Acts 1 – Jesus Ascends to Heaven, A New Apostle Chosen
1. (1) Reference to former writings.
The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.
a. The former account I made: The former account is the Gospel of Luke. At one time the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were joined together as one book with two volumes.
i. Imagine what it would be like if the Book of Acts wasn’t in the Bible. You pick up your Bible and see the ministry of Jesus ending in the Gospel of John; next you read about a man named Paul writing to the followers of Jesus in Rome. Who was Paul? How did the gospel get from Jerusalem to Rome? The Book of Acts answers these questions. “A great New Testament scholar has said that the title of Acts might be, ‘How they brought the Good News from Jerusalem to Rome.’” (Barclay)
ii. That expansion from Jerusalem to Rome is a remarkable story. “Humanly speaking, [Christianity] had nothing going for it. It had no money, no proven leaders, no technological tools for propagating the gospel. And it faced enormous obstacles. It was utterly new. It taught truths that were incredible to the unregenerate world. It was the subject to the most intense hatreds and persecutions.” (Boice)
iii. Acts is written in the literary style of the Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint. “Since Luke can write in a different style (Lk. 1:1-4), this is something deliberate. Probably he regarded himself as recording sacred history.” (Marshall)
iv. We really don’t know all that much about Luke from the New Testament.
· We know that he was a physician (Colossians 4:14).
· We know that he was a Gentile (from his name).
· We know that he was a devoted companion of Paul (from the text of Acts, and Colossians 4:14, Philemon 24, and 2 Timothy 4:11).
v. There was a time when many scholars and critics thought that Acts was sort of a romance novel of the early church, written more than 100 years after the events supposedly happened. But William Ramsay, a noted archaeologist and Bible scholar, proved that the historical record of Acts is remarkably accurate regarding the specific practices, laws and customs of the period it claims to record. It is definitely the work of contemporary eyewitnesses.
vi. In the mid-1960’s, A.N. Sherwin-White, an expert in Graeco-Roman history from Oxford, wrote about Acts: “The historical framework is exact. In terms of time and place the details are precise and correct . . . As documents these narratives belong to the same historical series as the record of provincial and imperial trials in epigraphical and literary sources of the first and early second centuries AD…For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming…Any attempt to reject its basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.”
vii. John Calvin wrote that the Book of Acts was “a kind of vast treasure.” D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones called Acts “that most lyrical of books…Live in that book, I exhort you: It is a tonic, the greatest tonic I know of in the realm of the Spirit.” (Cited in Stott)
b. Theophilus: This man might have been a Christian wanting instruction. He might have been a Roman official being briefed by Luke about the history of the Christian movement. Or, the name could be symbolic, because the name Theophilus means “God-lover.”
i. In the introduction to the first volume (Luke 1:3), Luke addresses Theophilus with title most excellent, which was a way to address people who held high office.
ii. Since Acts ends with Paul awaiting trial before Caesar, some have wondered if Luke-Acts are not “defense briefs” on Paul’s behalf to give a Roman official background on Paul’s case. Luke arrived in Jerusalem with Paul in Acts 21:17; he left with him again on the journey to Rome in Acts 27:1. In those two years, Luke had plenty of time to research and write his Gospel and the Book of Acts.
iii. “Ancient books were generally written on papyrus scrolls. It was practical to have a scroll about thirty-five feet in length. When it got any longer it got too bulky to carry around. This physical limitation has determined the length of many books of the Bible.” (Boice) Luke used two scrolls to tell his story, and one we call “The Gospel of Luke” and the other we call “The Book of Acts.”
iv. Luke wanted to show Theophilus and the Romans:
· That Christianity is harmless (some Romans officials had embraced it themselves).
· That Christianity is innocent (Roman judges could find no basis for prosecution).
