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Various Ways of Looking at Acts (Continued) Blog #4

Various Ways of Looking at Acts (Continued)

This is Blog #4 in my Introduction to the Book of Acts. Through whatever lens we are looking, it is important to remember Acts continues the action and teachings of Jesus Christ. Consider some more of these lenses.

The Model Church

This view sees Acts as a pattern. Acts is thus like the Lord’s command to Moses regarding the tabernacle. “…Look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shown thee in the mount.” (Exodus 25:40)

The late C. Peter Wagner said, “Acts was designed to be God’s training manual for modern Christians.”[1] Our age has similar dynamics to those of the first century. There is idolatry, cultural diversity, racial and economic disharmony, significant technological advances, and complexities like the changes experienced in the first century. 

Acts models evangelism, church planting and expanding Christ’s kingdom. Consider these models that are seen repetitively in Acts:

  • Doctrinal teaching/preaching - The apostles consistently brought unsaved people along the same path. There was little deviation.
    • They would speak of the promises concerning the Messiah
    • Jesus would be presented as having fulfilled the scripture regarding the Messiah
    • The Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah to the point of lobbying for His crucifixion
    • Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead
    • The promises associated with the Messiah were available to each listener
    • The faith question, “Do you believe what you have been told about Jesus being the Messiah? That Jesus can forgive you and save you from the guilt and penalty of sin?
    • If so, faith compelled the hearers toward action. Repentance was the action. It was an about-face! Faith led to a person stopping the worship of idols. They discontinued their fornication. Water baptism in Jesus name and receiving the promised infilling of the Holy Ghost consistently followed repentance.

Probing Question: If someone says they believe in Christ but do not obey Christ does that person believe? 

  •  A model for local church behavior
  • A model of corporate church behavior - How did this early group make decisions for the larger good of the work of God?
  • The “breaking in” of the Spirit is modeled. Creating an environment that welcomes such a “break in” is also seen.
  • How leaders operated in crisis, stress, and in times of success are shown
  • The model for mission work: Go, win, disciple, develop leaders, send workers out to extend the work is constant.
  • How influence is gained, maintained, and expanded is in Acts
  • Models for kingdom growth both numerically and in depth

The next blog in my Introduction to the Book of Acts will post tomorrow. I’ll discuss the book of Acts and its spiritual value.

 

Click here if you missed Blog #1, Blog #2, or Blog #3 in my Introduction to the Book of Acts.

Recommended books for additional study:

            Acts of the Apostles by G. Campbell Morgan

            Exploring Acts by John Phillips

            Acts: The Amazing History of the Early Church by Jet Witherspoon

Other books for helps:

Bible Parenting

Beating the Marriage Busters

 **If you purchase any book via clicking a link, the author of the blog receives a small affiliate marketing fee from Amazon.

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[1] Acts of the Holy Spirit, C. Peter Wagner, p. 9

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