Acts 1: 1-5
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
Today we are starting a new series looking at the birth of the church as seen in the early chapters of the Book of Acts. I trust you will be inspired and refreshed by the Holy Spirit as we (re)discover the power and authority Jesus has made available for every single one of us.
Acts was written by Luke, a doctor, as a continuation of the Gospel record bearing his name. He refers to his former book (we could call it volume one) of the life and work of Jesus which he wrote for Theophilus (Greek for 'God-lover') stating his intention that the reader would know the whole story of Jesus.
There’s one little word in verse 1 which is so easy to pass by. Luke says that in his former book, that is the Gospel of Luke, he records all that Jesus BEGAN to do and to teach.
The record of Jesus' life and ministry during the 33 years he walked this planet is just the beginning, the inauguration, of the work of Jesus. When Jesus rose from the grave and went back to heaven it didn’t mean that his work on earth had ended. It had only just begun.
His work of redemption, his work of saving us from our sins on the cross was finished. However his work of drawing men and women from every nation into the Kingdom of God was just beginning. It has continued for the past 2000 years and will continue until Jesus returns.
The Holy Spirit who worked through the physical body of Jesus is the exact same Holy Spirit who wants to work through His Body, the church, here on earth today.
While there are 28 chapters in the Book of Acts, we are currently living out Acts 29. We are no less commissioned, and definitely no less empowered, than the first disciples were in Acts 1.