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The Plan of Salvation in Acts (5 of 6)
Series: Acts--The Church in Action
Introduction: The Book of Acts is an important book to this church. Acts records the beliefs and practices of the First Christians. The standard throughout these first generations was the "apostle's doctrine." The Apostle's Doctrine was the teachings of Jesus handed down to his disciples. No wonder John warns, "Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (2 Jn 1:8 -9).
I would insist that the standard of faith and practice for this church is what we find in the Apostles doctrine. That is the New Testament. That includes the Book of Acts. The message and examples of those First Christians ought to be very important to us.
Acts can teach us many things. It reveals the mission of the church--being Jesus' witnesses to the uttermost parts of the world. It shows how the church is to care for one another. It illustrates the importance of the "breaking of bread" in the corporate life of the church. It gives us hints at how Jesus intended the church to be organized and how leaders were to conduct themselves. We can learn a lot from Acts.
One of the most important things that we can learn from Acts, however, is how to bring others to Christ. In fact, J. W. McGarvey, one of the great Bible scholars of the early American movement to restore the church back to the apostolic standard, contends that this is the main purpose of Acts. In his commentary, the textbook for my college course on Acts, he writes, "Undoubtedly, then the writer's chief design was to set forth to his readers a multitude of cases of conversion under the labors of the apostles and apostolic men, so that we may know how this work, the main work for which Jesus died and apostles were commissio ...
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