HOPE CHAPEL Sunday Service Notes
Teaching Series: “The Bible - Jesus’ Story”
Today’s Topic: “Week 4: Jesus in the Acts & Epistles”
We have been examining the Bible from the perspective that it doesn’t just contain the story of Jesus, it is in fact His story in its entirety. After the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ earthly life followed by His ascension into heaven actual sightings and visions of Jesus become far less frequent. However, we find Jesus alive and well in the lives of the believers. Today, much of the direction we follow for ‘being the Church’ comes from the letters written by those earliest followers–those who knew Jesus best. For now, we will focus our discussion on times that Jesus showed up in person and when He showed up through the work of individual believers.
1) Jesus’ Appearances - before the Ascension
2) Jesus’ Appearances - after the Ascension
3) Jesus in the Church
The Holy Spirit came - Those who believed were baptized through the Spirit, Jesus’ gift to the Church just as He had promised. [It is interesting to note that a relationship with Jesus is required to receive God’s Holy Spirit.]
Lives were transformed -
*Peter the denier became Peter the confessor
The Church grew - 3,000 believed, were baptized and added to the Church–in a single day!
Miracles were performed
The Church flourished under persecution
The Church continues today - The existence of today’s Church is ongoing evidence to the veracity of the claims made in the Bible that Jesus is the Messiah; if He had not been ‘Christianity’ would not exist 2000 years later and the Bible would not still enjoy the popularity it has had over the centuries to this current time.
Summary - The Book of Acts tells us that Jesus continued to show Himself to individuals after His ascension, but much less frequently; however, His gift of the Holy Spirit to believers ensured that His work of performing miracles and the spread of the good news of His redemptive work would continue through His disciples, the Church.
The Epistles, the letters written for the early Church, serve as guidance for the new covenant that we now have with God, much as the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament) served as guidelines for God’s chosen people in the old covenant. They do not contain historical ‘sightings’ of Jesus per se, but cannot be read as anything less than Jesus’ directions for us, today.
Next week: “Jesus in Revelation - He’s Coming Back”
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!