· That Christianity is lawful (as the true fulfillment of Judaism, which was an approved religion in the Roman Empire).
c. Of all that Jesus began both to do and teach: Notice that the former account concerned all that Jesus began both to do and teach. Luke’s Gospel describes only the beginning of Jesus’ work; Acts describes its continuation; and the work of Jesus continues to our present day.
i. We must remember that Acts does not give us a full history of the church during this period. For example, the churches in Galilee and Samaria are barely mentioned (Acts 9:31), and the establishing of a strong church in Egypt during this time isn’t mentioned at all.
ii. Acts spans a period of about 30 years, and takes us up to about a.d. 60 or 61, with Paul in Rome waiting to appear before Caesar Nero. This same Nero began his infamous persecutions of Christians in a.d. 64.
iii. Wonderfully, what Jesus began still continues. There is a real sense in which the Book of Acts continues to be written today. Not in an authoritative Scriptural sense; but in the sense of God’s continued work in the world by His Spirit, through His church.
iv. “The Acts of the Apostles should therefore be studied mainly for this double purpose: first, to trace our Lord’s unseen but actual continuance of his divine teaching and working; and, secondly, to trace the active ministry of the Holy Spirit as the abiding presence in the church.” (Pierson)
2. (2-3) The last work of Jesus before His ascension to heaven.
Until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
a. Until the day in which He was taken up: Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, instructed the apostles regarding what to do in His absence. He had given commandments to the apostles.
i. Significantly, Jesus did this through the Holy Spirit. This was the resurrected, glorified Lord Jesus Christ, risen with all authority and sovereignty. Yet He still chose to not rely on His own resources (as it were), but relied on the power and the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
ii. The Holy Spirit – the Third Member of the Holy Trinity – is the aspect of God that lives and empowers and inspires man. The Holy Spirit has a work among those who are not yet believers, but also a great and significant work in those who believe.
iii. If the glorified, resurrected Jesus needed and relied on the Holy Spirit, so should we. This is a pattern for the rest of the Book of Acts, which shows us what the Holy Spirit does operating through the church. “The disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord. If even he was indebted to the Holy Spirit for the power of his ministry, surely we cannot afford to attempt the work appointed us without the same anointing.” (Pierson)
b. To whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs: Jesus also established the fact of His resurrection with many infallible proofs during the forty days after his resurrection but before His ascension. He left no possible doubt that He was resurrected, exactly as He had promised.
i. In 1 Corinthians 15:6 Paul described one of these many infallible proofs: He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present. More than 500 people saw the resurrected Jesus, and most of them were still alive some 25 years later in the days of Paul’s ministry.
c. Speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: The teaching Jesus gave during that period after His resurrection and before His ascension is not recorded, but we are told that He used that time to speak of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
i. Some Gnostic and New Age teachers would like to think that Jesus used those 40 days to teach His followers strange and obscure doctrines that must be rediscovered with new revelations today. But Luke told us that Jesus simply taught them much the same things and themes that He had taught them in His earthly ministry: The things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
B. The ascension of Jesus.
1. (4-5) Jesus’ final instructions to the disciples.
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
a. He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem: Jesus had nothing else for the disciples to do other than to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit (the Promise of the Father). Jesus knew that they really could do nothing effective for the Kingdom of God until the Spirit came.
· To wait means that it was worth waiting for.
· To wait means that they had a promise it would come.
· To wait means they must receive it; they couldn’t create it themselves.
· To wait means that they would be tested by waiting, at least a little.
b. He commanded . . . the Promise of Father . . . baptized with the Holy Spirit: This is another example of how the fact of the Trinity – that there is One God in Three Persons – is woven into the fabric of the New Testament. Here we see that He (Jesus) told of the Promise of the Father, which is the coming of the Holy Spirit.
i. It is significant that this coming, filling, and empowering of the Holy Spirit is called “the Promise of the Father.”
· It shows that we should wait for it with eager anticipation; a “Promise of the Father” could only be good.
· It shows that it is reliable; the Father would never Promise something He could not fulfill.
· It shows that the Promise belongs to all His children, since it comes from God as our Father.
· It shows that it must be received by faith, as is the pattern with the promises of God throughout the Bible.
ii. “The ‘promise of the Father’ now became also the promise of the Son.” (Pierson)
c. You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit: The idea of being baptized is to be immersed or covered over in something; even as John baptized people in water, so these disciples would be “immersed” in the Holy Spirit.
i. It may be more useful to describe the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a condition than as an experience. We should perhaps ask, “Are you baptized in the Holy Spirit?” instead of asking, “Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit?”
d. Not many days from now: They knew that this Promise of the Father would come, but not immediately. It would be days from now, but not many days. Jesus had a purpose in not telling them exactly when it would come.
2. (6) The disciples ask Jesus a final question before His ascension.
