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Various Ways of Looking at Acts (Continued) Blog #7

Various Ways of Looking at Acts (Continued)

This is Blog #7 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.

Devotions

Acts can be read for devotional purposes alone.  Even a casual reading helps the reader learn more about God, His nature, and priorities. As a devotional, Acts informs us about how early Christians behaved, what they were like and the various real-world challenges that Christians faced. The world in which the first century church existed has many of the same characteristics as our own.

An interesting approach to devotional use comes from Andy Chambers. He believes that Luke intended that the book of Acts be read aloud. Chambers, who is a Greek scholar, bases this on the book of Acts using rhetoric more commonly used in public speaking.[1] Try reading Acts aloud during personal devotion.

Theology of Salvation

Acts has practical theology. Acts does not offer an in-depth explanation of salvation, grace, justification, redemption, regeneration, sanctification, etc. Instead, Acts shows “how” to be saved. The epistles explain salvation. After Jesus’ ascension, it is in Acts alone that we read of lost people being saved. In Acts alone do we read of what lost Jews and later lost Gentiles were instructed to do.

There is much doctrinal value to Acts. There are some seventeen doctrinal discourses in the Acts.[2]  The early Church was not without doctrine. In Acts 2, “... they continued stedfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine ...” (Acts 2:42) A fourth century gathering of bishops in Nicaea did not develop the first creed of the church. The apostolic preaching and teaching in Acts have the true Christian Creed. What these men preached and taught is markedly consistent whether they were preaching in Jerusalem, Samaria, or Ephesus.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John bring us the story of Christ’s life and His death, burial and resurrection. The epistles from Romans to Jude explain grace, redemption, adoption, justification, etc. These epistles give guidance regarding issues the believers were faced with or address a doctrinal error; but, to learn how people came to be saved, go to the book of Acts. Acts contains an experiential theology of salvation whether dealing with those who conspired to commit murder (Acts 2); a prayerful and honest-hearted Roman military official (Acts 10), or an Ethiopian who had travelled to Jerusalem to worship (Acts 8). How to be saved is found in the book of Acts!

The next blog in my Introduction to the Book of Acts will post tomorrow. I’ll discuss ways to better understand the book of Acts.

Click here if you missed Blog #1, Blog #2, Blog #3Blog #4, Blog #5, or Blog #6 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] Chambers, Andy. Exemplary Life – A Theology of Church Life in Acts. B&H Publishing, Nashville, TN, 2012, p 164.

[2] Scroggie, Graham – The Acts of the Apostles, p. 17.

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