Various Ways of Looking at Acts (Continued (Blog #6)
Various Ways of Looking at Acts (Continued)
This is Blog #6 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.
Acts is a manual of “how” to be effective in accomplishing Jesus’ mission in the earth. Graham Scroggie called Acts, “the greatest missionary story ever told.” Luke described how the cultural walls of separation between Jews and Gentiles were overcome. He writes more about the methods and purposes of mission work than any Biblical writer.
Acts shows that Christianity flourishes when a dedicated believer will take the gospel to other people. Luke is not a biographer or even a true historian. Luke’s focus is on the movement of the gospel. Progress comes as new people are reached, then it is new cities being reached and finally new regions. Missions is a major storyline in Acts.
An inspired Luke communicates clearly. For a writer or speaker, clear communication happens by limiting the things one has written or said. Acts focus on “missions” is supported by the many things Luke does not tell us. In most instances, Luke does not tell us the entire story; his focus is on the cities and regions as they portray an outward expanding circle of Christ’s influence.
Step by step the gospel message moves from Jerusalem to Rome. The missionary effort was not easy. Persecution, personal disagreements among leaders, and people backsliding did not stop the missionary effort.
Acts opens in an ultra-Jewish setting in Jerusalem. Peter was its leading figure. In the succeeding chapters, the mission of the gospel flows outward. By the last chapter, there is a predominantly Gentile church and Paul is the leading figure. Rome, the then capital of the Gentile world, was Paul’s destination. The workers dogged determination to continue the mission effort regardless of circumstance is instructive.
Is “Good” Church Enough?
In Acts, the mission of the gospel was never compromised or made content by religious activity. A contemporary application might be, “A church and its leadership must not be content with good fellowship, a nice building, an outstanding choir, and churchy activity. Is the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ being accomplished? “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Our responsibility to Jesus Christ is not complete when we are having “good church.”
The next blog in my Introduction to the Book of Acts will post tomorrow. I’ll discuss the book of Acts as a Devotional.
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:
**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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