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
a. Therefore, when they had come together: This would be the last time they would see Jesus in His physical body, until they went to heaven to be with Him forever. There is nothing specific in the text to show us that they knew this would be their last time seeing Him on earth, other than the weight of the question they were about to ask.
b. Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? This was a question asked many times before, but it had a special relevance now. They knew that Jesus had instituted the New Covenant (Luke 22:20). They also knew that the restoration of the kingdom to Israel was part of the New Covenant (as seen in Jeremiah 23:1-8, Ezekiel 36:16-30, Ezekiel 37:21-28).
i. It was actually reasonable for them to wonder when the rest of the New Covenant would be fulfilled. The response of Jesus in the following verses also indicates that He did not rebuke them or even correct them for the question. He simply told them that the answer wasn’t for them to know.
ii. “The verb restore shows that they were expecting a political and territorial kingdom; the noun Israel that they were expecting a national kingdom; and the adverbial clause at this time that they were expecting its immediate establishment.” (Stott)
iii. The disciples certainly knew the many Old Testament prophecies describing the spiritual and national rebirth of Israel. The disciples probably thought that the spiritual rebirth seemed certain, so the national would also come.
3. (7-8) Jesus’ final teaching and final promise before His ascension.
And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
a. It is not for you to know: Jesus warned the disciples against inquiring into aspects of the timing of God’s kingdom, because those things belong to God the Father alone (which the Father has put in His own authority).
i. It was wise for Jesus not to outline His plan over the next 2,000 years. It was good for the disciples to not know that the full restoration of the kingdom to Israel that they hoped would happen soon would not come for some 2,000 years. It might overly discourage them in the work they had to do right then, and might make them think less of the aspect of the kingdom of God that was present with them.
ii. At the same time, Jesus did not say that there was to be no restoration of the kingdom to Israel; He simply said that speculation into the time and date of this restoration was not proper for the disciples.
iii. In His own authority: The resurrected, ascended Jesus again showed His submission to the Father. His submission to the Father was not temporary, but eternal.
b. But you shall receive power: If the national kingdom they wanted would be delayed, the power they needed would not. They would soon receive power with the coming of the Holy Spirit.
i. With their question about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, it is possible that the disciples still saw power too much in terms of Caesar’s kind of power, and not enough in terms of God’s kind of power.
c. And you shall be witnesses to Me: The natural result of receiving this promised power would be that they would become witnesses of Jesus, all over the earth.
i. Notice that this really wasn’t a command; it was a simple statement of fact: When the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . . you shall be witnesses of Me. The words shall be are in the indicative, not the imperative. Jesus didn’t recommend that they become witnesses; He said they would bewitnesses.
ii. If we want to bewitnesses, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The best training program for evangelism is of little effectiveness without the filling of the Holy Spirit.
iii. Isaiah 43:10 has the Lord proclaiming to His people You are My witnesses. A cultic group today claims that this is their mandate for being “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Unfortunately, they fail to see Isaiah 43:10 in the context of Acts 1:8; we are truly Yahweh’s Witnesses when we are Jesus’ Witnesses.
d. In Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth: The progress of the spread of the gospel message from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and then to the end of the earth becomes the outline of Acts.
· Acts 1-7 describes the gospel in Jerusalem.
· Acts 8-12 speak of the gospel in Judea and Samaria.
· Acts 13-28 tells of the gospel going to the end of the earth.
i. We may imagine the objections the disciples might think of to the places of ministry Jesus described.
· Jerusalem was where Jesus was executed at the word of an angry mob.
· Judea rejected His ministry.
· Samaria was regarded as a wasteland of impure half-breeds.
· In the uttermost parts of the earth, the Gentiles were seen by some Jews of that day as nothing better than fuel for the fires of Hell.
ii. Yet God wanted a witness sent to all of these places, and the Holy Spirit would empower them to do this work.
4. (9-11) Jesus ascends into heaven.
