Acts 1:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
This is the start of a new series in which we will be going through the Book of Acts. It’s probably going to take us some time to do so, but it’s going to be enriching! The Book of Acts is a historical book all about the birth and spreading out of the church. In this book, we see how the first Christians lived and how they impacted and changed the world, but this book is only the beginning of the adventure and today, we as believers in Jesus are commissioned with the task of continuing the work that was started.
One of the great things about going through a book of the Bible verse-by-verse is that you get to see the greater context and therefore get a deeper and richer understanding of the book. The purpose of this series is not only to give you some daily encouragement but also to help you to dig deeper into the Word and grow in your relationship with God and as a disciple.
With this in mind, I want to encourage you to get the most out of this series by doing the following:
- Read through the book of Acts over the next couple of days with me. If you can read through it in one sitting, that would be best, and then read through it bit by bit or chapter by chapter.
- Listen to or watch the daily lesson and take note of what stands out for you in the lesson.
- Go through the devotional worksheet (this document) and take time to answer the questions to help you dig deeper.
- Share the truths you are learning with a loved one who needs to hear this! Either go through the lesson with them or forward it to them.
The audio/ video lessons will be different from the article/ worksheet sent out. Although you can do either by itself and get much out of it, I highly recommend doing both as they are designed to complement each other.
The book of Acts will radically impact your view of the church, Christianity and even your calling as a believer. As you read through the accounts of the roots of Christianity and the church, my prayer for you is that it will stir you up to change your world just like the early believers changed theirs.
In reading through Acts we need to keep in mind that this book is descriptive (describing what happened) not prescriptive (prescribing how everything should be done today). The early church was an infant church and while there is much to learn from them, we shouldn’t just copy everything that they did. For example, in Acts 15 the leaders came together to discuss whether or not they should hold circumcision (which was a part of the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants) as a practice in the New Covenant church. Praise God they decided against it! You see, the early church was renewing their minds as they stepped out of a predominantly Jewish way of worship to a new and living way, and so they had to have discussions around issues such as circumcision, whereas today we shouldn’t need to, as much of what we believe is established from the early apostles grappling with these issues, coming to conclusions on the matters and writing down their Holy Spirit led conclusions (in the letters which form the New Testament).
Acts 1:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
This is one of the key verses in the Book of Acts and throughout the book, we see this verse lived out. In Acts 2 we see the Holy Spirit coming upon the believers and the Spirit-empowered believers being bold witnesses in miracle-working-supernatural ability, firstly in Jerusalem then Judea, Samaria and then to the ends of the earth. We see how this promise in Acts 1:8 literally causes the Gospel to be spread like wildfire. Through the Book of Acts, we see the church being birthed in supernatural power, the church is established, the Gospel being preached in the power of the Spirit, disciples being made, we see the persecution of the church and Christianity spreading like wildfire.
In essence, we see the birth and story of the early church and Christianity in action. As we go through this book we will see what it looks like to be a disciple and follower of Jesus and how the Gospel can have an impact on a person’s life and change the world!
Today’s question for reflection:
What stands out for you from today’s lesson?