The Acts of the Apostles
Acts is one of the most unique books of the Bible and one of my favorites to read, I say this because it gives us the historical birth of the early church and the work of the Holy Spirit after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Historians have concluded that Dr. Luke is the author of this book, thus we can understand that Acts was a two-part historical documentation. His first writing was the Gospel account where he gives the historical record of the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, the Son of God.
“In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.(vv. 1,2)
The second part of the Luke’s document gives the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of the Father sending a Helper (Holy Spirit), the Day Pentecost, to his Church empowering them to go out and to be a witness to all nations. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Vv.8) The accomplishments of the Church could not be done without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Ordinary men doing extraordinary things. These men will “turn the world upside down”.
- “In the Gospels the Son of Man offered his life; In Acts the Son of God offered his power. In the Gospels, we see the original seeds of Christianity; in Acts, we see the continual growth of the Church. The Gospels tell us of Christ crucified and risen; Acts speaks of Christ ascended and exalted. The Gospels model the Christian life as lived by the perfect Man; Acts models it as lived out by imperfect men.” – Kent Hughes
As we read through the Acts of the Apostles my hope is that we can see who the true author is, bringing clarity to the scriptures, and identifying that it was not just acts of men but the Act of God to spread the message of redemption, by his Spirit, through his Church because of the work of his Son, Jesus. Let us be encouraged that God still is working through his Church to do extraordinary things through ordinary people. We the Church must live in such a way that is glorifying to HIM, keeping his commission the primary focus in our life.
- Ministry in Jerusalem: chapters 1-7 (AD 30-33)
- Ministry in Judea and Samaria: chapters 8-12 (AD 33-44)
- Ministry to the end of the earth: chapters 13-28 (AD 44-62)