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
a. He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight: Jesus was taken up from them as He blessed them (Luke 24:50). As He slowly disappeared into the sky, surrounded by a cloud they continued to gaze upward.
i. The cloud that received Him is suggestive of the cloud of glory (called the Shekinah) that is associated with the presence of God in the Old and New Testaments.
b. While they watched, He was taken up: It was important for Jesus to leave His disciples in this manner. In theory, He certainly could have simply vanished to heaven and the Father’s presence in a secret sort of way. But by ascending in this manner, Jesus wanted His followers to know that He was gone for good, as opposed to the way He appeared and reappeared during the 40 days after His resurrection.
i. Remember Jesus’ words to His disciples in John 16:7: It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. Now the disciples could know that that promise would be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit was coming because Jesus promised to send the Spirit when He left.
c. Why do you stand gazing up into heaven? The two men (apparently angels) told the disciples to put their attention in the right place (obedience to Jesus’ command to return to Jerusalem), not in wondering where and how Jesus went. Jesus told them to go to the ends of the earth, and they stood gazing up into heaven.
i. Morgan speculated that the two men were possibly Moses and Elijah. It seems best to say they were angels.
d. This same Jesus: This is a glorious phrase. It reminds us that the Jesus ascended to heaven and seated at the right hand of God the Father is the same Jesus of the Gospels. He is the same Jesus of love, grace, goodness, wisdom, and care.
e. Will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven: Jesus will return just as He left.
· He left physically and will so come in like manner.
· He left visibly and will so come in like manner.
· He left from the Mount of Olives and will so come in like manner.
· He left in the presence of His disciples and will so come in like manner.
· He left blessing His church and will so come in like manner.
C. Matthias is appointed to replace Judas.
1. (12-14) The followers of Jesus return to Jerusalem.
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
a. They returned to Jerusalem: This was notable obedience. Jesus told them to return to Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4), and that is exactly what they did. They didn’t forget the sermon right after they heard it, and they actually did what Jesus told them to do, even though He was no longer physically present with them.
b. A Sabbath’s day journey: The Mount of Olives was just outside of ancient Jerusalem. This describes a short distance, the only kind allowed on the Sabbath.
c. When they had entered, they went up into the upper room: Acts 1:15 tells us that there were about 120 present. This included the eleven disciples (the twelve minus Judas) are present; along with Mary, the mother of Jesus, the brothers of Jesus (such as James and Jude), the women who followed Jesus, and others.
i. The brothers of Jesus never seemed to be supportive of His ministry before His death and resurrection (John 7:5, Mark 3:21). After encountering the resurrected Jesus, they were changed into true followers of Jesus.
ii. Calvin translates with the women as with their wives, a reference to the wives of the apostles.
d. These all continued with one accord: This is notable unity. When we saw the disciples in the Gospels, it seemed that they always fought and bickered. What had changed? Peter still had the history of denying the Lord; Matthew was still a tax collector; Simon was still a zealot. Their differences were still there, but the resurrected Jesus in their hearts was greater than any difference.
e. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication: This was notable prayer. They all prayed, and they continued in prayer and supplication. The idea of supplication is a sense of desperation and earnestness in prayer.
i. Already, we see three important steps in making godly decisions: The disciples were in obedience, they were in fellowship, and they were in prayer.
2. (15-20) Peter suggests selecting a replacement for Judas.
And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.” (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, And let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let another take his office.’”
a. Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples: Here, Peter took a natural leadership role among the disciples. There is nothing wrong with seeing Peter as the leader of the first group of the apostles, even as he often was the spokesman among the disciples during the earthly ministry of Jesus.
i. However, the idea that the authority of Peter was supreme and that he handed it down in unbroken succession, is unbiblical and wrong.
b. Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled: Peter’s words show wisdom we did not often see in him before. He began by noting that Judas didn’t spoil God’s plan, he fulfilled it (this Scripture had to be fulfilled). This is something that only wise and mature disciples can see in the aftermath of evil.
c. Falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out: Luke’s historical note calls attention to how Judas died. Matthew 27:5 says that Judas hanged himself, but apparently he failed in the attempt, fell, and was killed by the impact of falling from the tree in the Field of Blood.
i. It was a Field of Blood not only because Judas spilled his blood there, but also because the field was purchased with the “blood money” given to the betrayer of Jesus.
d. For it is written: Peter, quoting from two separate Psalms, showed why God wanted them to choose another disciple to officially replace Judas.
i. This was notable reliance on God’s Word. This wasn’t the wisdom of man at work, but a principle revealed in Scripture. Also, this is the first time in the New Testament we read that Peter quoted Scripture.
ii. Let his habitation be desolate: David, the writer of these quoted Psalms, knew what it was like to be betrayed by another. When David was a fugitive from Saul, a man named Doeg betrayed him (1 Samuel 21-22), and many innocent people died as a result. David may have penned these very words in reference to this betrayer.
iii. Let another take his office: When David was betrayed, he desired that the betrayer would be desolate and that another fill the betrayer’s office. It wasn’t hard to understand that the Son of David – Jesus, whom David often prefigured – would desire the same thing.
iv. This was notable desire for God’s will. Because of the principle of the quoted Scripture, they decided to replace Judas because they believe it is what Jesus wanted, not because it is what they wanted.
