I’m excited about this study in the book of Acts for few reasons.
- It is a transitional book.
- It is a history book.
- It is a book of action.
Acts is a Transition Book
First, it is a key transition book. Our church is in a transition back to one service. The number of guests and new members and attendees is growing and it is a time of change in our church. When God is moving, we have to move with him and meet people where they are. We see this in the book of Acts. The church starts with a bang in the book of Acts, but the ongoing work of the church is firmly placed in the hands of faithful men who are able to teach others also at the book’s end. That is the essence of God’s charge to us in Matthew 28:19-20, and Paul’s admonition to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2.
In the past year, we have seen tremendous response of faithful men and women. From the praise team, the elementary wing, the student Ministry to the service ministries like the sound booth, Common Grounds and Connections Ministry, faithful saints have responded to the call to serve God. Part of that service to the Lord is not only a personal response to the ministry need before them, but a maturation of the team members who serve alongside them. This is what we see occurs all through Acts. People are not called to be busy but to be effective in preaching the gospel and making disciples in ministry.
We have a unique opportunity at HBF right now we cannot afford to miss. The leaders of the church for the next few decades are rising up by God’s grace, and it is imperative that we pour everything we have into their development so they like Timothy and Titus, Aquila and Pricilla; forge ahead to the coming of Christ in obedience to the great commission. The leaders rising up at HBF today will be reaching my grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s generation should the Lord tarry his coming.
Acts is A History Book
Secondly, Acts is a history book. We see a genuine movement of God in the first century. We sometimes have a romantic view of the early church. We should certainly not minimize her impact or her example, but the Lord makes sure in the book of Acts to include all her warts and wrinkles. This is so we understand that even the best and most impactful church or churches are not flawless in function or family relationships. One of the most amazing thing about the church is God’s ability to sustain her through time. Any given Sunday it is amazing that God gathers a couple hundred people together at HBF to equip the saints of God in the word of God to accomplish the mission of God in the power of God for the glory of God.
The church’s existence from the first day until now is a miracle of God many take for granted. We don’t exist at this time in history just because we are organized, pass an offering plate and have motivational speeches. Tony Robbins and Eric Thomas can do that. The local New Testament church is God’s ordained institution to accomplish God’s mission in God’s Power for God’s glory. She is endowed with power of the Holy Ghost through her members and her structure and she is supernaturally reproductive as the seed of God’s word has free course in her members.
The book of Acts reveals that the influence the church had among overwhelming odds in the Roman Empire, is the same influence we should have in these last days. The same global governance prophesied to Daniel continues to give us a “Romans Road” for gospel outreach, strategic discipleship and church planting until Jesus comes.
Acts Should Call us To Action
Lastly, the title of the book is the Acts of the apostles. At the end of the day, the apostles acted on what God entrusted to them. They were not only hearers of God’s word but doers. We often look at these dear saints like superheroes from Marvel comics and forget that they were just faithful men. God used them in amazing ways to get supernatural results. But as my father used to tell me, they put their pants on one leg at a time just like you do. I do not want to minimize the amazing work and example of the apostles, quite the opposite, I want to respond to their example with like faith. It is my prayer that as we study the book of Acts that we would grow deeper in our faith, so we hand off to generations to follow an example that will provoke obedience and faith in God, his word and his church.
When I consider how the book of Acts closes, it appears as if Paul dropped the ball and the church was in peril, yet here we are on January 28, 2018 endeavoring to pass to the next generations of disciples the precious cargo of God’s word that has been delivered to us.
Let’s face it, the success of the first century church or our church will not be found in numbers, activity or personality. Success of the church is found in the Word of God. Carrying out what God has called us to do is where we find success. (Joshua 1:8)
Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
I’m looking forward to studying the book of Acts, as it is amazing to consider what God can do through a few faithful men. May God use us to “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) for his honor and glory as we consider the transitional, historical and personal significance of what God reveals to us in his word through the book of Acts.