The Bible-Acts,

HISTORICAL BOOK——–

 

ACTS——

The book of Acts, like the book of Luke, is addressed to a man “Theophilus” (1:1). Theophilus means “loved of God”. Nothing more is known of his identity, he is mentioned only in Luke’s introduction to his books, Luke and Acts. Although its never mentioned that Luke is the author of Acts, it is generally understood that he is the author of Acts and Luke. He probably wrote Acts around A.D. 65. He is referred to as “the beloved physician”. Interestingly, he is the only Gentile author of any Bible book.

The book contains 28 chapters, 1,007 verses and 24,245 words.

In its first stages, the New Testament Scriptures comprised two collections: (1) the four Gospels, and (2) the epistles of Paul. Acts plays an indispensable role as the connecting link between the two collections and rightly belongs in its present canonical order. Since Luke was a skilled writer and careful historian of the early church, he provides the historical background necessary for understanding more fully Paul’s ministry and letters in chapters 13-28. His usage of “we” reveal his personal participation in Paul’s travels.

Luke shows us at least 2 profound purposes in his recounting of the early church’s beginning. They are: (1) the Gospel moved triumphantly from the narrow borders of Judaism into the Gentile world in spite of the hard opposition and persecution.  (2) reveals the role of the Holy Spirit in the church’s life and mission, emphasizing the baptism in the Holy Spirt as God’s provision for empowering the church to proclaim the Gospel and to continue Jesus’ ministry. Luke explicitly records 3 times that the baptism in the Holy Spirit was accompanied by speaking in tongues (2:4; 10:45-46; 19:1-7).  The Holy Spirit is referred to more than 50 times as the “the Holy Ghost” and the “Spirit” in this one book.

2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

10: 45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

19;1 ¶  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

3  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

7  And all the men were about twelve.

 

The baptism in the Holy Spirit should not be identified with receiving the Holy Spirit at regeneration. These are two distinct works of the Spirit, often separated by a period of time but not always.

An overview of the book describes what Jesus continued to do and teach after His ascension, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through His disciples and the early church. His last instruction to His disciples was to wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized in the Holy Spirit (1:4-5).

The book of Acts is not only for the body of Christ or Church but to us individually.

It is so conclusive as to our daily walk for God. The instructions are so personal. Though they are for the church, they apply directly to us individually. These instructions provide guidance, power, boldness, fear of God, wisdom and spiritual gifts. This is the application for all of us.

Applying these individual instructions builds the church mentioned in 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.

This verse gives instruction to   and evangelize the lost. This is lost in a lot of modern translation.

We can expect the same miracles and activities to be present in today’s world under the church of Jesus Christ. Nothing in New Testament indicate that these signs and wonders are to cease in our day and age. Rather, Acts records what the church must be and do in any generation as it continues Jesus’ ministry in the Pentecostal power of the Holy Spirit.

On a secular basis, we can get instructions on how we are to proceed as a member of the body of Christ. Characteristics to strive for in our daily work both as an individual and as the church body.

On a spiritual basis, Acts give us a picture of bride of Christ. Our status in the body of Christ in which we as believers belong .

 

 

 

 

 

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