Choosing Leadership Part 1

Pastor Mike will be speaking on Choosing Leadership Part 1. He will be reading out of Acts 1:12-26.

There are gonna be many believers that disappoint you. There are gonna be many leaders that let you down, but I promise you Jesus Christ never disappoints. I promise you He will never let you down. I encourage you to keep your eyes upon Him and not be discouraged in the faith but continue to faithfully follow Him.

Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders. This is the hope worth having radio broadcasts. Today we’re gonna be in Acts chapter 1 verses 12 through 26. We’re talking about choosing leadership. You know, the early church went through a transition.

Well, as we get into verse 12 through verse 26, we learn exactly how God led the Apostles to choose leadership, and this helps us as we’re choosing leadership for our own churches. So let’s get in and study this passage.

We have your Bible. I want you to join me in the book of Acts, and I want us to come to Acts chapter 1 verses 12 through 26, our main text this morning. Sometimes we wonder who is leading. We wonder who is in charge.

Well, we always know, no matter our situation, that Christ is the head of the church, that Christ is always in charge of our lives, and that He is sovereignly working, that He is at work within us and through us and around us.

Jesus is the head of the church, but He has called us to have leaders within the church who help fulfill His perfect will within the church. An effective scriptural church needs an effective scriptural leader.

When you look at the Scriptures, you see that there is always a plurality of leaders. There’s never just one person, but God is using many individuals to help lead His church as He has gifted them. As we understand the church, we know that no church will be greater than the leaders that God has entrusted to them.

The church always does its best work when the leaders are doing their good work, their good leadership. The call to leadership in a church is not a matter of human recruitment, but it’s a matter of divine appointment.

God is choosing those among the congregation through the power of the Spirit and calling them to different positions. of leadership. Jesus called and equipped 12 apostles. With that, He gave them the necessary resources to launch and birth the church.

But not only the resources to bring about the church, which is a God-ordained idea. I know that the church faces hard times and a lot of criticism, and people are down on the church. But I want you to understand that it was Jesus’ idea.

It was divinely ordained that God would have a remnant of believers who would gather together, who would organize in ministry, and who would effectively proclaim the gospel of Christ. The church is the platform of God’s glory, and the church is the platform for the advancement of the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth.

These resources were given to the church, not only so that she might begin, but that she would continue. In addition to those resources, He desired that the church would have the proper leadership in carrying out the task that God called the church to.

He raised up 12 apostles at the outset. The Bible referring to the church says this, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.

What you need to understand is that the church is not only a divine idea, but it is structured in a divine way that God anointed from the time of the resurrection to the ascension of God. Christ, Jesus Christ helped those apostles to understand the significant role of the church in the kingdom of God and how they would be used to help push forward the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Though the work of salvation is completed and finished at the cross in that Christ gave his life for our sins so that we might have eternal life there is still the unfinished task of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.

There is the responsibility of the church to make sure that every heart, and every person hears about Christ. Jesus did not say let’s just do this haphazardly and let’s just kind of throw things and see if they stick on the wall or hope that they might come about but rather he had a structure and an organization.

called the church and he raised up the church. There are many good things to be involved in in our communities in our world but nothing is more powerful for the believer than to be connected and committed to the local church and to allow God to use you to be an effective servant for him.

Now when we come to our texts this morning the disciples have just experienced a majestic moment in the ascension of Christ. The Bible tells us in verse 12 of Acts chapter 1 that they returned to Jerusalem from 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 woman and Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brother. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples all together 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 into the middle and all his entrails gushed out and it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem so that the field is called in their own language, Aqal -Dama, that is, a 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. Therefore of these men who have accompanied us, let all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to the day when he was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.

And they proposed to Joseph, called Barsabbas, and who was surname Justice and Matthias. 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 11 apostles. This morning as we examine this text there are several things that I want us to learn. I want us to look analytically at this text but I also want to pull out of it some great application that will help us even in our daily walk with Christ.

We long to learn as a church family how is it that we choose leadership but also we long to know how we understand God’s will for our lives. Each and every day there are decisions that are before us, choices that will impact our lives and determine where we might even be in the next five years of our life.

How is it that we can sense what is the perfect will of God and what is He teaching us in relation to what His plan is for our life? The first thing that I want you to see is the reason for the selection.

The reason that the apostles had to take this moment in time to select the fulfillment of that 12th apostle was the failure of the leadership of Judas himself. We recognize in verses 16 and through 18 that this was something that was already prophesied, something that was to come about in which the scriptures had already mentioned that there would be one within those 12 that Jesus had chosen that would deny Him and they would betray Him.

What is interesting about the prophecy of the betrayal of Judas is that this prophecy was made a thousand years before and was now finally fulfilled. It was Peter who acknowledged this and recognized this in the scripture, perhaps from the insight of the forty…

days that he had spent with Christ as Christ was teaching the Apostles about how to understand what the kingdom of God would be like in the future and the role that the church the beginning of the church and helping to connect the dots of the Old Testament and the New Testament that it was Peter who would stand up and he would be the one that would quote the scripture.

