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Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

www.thischristianjourney.com


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To Seek And To Save

The Ascension

Luke 24.49-53

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[So much of what the Bible records about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is thoroughly astounding.  The idea of the virgin birth is foolishness to the natural mind, as are many of the miracles performed by our Lord; after all, who could really heal the blind, heal leapers, and raise the dead.  Some mighty think that the Biblical story of the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ must be a fairy tale since it is impossible for any being to actually live again once they have died.  The ascension may seem like another one of those phenomenal stories that just could not actually, realistically happen.  Yet, it is recorded in the biblical record with an empirical historical substantiation that is hard to refute or deny.  This is why the Bible states:] 

[1 Corinthians 2:14 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.]

[Just what is this ascension thing anyway?  The ascension records that after the Lord Jesus Christ was cursed (mocked, beaten and scourged), crucified, and corrupted (confirmed dead and in the grave for three days) that on the third day He physically arose from the grave, and then 40 days latter He physically ascended into heaven where He now sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.] 

[Did Jesus really ascend as the Bible records or was it just a story made up and recorded by the disciples?  What might indicate that the ascension really happened just as the Bible records it?] 

[The greatest evidence that the Ascension of our Lord was real and happened, just as it is recorded in the Bible, is the same evidence that substantiates all of the other supernatural miracles that surrounded our Lord and His earthly ministry and presence.  The greatest of these evidences are the multitudes of eye witnesses who testified to the events and the records written concerning those events.  Notice:] 

[Luke 24:50 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. ]

[Acts 1:9-11 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. ]

[Acts 1:15 15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) ]
 

[Luke, the physician, having conducted a through investigation into the events surrounding our Lord Jesus Christ, including His physical ascension, records that there were about 120 brethren who saw Jesus when He was taken up into heaven.  Some might dispute the actual number of witnesses, but without any doubt there were numerous eyewitnesses who were still alive when Luke wrote.  These eye witnesses substantiated Luke’s record.] 

[So where did Jesus ascend to, ] 

[1 Peter 3:21-22 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. ]

[Hebrews 12:2 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. ]

[Without a doubt the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is seated on the right hand of the throne of our Heavenly Father a place of glory and authority.  That is where our Lord Jesus Christ is today, physically in heaven with His glorified body, awaiting the fulfillment of the times of the gentiles and the Church age so that He can return to claim His bride by taking up His redeemed out of this corrupt mortality and clothing them in an eternal glory very much like His own.  As the Bible declares:] 

[1 John 3:1-3 1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. ]

[So, we know from the reliable and substantiated witness of the Word of God that our Lord Jesus Christ physically resurrected from His grave and that 40 days latter He ascended on high and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, but what does the ascension mean for you and I as born again believers?] 

Through the ascension Christians receive the: 

A.     Provision of our Comforter (vs 49) [– And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.  – There are those today who think that if they could have just walked in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ then all of their doubts would be assuaged and they would know for sure who Jesus really was and they too could be saved. However, even the presence of the Lord and the miracles that surrounded Him left many unconvinced and uncertain.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were unconvinced, even one of Jesus’ own apostles was uncertain enough to betray Him.  Jesus commanded His disciples to remain in Jerusalem until the precious gift promised by God would be sent upon them to empower them.  Hence the ascension of our Lord was required for the sake of:] 

1.      The Gifting of the Holy Spirit (vs 49; John 16.7) [– The Holy Spirit provides something for us that even the supernatural presence of a resurrected Savior can not provide.  Hence, Jesus commanded His disciples to “. . . tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (vs 49).  The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within a believer is undeniable. The Holy Spirit brings an assurance within an individual that even the physical presence of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot replace.  The incredible impact of the Holy Spirit upon a believer is what Jesus alluded to when He said,] 

[John 16:7 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.]

[Hence, after the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer that would accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.  Jesus gifted His Church body with the Holy Spirit of God.]

2.      The Grounding of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8.14-16; 1 John 5.11-13) [– The result of the gifting of the Holy Spirit within every believer is the grounding or sure footedness of every born again believer.  A born again believer will be able to say that he knows that he knows that he is born again because the Holy Spirit testifies to the fact of his knew birth within him.  Paul said it this way,] 

[Romans 8:14-16 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: ]

[The apostle John said it this way,]

[1 John 5:11-13 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. ]

[The sure foundation of every born again Christian is not the assurance that they have said a preprogrammed set of religious and potentially empty words, but that they have received the living and dynamic Spirit of God into the deepest part of their being who testifies within them of the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and their supernatural adoption into the divine and everlasting family of Almighty God.] 

