Theophilus & Jesus Final Instruction
Acts 1:1-5–August 07, 2022
Luke 1:1-4. The many similarities to the beginning of Acts.
Luke 24:45-53. The conclusion of the first book by Luke.
Luke is about what Jesus began to do and teach. Acts is about what He continued to do and teach.
Traditional title for Acts is The Acts of the Apostles, better is The Acts of Jesus and the Holy Spirit or as John MacArthur would suggest The Acts of the Risen Lord, but settled upon the suggestion by Alan Thompson, The Acts of the Lord Jesus Through His People By The Holy Spirit For The Accomplishment Of The Father’s Purpose.
Whatever we call it, Acts is a large collection of sermons with 19 major discourses. 25% of the verses in Acts are sermons or a witness which may be called a sermon. It is all about preaching the truth, about the risen Christ and salvation through Him. Peter has 8 sermons, Paul has 9 sermons, James and Stephen have one each.
All the preaching is declarative in that it asserts in a very straight forward way, in what we might call black and white without any gray areas and the sermons are about the choice between heaven and hell, or life and death, or light and darkness, or salvation and damnation.
In both books Luke and Acts, Luke sought to show, Christianity is harmless, Christianity is innocent, and Christianity is lawful as the fulfillment of Jewish prophecies, thus part of Judaism an approved religion in the Roman Empire.
Acts 1:1. Luke’s Gospel, as well as that of Matthew, Mark, and John describes only the beginning of Jesus’ work. The book of Acts describes its continuation; and the work of Jesus continues to our present day.
Guzik suggests by quoting Pierson, “The Acts of the Apostles should therefore be studied mainly for this double purpose: first, to trace our Lord’s unseen but actual continuance of his divine teaching and working; and, secondly, to trace the active ministry of the Holy Spirit as the abiding presence in the church.”
Acts 1:2-3. Key here is that Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, instructed the apostles regarding what to do in His absence. He gave them instructions or commandments through the Holy Spirit. This is interesting because this was the resurrected, glorified Lord Jesus Christ, risen with all authority and sovereignty.
Jesus established the reality of His resurrection with many convincing proofs during forty days after his resurrection before His ascension. He left no doubt at all that He was resurrected, exactly as He had promised.
Acts 1:4-5. Guzik wrote, Jesus had nothing else for the disciples to do other than to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit (the Promise of the Father). Jesus knew that they really could do nothing effective for the Kingdom of God until the Spirit came.
Waiting means that it was/is worth waiting for. Waiting meant they had a promise to anticipate. Waiting meant they must receive it as they could n to create it themselves. Waiting means their patience would be testing by the waiting.
Guzik adds, It may be more useful to describe the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a condition than as an experience. We should perhaps ask, “Are you baptized in the Holy Spirit?” instead of asking, “Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit?” Why, because once baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit remains with you throughout your earthly life.
Bottom Line: Will be wait on the Holy Spirit in our own lives. Will we follow the directions given by the Holy Spirit, by Jesus, by the Holy Scriptures? Will we act as Christians saved by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross or will we continue living our lives while faking a Christian life?