Waiting for the Promise of the Father

Acts 1:4-8

January 9, 2022

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.     Background (Acts 1:4-8)


A.   Jesus has been alive for 40 days at this point, since His resurrection

B.   He and His few disciples have spent much of that time up on Galilee – in their home towns, and among their kind of simple people

C.   But now, they are gathered together, at the base of a small hill just outside of Jerusalem, called the mount of Olives


1.    It was one of Jesus’ favourite places

2.    It was cool in the evenings, and He loved to pray there, and spend quiet times with His disciples there

3.    And things were about to completely change


D.   Because… Jesus was Leaving


1.    He is just about to return home to heaven – what a thought!

2.    That is where He came from, into our world

3.    And now He is going back

4.    His job was finished here – redemption was accomplished by Him alone! Not with Mary’s help, or Peter’s or the church’s – Just HIM alone, dying for the sins of the whole world!

5.    He has spent the last 40 days preparing His rag-tag group of followers to stand on their own, and to take on this world, and persuade it to turn back to God


E.   But just before He leaves, He gives two final commands to those men…


1.    Wait

2.    And then Witness


II.   Message


A.   Waiting (Acts 1:4)


1.    Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

2.    Waiting is a command


a.     Jesus COMMANDED them – strong, forceful words

b.    “Don’t do ANYTHING until you experience the promise of the Father in you”

c.     Just wait, and look forward to the Promise being fulfilled

d.    It is coming

e.     I am not telling you WHEN, but to just be ready

f.     (Kind of like the Rapture!)


3.    Waiting is hard


a.     Examples:


1)    Like waiting for the right marriage partner

2)    Or waiting for your health to return after an illness

3)    Or for your employer to give you a raise like you think you deserve

4)    Or for God to change someone in your life and make them better for you


b.    Waiting is hard – people don’t wait well – and smartphones have almost ruin waiting

c.     God’s timing is His own business – you can’t hurry Him up!

d.    But you can forfeit His will, by just doing what you want when you want to

e.     Don’t do that


4.    Waiting on the Lord is a BIG part of the Christian life (Psalm 27:14)


a.     It is an act of faith to trust in God instead of your feelings and impulses and abilities

b.    Depending upon the Lord to help you do whatever He asks

c.     It doesn’t mean twiddling your thumbs, or browsing social media

d.    It means, Spending time in worship, seeking His strength, His power to do His will

e.     Psalm 27:14  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.


5.    Waiting is proof you want something bad enough


a.     Waiting proves you believe in God’s promises!

b.    That you have decided God’s promises are worth having, no matter the cost


1)    Now you know why the world has been so busy making relationships all about sex, and fun, and instant gratification…

2)    Because the devil wants so much to rob people of the rewards of waiting


a)    Like with marriage – no one seems to want to wait until marriage for sex

b)    And with wisdom – comes with time, and experiences – not Wikipedia

c)    And especially with spiritual maturity


1.    So many people try and start their Christian life as so smart and so competent… When it used to be that when someone got born again, they started all over, and took baby steps, and then started walking, and growing, and maturing God’s way, in God’s time

2.    The majority of new Christians burn out because they think they already know it all, and can be good Christians without growing up!


3)    But Proverbs 18:1 says,  Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.


a)    We all should be willing to step away from the rat-race of this world, and SEEK for whatever God has in store for us – to wait on Him to show us HIS will - because it is always better than whatever the world offers!


c.     So, guess what we find in chapter 2 of Acts? The disciples gathered together, staying together, praying together, as they waited!


6.    Notice they are assembled together


a.     These disciples have always been together for the past 3 ½ years

b.    It wasn’t an inconvenience for them to get away from other things, and make assembling together their priority (Acts 5:42) And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

c.     As a matter of fact, they spent more time together as a church than they did with their own families!


