
Romans 10:9-13 ESV
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
- This is the good news of the Gospel—that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is for everyone everywhere. There is no required pedigree, or skin tone, or zip code, or educational or economic threshold that must be met. Everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.
- Now this “calling on the name of the Lord” had two very important parts. There is an inward possession and outward confession. We believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, then we are justified, made right with God. This is belief in Jesus. Who He was—God’s one and only Son—what He did—lived a perfect life and died in our place—and what the Father did by raising Jesus from the dead—grant eternal life. This is what we are to possess and believe in our hearts. It is through Jesus we are made right with God. This is the inward work of belief.
- Then there is the outward evidence of this inward belief with the confession, things that are said and demonstrated, that “Jesus is Lord.” Not “Jesus is God,” or “Jesus is my Savior,” or “Jesus is good,” but “Jesus is Lord.” Meaning He is your Sovereign and King. The one you are under, the one you have given yourself to, the one you love and obey and seek to honor. In order to be saved, you must have both possession and confession. Root and fruit. You can’t have one without the other because if you don’t have both, you don’t have either and you are not saved.
- The good news is that eternal life is available to all people who call on the name of the Lord for their salvation. These people will not be put to shame in the final judgment. This is the message of the Gospel, and we have been given the opportunity to hear this message, believe this message, and now carry this message to others, even to the ends of the earth.
- We have been empowered by the Spirit and entrusted with the Gospel, and we are to be sent and go with this message to all places everywhere.
We are sending and going
- Empowered by Spirit to fulfill His calling as an Apostle, Paul blazes the logic trail that will give us a path to follow and a place to participate.
Romans 10:14-15 ESV
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
- Here is the logic. The ultimate goal is for people to call on Christ and believe in Him and be saved. But people can not call on Him nor believe in Him if they have not heard about Him. They cannot hear about Him unless someone tells them about Him. And people cannot tell others about Jesus if they are not sent to do so. The message of the Gospel is the greatest gift that can be given to anyone, for through it, we have eternal life. “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Not everyone who hears believes. But people cannot believe unless they hear.
- Messengers are responsible for delivering the message, and we are to be both going and sending. This isn’t optional for those who proclaim Jesus as their Lord. We are going where we can and sending where we can’t. The Gospel is for us, but it is not about us. Freely we have received, and freely do we give. We must be intentionally living in the Gospel and intentionally spreading the Gospel, the good news of Jesus, to the ends of the earth.
- We, as the church, have received grace and a calling “to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” (Romans 1:5). This is what we do, and this is what we are all about here at Crosspoint.
Conclusion and Communion
- We are empowered by the Spirit to tell the whole world about Jesus. We carry the good news of the Gospel, and we are to proclaim the message of the good news—all people can have eternal life—to everyone, everywhere. This is what we do as we follow our Lord.
- Thank you for those who are faithfully following Jesus, and sending and going for the love of the Lord and the people He loves. Continue to do this, and know that what you do is not in vain. Everything done in the Lord’s name will last eternally.
- Today, if you would like to put your faith in Jesus as Lord for your salvation and want to commit to receive and follow Him, indicate so by raising your hand, and we will pray together.