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The Book of Acts - Introduction and Chapter 1:1-5
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Dr. Harley Howard
Undoubtedly, the book of Acts is one of the most
pivotal books in the entire New Testament. It is the
bridge between the gospels and the epistles. If the
book of Acts were taken out of our New Testament, we
would never understand the rest of it. When you close
the record of the gospels, you see nothing but a
handful of Jews in the city of Jerusalem, the center
of Jewish life, talking together about a kingdom for
When you open the book of Romans, on the other side of
Acts, you discover that a man (Paul) whose name is
never mentioned in the gospels is writing to a group
of Christians in Rome--of all places, the center of
Gentile culture--and he is talking about preaching the
gospel to the very ends of the earth. Obviously,
something has happened in between. How did this
tremendous change take place? What happened to make
the gospel burst out of its confines in Judaism and
the city of Jerusalem and reach out in one
generation's time to all the limits of the then-known
world? Only the book of Acts answers these questions.
The book of Acts is the record of the movement of the
Spirit of God within the church.
Acts is clearly showing us the whole point of the
gospel - what it is that the gospel was doing - what's
its purpose, what are we to do with the message of the
gospel. The book of Acts not only tells us but shows
us what we are to do with the message given to us.
Acts is the book that reveals the power of the church.
Therefore, when a church begins to dwindle, lose its
power, and turn dull and drab in its witness, it needs
desperately to get back into the spirit, expectation,
knowledge and teaching of the book of Acts. In this
book, the principles of the exchanged life "Not I, but
Christ" -- is dramatically unfolded.
There are at least 10 great themes that I see that are
in this book.
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