Acts 1

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“In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach” (Acts 1:1 NLT).

June 3, 2018

The book of Acts, or as some call it, the Acts of the Apostles, picks up where Luke’s gospel left off. Luke was a physician and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul. He wrote an “orderly account” (Luke 1:3) of what Jesus “began to do and teach” in his first book. In his second book, he wrote about the acts and words of the apostles after the ascension of Christ. His primary focus was on two of the apostles, namely, Simon Peter and Paul. Luke addressed both of his books to a man named, Theophilus, whose Greek name means “loved by God” or “friend of God.” Some have suggested that Theophilus was the benefactor for Luke’s two volumes, paying for their publication and distribution. Others take note that since Luke referred to him with the honorific, “most excellent Theophilus,” in his gospel, that he must have been a Roman official or leader.

The truth is no one knows the identity of Theophilus because nothing further is written about him in the Scriptures. But we can know this: The two books written by Luke were written to all those who are “loved by God.”

“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1:14 NKJV).

June 3, 2017

Just before His ascension, Jesus told the apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the promised Holy Spirit, so that they would receive power to be His witnesses. They obeyed. The remaining eleven disciples gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem “with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

Those scattered in fear by Christ’s crucifixion were now gathered in faith by Christ’s resurrection and ascension. Even the brothers of Jesus were in “one accord” with the disciples now, having come to faith after His resurrection.

This little band of believers “continued” in united prayer over the next ten days while the rest of Jerusalem lay unaware of the spiritual earthquake that was about to turn the world upside down for Christ.

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NKJV)

June 3, 2015

If Matthew 28:18-20 is Christ’s Great Commission for His followers, then Acts 1:8 is His Great Strategy. In the former, Christ gave His disciples an overarching mission: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” In the latter, He gave them the strategic process: 1) First, be empowered by the Spirit, 2) then be witnesses of Christ everywhere you go, 3) starting at home (“Jerusalem”), 4) move out to the surrounding areas (“Judea”), 5) making sure you include those who are social outcasts and hated by others (“Samaria”), 6) and finally, not giving up until the whole world knows that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who will soon return just as He said.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)

June 3, 2012

Christ’s strategy for reaching the world with the gospel. Can you think of a more profound way to spend your life? I can’t.