1)    Not that you don’t take care of your family, and spend time with your family…

2)    But a true Christian knows the importance of assembling together as a church!


d.    I believe that would save a lot of broken families, broken lives, broken hearts – if Christians started assembling with other believers and humbling themselves enough to just be around God’s people and hear the words of eternal life as much as possible!

e.     Now, they will become more hungry, thirsty, desperate, and will truly wait on God


7.    But what are they waiting for?


B.   The Promise of the Father (Acts 1:4-7)


1.    Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

2.    Do you understand what the promise of the Father was?

3.    The disciples didn’t. They didn't pay attention when He explained this promise before. Neither have most Christians!


a.     The promise of the Father to them was, not something that they really paid attention to

b.    They thought that JESUS was the be all and the end all. And in some ways He is

c.     But in some ways we now can do greater works because Jesus has left

d.    And, and that's mind boggling


1)    Think about it… everything that happened during the apostle’s time with Jesus, was unbelievable because Jesus was there

2)    And now Jesus is saying that when He LEAVES, greater things is going to happen

3)    Because Someone else was coming in His place!


4.    Jesus said that something was about to happen


a.     Something marvellous

b.    Something promised by God the Father

c.     Something that Jesus had also told them about and explained already to them

d.    Something only believers, Christians would appreciate and experience


5.    “The Coming of the Holy Spirit” (John 14:16,17)


a.     We know the Son of God came…

b.    But now Jesus was LEAVING, and the Holy Spirit of God was COMING in His place

c.     John 14:16,17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.


1)    Did you notice the promise here?

2)    Jesus said, He was going to pray and tell the Father to send His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth to take His place

3)    And Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would dwell with us forever!


d.    John 7:37-39  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)


e.     He is the Comforter


1)    Such a wonderful word… Comforter

2)    John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

3)    Notice the promise… the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name

4)    John 15:26,27 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

5)    Who was Jesus talking about? The third person of the Trinity – the Holy Spirit!


f.     Yet He is ignored




a.     A family member stops over at dinner time. He had been invited.

b.    People barely notice him as he walks through the house

c.     He finds a corner, and sits on the chair, and is quiet – very quiet – just watching everything going on in that busy home

d.    The children race around the house, the mother busy cooking and fellowshipping with everyone else

e.     The men are talking politics and the economy and sports

f.     And this family member quietly whispers something… but no one hears him

g.    The mother discovers she has burned the chicken and the potatoes

h.    The men start arguing about differing opinions

i.      And the children start fighting each other over some game they were playing

j.      And the family member, stands to try and help, and everyone turns and glares at him to not get involved

k.    So, he sits down again, and quietly waits



7.    His coming was Prophesied in Joel 2, in Proverbs 1, and Isaiah (we will look at these scriptures later on in chapter 2)

8.    His coming was Pictured by Water Baptism – but only a picture (Acts 1:5)


a.     Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

b.    John baptized – immersed (not dribbled, or sprinkled or dipped people)

c.     John used water to baptize

d.    But John’s baptism was only an external picture of what God was about to do in the hearts of anyone who would repent and believe on Jesus!

e.     Jesus baptises with the Holy Ghost

f.     John 1:32,33 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

g.    Anyone who claims that a person needs to be baptized to be forgiven, to be saved, to be washed for their sins is denying


1)    The power of the blood of Christ to wash us from all our sins and forgive us

2)    And they are denying the need for the Holy Spirit of God to apply the work of Christ to your heart!!!


9.    His coming was/is More important than the promise of the future kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6,7)


a.     Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

b.    Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

c.     The Jewish disciples were mixed up about what promise Jesus was referring to

d.    They had hoped for the restoration of Israel to being its own kingdom again, with Jesus as their King

e.     But Jesus pushes that event back and promotes the coming of the Spirit of God as BETTER!

f.     So the promise of the Father was more important than the millennial kingdom

g.    To actually receive the promise of the Father is more important than the second coming of Christ.

h.    It's more important than anything else right now.


C.   What Would the Holy Spirit Do When He Came? Write these down!


1.    Indwell Believers (John 14:16,17)


a.     John 14:16,17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.


2.    Comfort Believers (John 14:16,17) – the greatest encourager, helper in the universe


a.     As good a comfort as if Jesus were here right now with you!

b.    Too bad so many modern Christians have no idea HOW to be comforted by the very Holy Spirit of God that is in you!


