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He’s Telling The Story

April 17, 2012

At its core, the book of Acts…The Acts of the Apostles…is a history book.  It tells the story of a historical faith with a historical basis…the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth…the one we call Christ.  Now, you have to understand that this is not Luke serving in the role of Christian apologist.  No, he presents this narrative purely as historical fact.  He doesn’t spend time attempting to prove the existence of Jesus or argue for His divinity…Luke just tells the story…the same way that we might tell of Charlemagne, or Alexander the Great, or even George Washington.  He just tells the story.

Take a minute and Read through Acts 1:1-11.

Now, Theophilus is sort of the connecting tissue between this book and the Gospel According to Luke.  Both are addressed to this man, and outside of the fact that his name is one of a gentile, and at one point Luke calls him “most excellent Theophilus”, we don’t know much else about him.

In verse 3, Luke just comes out with it and says, concerning Jesus, that he “presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”  And listen…that is all he is going to give as a defense of his faith…Jesus was alive after we saw Him dead.  Not only was He alive…He just kept showing up…”many proofs.”  Now we can look at the context of that verse and add as a proof for the resurrection of Jesus, the fact that the disciples went back to Jerusalem.  Remember, the last time that they were there, things did not go very well for them.  Jesus got killed, Peter was a liar and cut a guys ear off, and John stood at the foot of the cross and watched as Jesus took His last breath.  There were ample reasons to avoid going back to that town…and yet, here they are…right where Jesus wanted them to be.

Verses 7 and 8 give us sort of an outline for the rest of the book of Acts.  Jesus mentions four geographical locations, condensed down into three areas.  He says, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  This is exactly what we will see play out through the text…and, it is exactly the story that we are wrapped up in right now.

Look back at verse 8…it gives us an aspect of the kingdom of God that many of us fail to appreciate.  When Jesus says that you will receive “power”, he is not talking about the ability to enjoy any and all circumstances…He is talking about something much bigger.  The word for power in the Greek is “dynamis”…it is a word that made it into the English language when a man named Alfred Bernhard Nobel discovered a compound that created a reaction more powerful than the world had ever known and he named his creation, “Dynamite.”

This is what Jesus is telling us to expect when the Spirit comes to us.  He is talking about an explosive, life altering change that has tangible results.  I think some of us are settling for something along the lines of bubbles popping.  You know what I am talking about…the little bubbles that kids like to run around and pop.  They pop…you blow some more…those pop…nothing really changes, until your kid kicks over the bottle on the driveway (parents of little ones are with me).  What Jesus wants for us is more in line with dynamite…He wants transformed lives.  That’s why He came…that was His only purpose…that you and I might be brought unto Him and saved by the power of His grace for our salvation.  Jesus came to reconcile…not entertain…and we can only be reconciled when we’re transformed from death to life.  In this book, we’ll see what that looks like as the Gospel spreads to the far reaches, through His people.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 17, 2012 8:30 pm

    I’ve heard Acts could be called, t’The Acts of the Holy Spirit”, and I think that is true. I’s amazing how much happens with the phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit”. Great article as always brother…

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