Organized for the New Era

Acts 1:12-26 gives you a picture of an important step in the process of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ becoming organized.

Absolutely essential is prayer. Luke is describing the beginning of the church in its New Testament form. He lists the apostles by name, the men that Jesus had chosen (Luke 6:13-16) to be his disciples during his earthly ministry and then to be the pillars, the foundation pieces, of the church after his resurrection.

They were part of the whole body, numbering about 120. Luke describes the larger body, including the women, because the office of believer is very important. Jesus’ brothers have now come to believe. This is the last mention Continue reading “Organized for the New Era”

Your King Has Gone Up!

How seriously do you take the kingship of Christ? Acts 1:6-11 sets the stage for the accounts given in the rest of the book by showing you the majesty of your ascended Lord.

Celebrate the triumph of your ascended Lord by serving him as King. Old line dispensationalism sees the church as a parenthesis. But Acts 1 makes clear that the ascended Lord is still very much in charge of his church. This account also is the antidote to a practical ignoring of the kingship of Christ.

Your daily life, lived between his ascension and his return, is lived in the presence of and subject to the King. The life of the church and the lives of members of the church, is the life of the kingdom. Psalm 24 celebrates the entering of the King of glory into his city. Perhaps written by David for the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem, it anticipates the ascent of Christ. Remember that the ascension of Jesus means Continue reading “Your King Has Gone Up!”

The Gospel, Part 2

Movie sequels often fail to live up to the original movie. Acts is a sequel to the Gospel of Luke, but the impact, if anything increases in Part 2. Acts 1:1-5 introduces Luke’s second volume, calling you to: listen to what Jesus continues to do and teach, learn about the kingdom, and live as one who has been baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Luke, who authored the Gospel that bears his name, has told you what Jesus began to do and teach (Luke 1:1-4). The clear implication is that this second volume is the continuation of that story. The continuing work of Christ in Acts is the work of the Spirit, more specifically, the Spirit working in and through the church. Very early church history identifies Luke as the author. He was Paul’s companion and was a physician. He was a careful researcher and historian. He not only knew his Old Testament well (was he a “God-fearer”?) but Continue reading “The Gospel, Part 2”

Until He Returns

Peter reflects a natural curiosity about what John’s relationship with Jesus will be. But the words of Jesus in John 21:18-25 are spoken to you as well: “What is that to you. You, follow me!”

Follow Jesus in death and in life. Glorify God even in your death. Peter, who had denied Jesus three times, had just been restored by Jesus with the triple question, “Do you love me?” and Jesus’ admonition to him to feed the sheep. Then Jesus informed Peter about his future. The independent man, who dressed himself and went where he wanted, would, in his age, stretch out his hands and be led where he did not want to go. The early church took this as a reference to Peter’s death by crucifixion, not recorded in Scripture, but reported in early church history.

John does tell you that Jesus spoke these words to indicate the Continue reading “Until He Returns”