3. (21-23) Qualifications are stated and two men are nominated.
“Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
a. One of these must become a witness with us: The disciples were bold enough to make a decision because they knew from God’s Word that this is what He wanted. The apostles did not sense an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them; that was yet to come. But God did not leave them without guidance. They knew what to do from the Word. Even when we don’t sense a special guidance from the Holy Spirit, we have God’s voice permanently established in His Word.
i. Of course, even if we do sense a special guidance from the Holy Spirit, we still have God’s voice permanently established in His Word. Any perceived guidance from the Holy Spirit will never disobey God’s written word to us.
b. Who have accompanied us all the time: Whoever replaced Judas must be one who had been with them since John baptized them, who stayed with them during the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and who saw the resurrected Jesus.
i. We find no evidence that these qualifications were discovered either in the Scriptures or by special leading of the Holy Spirit. We might say that they simply used their sanctified common sense. These seemed to be logical, common sense requirements for the successor to Judas’ office as disciple.
ii. Their common sense was sanctified because it came as they were in obedience, in fellowship, in prayer, in the Scriptures, and desiring God’s will.
iii. This was notable sanctified common sense. It didn’t answer everything, but it did narrow it down to two men.
c. One of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection: This was the main job of the disciple that would replace Judas. Now that Jesus had ascended to heaven, it was more important than ever to have a witness…of His resurrection.
i. We also can be witnesses of His resurrection, both by trusting and proclaiming the apostolic testimony, and our own testimony that the risen Jesus lives in and through us.
4. (24-26) The disciples pray and cast lots to select a replacement for Judas.
And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
a. And they prayed: They prayed first, and it was easy to pray because they had already been praying (Acts 1:14).
i. This was a notable way of doing what Jesus would do. We remember that when Jesus chose His disciples, He prayed (Luke 6:12-13). The disciples, following Jesus, prayed for wisdom to know who the Lord would add to their number.
b. And they cast their lots: This was essentially rolling dice or drawing straws for the answer. Many people have questioned the method for choosing one of the two men; it seems that despite all these wonderful spiritual steps, they ended up rolling dice to pick the winner. It is fair to ask, “Is this any way to choose an apostle?”
i. Nevertheless, this was notable reliance on God. Though they were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit as they soon would be, they still wanted to choose a method that would make them rely on God. Perhaps they remembered Proverbs 16:33: The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
ii. The casting of lots may be an imperfect way to discern God’s will, but it is much better than the methods many Christians use today – that is, to rely on emotions, to rely on circumstances, or feelings, or carnal desires, and so forth.
c. And the lot fell on Matthias: Some insist that Matthias was the wrong choice and the use of lots in making the decision was not right. The idea is that God would have eventually chosen Paul if the office had been left vacant. But we must respect the testimony of the Scriptures; God did not want to leave the office vacant. If it were left unfilled, it might be seen as a victory for Satan; as if Jesus chose 12, but one came up short and therefore Satan defeated Jesus’ desire to have 12 apostles.
i. Even though we read nothing more of Matthias, we should not assume he was a failure as an apostle. Except for Peter and John, none of the original twelve are mentioned again after Acts 1. Matthias was no more of a failure than Matthew or Andrew or Thomas or any of the others.
ii. As for Paul, he clearly considered himself an apostle, but one born out of due time (1 Corinthians 15:8). It doesn’t seem that he objected to the selection of Matthias.
iii. Revelation 21:14 brings up an interesting question. It tells us that each of the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem has the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. When we get to heaven, it will be interesting to see if the twelfth apostle of the Lamb is Paul or Matthias.
d. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles: No one can fault all the things they did before they cast lots. We must believe that all these things put them into the place where God would truly guide their decision.
i. We would not make many wrong decisions if we did all the things the disciples did before making big decisions.
· The disciples obeyed.
· The disciples were in unity and fellowship.
· The disciples were in prayer.
· The disciples were in the Scriptures.
· The disciples wanted to do God’s will.
· The disciples used sanctified common sense.
· The disciples did what Jesus did.
· The disciples did what they could do to rely on God.
© 2012 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission