Luke’s former book is the gospel of Luke. The book of Acts is essentially Luke, Part 2. It picks up where the gospel of Luke ends – -with the final days of Jesus on earth.
The earthly ministry of Jesus lasted three years. During those three years, He invested in the disciples. He taught them. He lived the truth because He was the truth. And the work that He began to do and to teach continued on– through the work and ministry of the disciples.
The book of Acts records the launch of the church. As Jesus ascends into heaven, the gospel message exploded across the known world. It spread rapidly and in spite of persecution. They had no resources, no buildings, and no education. But they had the Holy Spirit. You and I are here today because of their faithfulness and the faithfulness of each generation since. For 2000 years, the work that Jesus began has continued.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd has said, “The church is not a gathering place, but a launching pad.” We see that clearly as we study through the book of Acts. In just 30 years, the church radiates out from Jerusalem to Judea, on to Samaria, and eventually all the way to Rome.
The Acts 1:8 call is not yet complete. There is work left to be done. The gospel must continue to go forth.
What about us?
How are you and I to be part of that today– in our community, in our “Jerusalem?”
The baton of truth — the gospel — has been passed down from generation to generation. The work of his physical body continues through His spiritual body, the church.
Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
That’s the gospel. The good news.
And that gospel spread like wildfire in the first century following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. The book of Acts chronicles the growth of the early church as people responded to the message of salvation.
To whom are you and I to carry that baton of truth in our sphere of influence? How is what Jesus began going to continue on through and me?
You can listen to the Introductory Teaching lecture for Acts: The Growth of the Early Church, here: http://fbcsiloam.podbean.com/e/acts-introduction-laura-macfarlan/