[The gifting of the Holy Spirit, given by our Lord Jesus Christ after His ascension provides a foundation established upon the eternal bedrock of the power and presnece of Almighty God.] 

3.      The Guiding of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2.10,14; Acts 1.8) [– This guidance of the Holy Spirit is the deep spiritual illumination revealed by the Apostle Paul in his epistle to Corinth.  Paul wrote,] 

[1 Corinthians 2:10 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. ]

[1 Corinthians 2:14 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. ]

[Not only does the Holy Spirit give us a deep spiritual understanding of the things of God but He will also empower us to carry the life transforming gospel message to the world all around us.  Luke wrote,] 

[Acts 1:8 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.]

[The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit will give you the supernatural power to both be a witness and carry the testimony of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.]

B.     Protection of our Counselor (vs 50-51) [- And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. – By counselor here I do not mean a counselor in the sense of having a trusted confidant you can talk to.  Instead, I mean a counselor like having an attorney retained and ready to provide whatever defense is needed at a moments notice.  Few can afford to readily and continuously retain an attorney.  But in the Lord Jesus Christ, who has ascended into the presence of Almighty God you have a ready and enduring defense against the wiles of the devil and the waywardness of our lives.] Your Ascended Savior: 

1.      Will Stand on your behalf  (Rom 8.34) [– The Bible indicates that your adversary, the Devil, is constantly coming before God and is accusing you.  This is seen most notably in the book of Job.  The devil comes before God and openly declares your sins and iniquities in hopes that God will render permanent and eternal judgment against you.  But the Bible notes that for the Christian when the devil begins his accusations the Lord Jesus Christ stands up and intercedes on behalf of the child of God.  The Apostle Paul wrote,]  

[Romans 8:33-34 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.]

[So, your adversary the devil steps up to God throne with a hideous accusation against you, and your ascended Lord and Savior stands up at the right hand of the father and pleads the blood that He shed on Calvary’s Cross. Your suffering Savior became your Standing advocate in the throne room of Almighty God.]

2.      Will Suffer for your sins  (1 John 2.1-3) [– When you sin Jesus not only stands as an attorney would and pleads your case in God’s eternal court of justice, but the Lord Jesus Christ stands and pays the penalty you owe for your sins.  John wrote,]   

[1 John 2:1-3 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.]

[The Lord Jesus Christ takes your punishment and suffers the penalty you owe in your place.  God cannot just look over your sin and forget that it ever occurred.  No the cost for your sin must be paid, and our Lord Jesus Christ stands up as your advocate in God’s eternal court and pays the penalty for your sins by becoming the propitiation for your sins.] 

[Notice the passage states that “. . . we have an advocate . . .” sin is and always will be a costly thing.  All sin, even our present sins carry a heavy toll with them.  Your ascended Savior stands ready to be your propitiation and to take the penalty for your sins upon himself.  Therefore, never look lightly upon your sin, it costs our Savior dearly.] 

3.      Is Sensitive to your feelings (Heb 4.14-16) [– Your Ascended Savior stands at the right hand of our Heavenly Father so that you can have open access to the very throne of Almighty God.  You can come personally to your Heavenly Father because of what Jesus was and is for you.  The Bible records,]  

[Hebrews 4:14-16 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.]

[Hence our ascended Savior not only stands against your accuser, and takes the full penalty owed for your sins, but He also knows the depth of your feelings and is positioned to nurture you in your deepest need.  The ascended Lord Jesus Christ is a high priest who knows your deepest need and can present that need to your Heavenly Father without error or failure.]

C.     Promise of our Coronation (Acts 1.10-11) [– And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. – The ascension of our Lord has resulted in the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit which gives us the assurance of our salvation.  It has also resulted in our confidence in this mortal existence because Jesus is our advocate and stands on our behalf in the presence of Almighty God.  It should also lead to our expectation and purification as we watch and anticipate His soon arrival to usher in our eternal coronation.] 

1.      We have an Eternal Heritage (John 14.1-3) [– For the born again Christian the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ is their assurance that they have a perfect place prepared for them that will provide an eternal home and heritage for them.  They not only have the promise of heaven but they know that they are joint heirs in God’s kingdom with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus said,] 

[John 14:1-3 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.]

2.      You need an Eternal Home [– If you have never received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior then today should be the day of your salvation.  Don’t risk your eternal hope and home on some mortal worldly misconception or religious system.  You need the sure foundation of the indwelling presence of God within you, and the mortal hope of a living advocate in the throne room of Almighty God, and the confidence of a coming eternal coronation through the salvation and advocacy of the living Lord and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.] 

 


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