Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 1-2

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Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 1-2

 Acts 1:1 KJV. The former treatise (The same Greek word used in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the word and the word with God and the word was God.” The word is “logos” meaning a discourse) have I made, O Theophilus (lover of God), of all (many, or “the principle portion”) that Jesus began both to do and teach,

Acts 1:2 KJV. Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:”

 Luke’s basis for writing the treatise of Acts

  1. Each epistle and most books have some sort of introduction. Acts has an introduction. The introduction is a bit like toy Legos put together to make something greater than what one Lego could be.
    • Acts 1:1 refers to something already written.
    • The two pieces of writing are intended to fit together. Luke and Acts, written by one writer, offer continuity from the birth of Christ, to 30 years into the existence of the New Testament.
    • From the birth of Jesus until the end of Acts was a period of over 60 years.
    • Between the gospel of Luke and Acts, the man Luke gives the longest assessment of Christ, the gospel, salvation, and the church.
    • It is seamless.

           In Luke, Theophilus is greeted with the term “most excellent.” This phrase was used only in addressing a Roman official. Usually, “most excellent” was used to address someone who presided over a province. The identical title was used by Claudius Lysias when he wrote a letter to Felix (Acts 23:25-26).  Luke was careful in his use of words. So, Theophilus was almost certainly an official of the Roman Empire perhaps the governor of a province. The consensus imagines that Theophilus was a Roman official who became Luke’s sponsor. This was not unusual. Many early writings were made possible by wealthy donors. As compensation the letters or books produced by the author were dedicated to those whose generosity made the material possible. [1]

          Weymouth translation of “all that Jesus began to do and teach” reads “All that Jesus did, as a beginning.” 

          Christianity is a point of departure as well as a point of arrival. The acts and words of Jesus are a beginning, a center from which to journey.

          Weymouth’s use of “beginning” connects to the idea in Genesis 1:1, “in the beginning, God created,” and to John 1 “in the beginning was the word . . . all things were made by Him . . . and the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” In all instances cited, there was movement beyond the beginning. See a convert as beginning their walk with God. Don’t see it as “the end.”

          An acquaintance pastors a church mostly made up of addicts. He has done well converting the addicts. There is a problem though. These converts’ beginning is also “the end.” None have been discipled to be something more than a convert. Few people serve in any defined role of ministry. No convert has been matured enough to lead any aspect of ministry. None of these converts are envisioned as becoming preachers of the gospel.

          It is as though these people live spiritually in permanent infancy; undeveloped, barely alive, and lacking strength.

          Luke had written to Theophilus of what Jesus began to do and teach. Acts is presented to Theophilus as a continuation of what had gone before. The word began is significant. What had been spoken of before as something that began is now continuing. But now different people will be on the stage for a period.

          The key player did not change from Luke to Acts. Whether it was the Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in flesh, speaking and doing or the Holy Spirit working through the instruments of Peter, John or Paul; it was the same power at work. It does not matter if we are reading Luke 7:37-39 or Acts 10:44-48. On one hand, there is the incarnation. In the second instance, the invisible Holy Spirit used Peter to speak to Cornelius. 

          Acts is filled with action prompted by the Holy Ghost and instruction. These two things continue what Jesus started.

          What a beginning!  . . . The Beginning that Has Not Ended  

          [1] Powell, Ivor., The Amazing Acts, p. 19.


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