It’s not like Jesus was caught off guard and did not know that among his twelve key apostles, there would be one who would betray him. The scripture says in John chapter 6 and verse 64 that Jesus said there are some of you that believe not.

For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not and who would betray him. Jesus understood that even in his 12 apostles that he had anointed and he had chosen and that he had gifted that even among this motley group of men who had all kinds of different hang -ups and challenges and obstacles in their own life much less what they were getting ready to take on as Christ would ascend into heaven but he understood even as in his ministry while he walked upon this earth Christ recognized that one was not even a believer that one would betray him in Craig Larson’s book entitled Strong to the Finish he makes this observation about the life of Judas and I quote he says think of Judas Judas decided to follow Jesus, Judas heard Jesus teach he went out two by two with others healing the sick and exercising demons Judas did a lot of disciple kind of thing yet he is remembered solely for how his relationship with Jesus ended he goes on to say how a life a ministry or a relationship ends is absolutely crucial to everything that goes before it end of quote it’s amazing to think about Judas and people might try to think that somehow maybe there was something defective with the teaching that Judas received but that wasn’t it because he received the teaching of Jesus perhaps somehow they fumbled and they failed to do the proper discipleship and maybe they didn’t provide him with the kind of nurturing and kindness and care that was essential for his development as a disciple but yet he was under the tutelage and discipleship of Jesus Christ perhaps Judas was not a part of the most…

amazing a ministry but we can’t say that because was there any ministry greater than our Lord and Savior? Judas not only partook of the ministry of Christ but he witnessed Jesus interrupting a funeral procession and raising a little girl to life he witnessed Christ showing up four days late to the tomb of Lazarus calling Lazarus’ name and rising him from the dead yet in the midst of all these miracles in the midst of all this ministry Judas still chose to betray Christ, I only say that to you because many of you wonder what happened to my kids or what happened to my friend or what happened to my particular family member or this particular member in the church.

And I want to remind you that people can be exposed to the greatest ministries the greatest experiences and the greatest miracles. And yet it all comes down to a choice that we must choose to follow Christ.

That we must respond to Him. That we must be the ones who pursue Him. In 1 John 2:19, we’re reminded of this warning that is before all of us as believers. The Bible says they went out from us. Talking about those who claim to believe in Christ.

They went out from us, but they were not of us. For had they been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us. But they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. I just want you to note that the endurance of your faith is the manifestation of the authenticity of your faith.

That there are many shooting stars in the kingdom of God who start out with so much excitement and energy for the Lord. But only to fade and fizzle out. Only to prove that their faith was never real.

What God is calling us to do as believers is not to rely on past experiences past miracles or past moments in our life when we experience the presence of God. But He is calling us to finish strong for Him.

He is reminding us of the warning that there is this temptation for us to walk away. The life of Judas reminds us that it is possible to be near Christ, to associate with Christ, and to experience His ministry very closely.

yet become utterly hardened by sin. That’s why the Bible says that we are to take inventory of our hearts. Each and every day we must all take inventory of our lives. There are times that we hear about superstar Christians, superstar pastors, superstar preachers, and superstar leaders in the church.

How is it that they could walk away? How is it that they had a secret sin? How is it that these things might happen only to remind us, friends, that within the family of God, first of all, that every person is a sinful person?

It never excuses our behavior. It never excuses our requirements of what it means to be a leader and to be an example to those that we are set before. but we are not defeated because someone somehow drifts from the faith or a secret sin is exposed in their life.

We recognize that our eyes are not on people, but they are upon the Lord Jesus Christ. As you walk this journey of faith, as you’re maturing in your faith, there are gonna be many believers that disappoint you.

There are gonna be many leaders that let you down, but I promise you, Jesus Christ never disappoints. I promise you, He will never let you down. I encourage you to keep your eyes upon Him and not be discouraged in the faith but continue to faithfully follow Him.

The failure of Judas’ leadership as an apostle was the reason that they had to select the vacancy of this leadership. Was required to be filled in the very early stages of Jesus Christ’s early earthly ministry, He chose 12 disciples.

They would be known as apostles. The number of the 12 was not an accident. It’s not like Jesus batted 90% and that He got 11 out of 12 right, and that’s not too bad. But even in the sovereignty and the providence of God, His great wisdom that Christ selected among those, Judas.

But yet He chose this unique number of 12, why? Because the number would represent the 12 tribes of the nation of Israel. If you’re familiar with the Bible, you know in the Old Testament that there are 12 tribes.

You understand that they represent the nation of Israel. You understand that Jesus now is connecting the dots. He never desired to get rid of the Old Testament. desire to disband the Old Testament but rather the Bible says he came to fulfill it.

And even in the emergence of the church, in the birth of the church, there is that connection that the church has to the 12 tribes. In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 19 verse 28, Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you that you which have followed me, referring to his apostles, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit upon 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.