3.    He Seals Believers (Ephesians 4:30; 1:13,14)


a.     Ephesians 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

b.    Ephesians 1:13,14  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.


4.    He Teaches Us as we read and study His words – He will open your eyes to what all this means, page by page


a.     John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.


5.    He Promotes Jesus Only – not US, or our prosperity wishes, or our abilities, or Mary, or politics… Jesus only!

6.    He Convicts Us of Sin when we disobey God – a very important work that He does

7.    He Empower Us (Acts 1:8)


a.     Acts 1:8  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.

b.    Oh that we yearned to be filled with the Spirit of God instead of this world!

c.     The Holy Spirit is in every believer, but is rarely used – is rarely all over us

d.    EXAMPLE: Judges 15:14,15  And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

e.     It is like most of us are living as poor beggars, full of sorrows and defeats, when in our pockets is an endless debit card, given to us by our heavenly Father, to use every time we need something!

f.     No matter what God asks us to do; to go through – we can do anything IF we would lean upon, and draw our strength from the power of the Person of the Holy Spirit of God that is sitting in our hearts right now, waiting to be needed!


8.    And Thankfully, He Stays with Us (John 14:16)  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;


9.    This is not even a complete list, but you get the idea


D.   His Second Command – Witness (Acts 1:8)


1.    It is our memory verse this month! (Acts 1:8) 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.

2.    Witness is a Simple word

3.    It means:


a.    To tell what you know – describe what you have experienced

b.    Here, it means to say something that proves what God says is true – to back up God’s testimony – His words

c.     To prove that God’s will is best

d.    That waiting on God’s time is best


4.    We ALL are commanded to be witnesses in a hundred different ways


a.     Not just a few of us – but YE ALL – every one of us Christians

b.    Witness, testify, say something, do something to show people that God is there – not dead; not a figment of someone’s imagination – but near every one of us, if someone would just seek for Him with all their heart!

c.     That Jesus is alive again

d.    That sin is killing everyone (talk about a pandemic!)

e.     And that NOW is the time to repent and get saved!


5.    And we are to be witnesses TO THE WHOLE WORLD


a.     Living and talking up the Gospel

b.    Right here first – right now – not in 10 years’ time

c.     To your family, your neighbours, the people you meet every day – the people who know you and have seen a change in you – they are our Jerusalem

d.    And then out further and further, into County Cork, and then Clare, and Donegal

e.     And then to Northern Ireland, and Scotland, and France, and Tunisia

f.     To every culture, and language

g.    To the furthest soul

h.    To the very end of the world

i.      There is no one we should not tell about Jesus


III.         Conclusion


A.   Review – what are Christ’s last two commands?


1.    WAIT – To WANT the Holy Spirit enough to wait for Him to fill you and take the lead of your life and plans

2.    WITNESS – no matter what we may be doing – make it part of your daily life

3.    These two commands will be what makes Christianity a powerful force in the world


B.   Question…


1.    Have you EVER told anyone they needed to get born again? Jesus did!

2.    Have you ever handed someone a Gospel leaflet and asked them to read it?

3.    Could you explain HOW to get saved to someone? Have you ever tried?

4.    Have you ever given money just to Missions so that missionaries could go in YOUR place to some far away people and tell THEM about Jesus?

5.    We all are supposed to!


C.   If we would just WANT the Holy Spirit, more than our kingdoms

D.   If we would wait for His empowerment – at the start of every day; of every endeavour

E.   And if we would just GO and speak up when God says MOVE!

F.    Do you know what would happen?


1.    That’s when THIS generation of Christianity will experience REVIVAL

2.    And that’s when the WORLD will hear the Gospel once again!

3.    In our lifetime!


G.   Have you heard the Gospel? That you need to repent, and believe the only good news that there is?


1.    That Jesus took YOUR place on the cross, and died to pay off every one of your sins

2.    And that he rose again three days later, after defeating DEATH

3.    And waits now for you to accept HIM as enough to save your soul!