All the Bible, Every Book: Acts of the Apostles
Against All Odds!
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Luke’s sequel to his gospel, the Book of Acts, begins where he left off—the ascension of Christ. The emphasis is different. The Gospel of Luke stresses the work of Christ while He walked on earth; Acts highlights the work of Jesus done by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.
Without Acts we would have no record of the beginning and growth of the early church. Luke traces the birth and expansion of the church to strengthen the faith of Theophilus, a fellow Christian who may have helped finance Luke’s missionary and writing ministry (Luke 1:1-4). The Holy Spirit had a much broader audience in mind—the church of Christ throughout the age of grace. Luke’s selective but accurate history of the first 30 years of the church answers Theophilus’s questions in a way that is timeless:
- What about the coming of the Holy Spirit?
- What was the ministry of the Apostles?
- How did the Gospel spread from Jerusalem to the rest of the world?
- How did Christianity become a world religion rather than a Jewish sect?
Throughout his account Luke presents Christianity as an irresistible force in the face of great opposition and persecution. Nothing can stop the work of Christ by the Spirit through His church. Gloriously more than a splinter group of Judaism, the church will inherit Messiah’s kingdom. Until then, He will be about His Father’s business, calling people to Himself from every tribe, tongue, and nation who will worship Him in His coming kingdom:
God loves giving His people victory against all odds!
Surprisingly, the people He used and is using are terribly flawed. Only their faith in Christ and His ability to work through them by His Spirit can explain the history of the church that is still being written today.