The Acts of the Apostles
Act 1 – Scene 1
So, here we are at Acts chapter one. If you have not read it you can read it here at YouVersion, which is a free online Bible. We are actually only going to look at the first few verses (v.1-5) this week, but if you want to read the whole chapter go right ahead, it will do you good!
It is widely accepted the Luke was the author of both the book called Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, with the later continuing the story of the unfolding of the kingdom of God.
Luke begins by letting his readers know that the very same Jesus who had been crucified presented himself alive. This right here is the crux of the gospel, had Jesus not raised from the dead, Christianity would be absolutely meaningless. All right it would have made a few people live a little better, but if there was no hope of life, now and after death then what would be the point? The fact is Jesus is still proving to people he is alive. Our church community is witness to this fact, whether we are gathered and scattered.
Luke tells us that Jesus present many proof’s during his 40 days following his suffering (reference to His death by crucifixion). Let’s face it these fledgling disciples would have needed it, but let’s not kid ourselves we do too! What would have been these proofs? Recounting stories? Miracles? We don’t know but one thing is for sure, the disciples of the 1st Century were left in no doubt that Jesus was (and still is!) ALIVE and that he had great things for them to do in the power of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus is still proving that he is alive just ask any follower of His, he is still changing lives.
One thing we do know is that Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God. This is a concept that they didn’t quite grasp. His kingdom was not political or military rule but a present spiritually directed reign of God in the heart of people. God’s kingdom cannot be confined to geographical boundaries but his kingdom is present where ever there is a disciple of Jesus. Where God reign’s in a person’s heart he gradually brings transformation, renewing and changing to something better, more like Jesus. When people change; cultures change. When cultures change because of the powerful work of Jesus through the Holy Spirit, God’s reign is being established and the gospel is doing its work. Chirstian’s are transformation people, we are God’s people in his kingdom.
This is exciting only because Jesus is alive and carrying out his mission through his Church in the power of the Spirit. This book called The Acts of the Apostles is unreservedly about people being drawn to Jesus as saviour, and in him alone receiving forgiveness, freedom, life, hope and purpose this is still the mission of God and the mission of the church is to glorify Jesus and make him known.