The Acts of the Apostle is one of the five historical books in the New Testament. It forms the link between the Gospels and the epistles. The book of Acts is the history of the disciples who took the great commission of Christ seriously. This is the second volume of the two-part book of the gospel story written by Luke. His gospel records the biography of Jesus Christ. The book of Acts of Apostles is the account of the beginning and practices of the early church. The four Gospels tell us what Christ did while on earth through His physical body. But the Acts of Apostles tells us what Christ is doing through His spiritual body, the church. This book reveals the vitality of the gospel and God’s great plan of world evangelism. This book essentially records the birth and the growing pain of the church. It reveals the importance of the gospel proclamation. The book of Acts has been called "The Acts of the Holy Spirit".
There is a general agreement that Luke wrote the book of Acts. The traditions and early church records ascribe the authorship to Dr. Luke, a close associate of Apostle Paul. Luke, the beloved physician, is the only gentile writer in the New Testament (Colossians 4:14). He wrote the Acts of the Apostle as a continuing narrative to his Gospel. The Acts of the Apostles is the most reliable history of the early church. Theophilus was the recipient of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of Apostles (Luke 1:4; Acts 1:1). Obviously Theophilus knew the identity of the author. In fact, it is the eyewitness account of the early church. Luke was a close companion and fellow worker of Apostle Paul. The use of personal pronouns by Luke is significant in this book (Acts 16:10-18). Scholars suggest that external and internal evidence show that Luke wrote the book of Acts between A.D. 61-63.
The Acts of Apostles cannot be separated from the Gospel of Luke. It was written that we may know the certainty of the orderly account of the gospel and the early church (Luke 1:1-4). Since the church was growing rapidly in the Roman empire, an authoritative account of the birth of the early church has become necessary. The early church saw the value of the book of Acts and circulated it widely. Scholars suggest that this book covers the first 30 years of church history. No historian ever had a better background to write this book than Luke. He was a close associate of the Apostle Paul. Dr. Luke was a man familiar with culture, history, and Greek language. The book of Acts is the chief source book of the birth of the church, world missions, cross cultural evangelism, and the spread of Christianity. Witness is the key word in the book of Acts and is used 29 times. The Holy Spirit is referred to more than fifty times in this book. The key verse of the book is Acts 1:8. All believers are expected to be witnesses of Christ. While the apostles are mentioned collectively as witnesses, this book primarily records the ministry of Peter (Acts 1-12) and apostle Paul (Acts 13-28). Scholars suggest that this evangelistic mission lasted 2 years in Jerusalem (Acts1-7), 13 years in Judea and Samaria (Acts 8-12) and 15 years in the foreign mission fields or among Gentiles (Acts 13-28). This book clarifies the historical references in the Pauline Epistles. It is the primary textbook of missionary principles and the defense of the Christian faith. It is always true that the light that shines the farthest will shine the brightest at home. The early church was a witnessing community.
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