What all that might mean and how that might manifest itself in the future is all in the sovereignty and wisdom of God. But note it was very significant that there were 12, which leads us to understand.

that it was necessary for the disciples, the apostles, if you will, to select this 12th position to be filled. This leads us to the second point that I want you to see is not only the reason for the selection, but the requirements for the selection.

In verses 21 through 22, the requirements of an apostle, the original 12 were laid out. It was really simple. They had to have traveled with Jesus and partook of His ministry. We see that in the Scriptures in verse 21, therefore of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us.

The Scripture says that Christ ordained 12, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach. These 12 individuals had a unique ministry, not from a distance of the ministry of Christ, but rather a close-up view of the ministry of Christ.

And they had a special mission to go forth and to preach this gospel, to preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, to preach this message of the cause of Christ. So they had to be somebody who was with Him, somebody who traveled with Christ, but they also had to be a witness of His resurrection.

Look at verse 22, it says, 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. The ministry, the public ministry of Christ began when John the Baptist baptized Him.

You remember that moment when the Bible describes it as the heavens opening up and that the Father spoke and said, this is my beloved Son, and who… I am well pleased that in this trinitarian moment of the baptism of Christ the Son of God baptized Fulfilling all that was required in the Old Testament that the Spirit of God came upon Christ Like a dove and the heavenly Father broke out from the heavens and his voice was heard This is my beloved son In whom I am well pleased Luke describes this moment in the upper room as a time when Peter declared That the second qualification must be that they witnessed not only the ministry of Christ but his resurrection now I know that if you’re a good student of the Bible that you certainly have many questions and you might wonder was this a legitimate selection and What about the Apostle Paul?

Even the Apostle Paul faced times in his ministry where people questioned his credentials and whether he was really an apostle The Bible says in 1st Corinthians 9 1 that the Apostle said am I not free?

Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord are not you my workmanship in the Lord? my understand and My interpretation is simply this that the selection of Mathias as the 12th apostle Was important and it was essential in the fulfillment of all that God was going to do but this role this Apostle ministry Was not something that was just limited to the 12 But at the outset there were many in the book of Acts who were referred to as apostles We find that Barnabas was referred to an apostle, but uniquely Paul was referred to as an apostle when you see the word apostle in the Bible, it means an emissary or a Representative one cent with the authority of the sender very much like an ambassador not only was it essential that the 12 be Completed and fulfilled and fulfilled the requirements, but it’s not like God limited This ministry of apostleship in the early stages of the church just to the 12 But in order to be among the 12 That would be a part of those 12 that would sit on a throne and they would judge the 12 tribes of Israel It was necessary that they meet these requirements Revelation 12 1 says there appeared a great wonder in heaven a woman clothed with the Sun and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of 12 stars.

Many scholars believe that this is referring to the Apostles. The 12 Apostles ministered primarily to the 12 tribes of Israel. But what was unique about Paul is that he was not among that 12, but no lesser of an apostle in the sense that his unique calling was, is that he was called to take the gospel to the Gentiles.

In your own personal study, you can work that out in Galatians chapter 2 and you can begin to see the distinction of this ministry that the Apostle had. Now let’s talk about the recourse for the selection.

In verses 23 through 26 what were the results? Jesus said to his Apostles, you did not choose me but I chose you. and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, and that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give you.” Now, that’s an incredible promise.

But within the midst of this, we learn some things that will help us, not only relating to choosing leadership, but also in helping guide us to understand, how is it that I can know the will of God.

There are two things you must understand at the outset as you’re trying to determine the will of God for your life. First, there is a universal will that is applicable to all of us. It doesn’t matter.

You see, there is a universal will that is unveiled clearly in the scriptures. Like, for instance, it is God’s will. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. There is a universal will that if you’re sitting here this morning and you don’t know Christ, if you’re watching on the internet, if you’re listening through radio or television, listen, there is a universal will that Christ is calling you to have a relationship with Him.

It’s not an invitation to religion. It’s not an invitation to rituals. It’s an invitation to a relationship with Jesus. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes unto the Father but by me.

It is through Christ that we have a relationship with the Father. It is through Christ that our sins are forgiven. It is through Christ that we are created new. It is through Christ that we have a new life that helps us to be faithful to Him.

There is a universal will. It’s spelled out in the Bible. You don’t even have to really pray much about it. It’s just spelled out. But there’s also a unique will. There’s a unique will that is particular to you.

The call to leadership is not a matter of human recruitment but of divine appointment. That’s what we see in this passage is that God has a plan. He calls his leaders into the role of serving in the church.

It is the job of the leaders to recognize who those individuals are and to appoint them to their responsibility. Well, I hope as you’re learning about choosing leadership that God is helping you, sometimes churches struggle to pick new leadership for the church.

Well, as we learn from God’s Word and his principles, they help guide us in the selections that God has for us. Now, have you checked out our newsletter? We put out a newsletter that gives you updates about our ministry.

make sure you go to HopeworthHaving .com. Sign up for our newsletters so you can keep up with what God is doing through Hopeworth Having Ministries. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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