Acts of the Apostles
This is the remarkable fulfillment of God's plan through the powerful preaching of Peter, Paul and other apostles.
Acts documents the infancy of the early Church from Jesus' instruction of His apostles before His ascension to the day of Pentecost and the explosion of Christianity, which continues to this day.
Acts of the Apostles captures the joys and sorrows in the lives of first-generation Christians for 30 years after Jesus ascended to heaven. It describes the Holy Spirit’s empowering of their intrepid mission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the world.
Acts can also be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit, as it describes Jesus fulfilling His promise to dwell in the apostles through the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to perform acts that were previously impossible when Jesus was with them, but not in them.
Acts of the Apostles Themes
Work of the Holy Spirit
Acts reveals that the key to living a powerful fruitful Christian life is to be filled continuously with the Holy Spirit. The gift and indwelling of the Holy Spirit comes only through receipt of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Spreading the Word
After Jesus' ascension, the gospel was first proclaimed in Jerusalem and to the Jews (1:1-8:3). It then spread to Samaria, the coastal plain and Caesarea (8:4-12:23) before expanding to all cities of the Mediterranean, including Rome, the great capital of the known world.
God was faithful to His people in the early days following the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Just as God was faithful to the early Christians, God is faithful to Christians today as well.
Peter and Paul
The history of the Church has been made by people and their personal response to the Lord Jesus Christ. While Acts follows the activities of the two great leaders Peter and Paul, they do not stand alone. The strong, faithful support of others, such as John, Stephen, Philip, Barnabas, James, Apollos, Priscilla, Aquila and Lydia, made Peter and Paul's leadership possible. They set for us today the example of Spirit-led interdependency of Christian leadership and community.
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."