Acts in a Nutshell.
We’ve reached the end of our study the book of Acts. It’s taken a while and so I thought you might appreciate a recap on the main points from Acts. (I took this from the ESV commentary.)
Acts begins in Jerusalem, preaching to the Jews and focuses on the ministry of the apostle Peter. It ends with the gospel being preached in Rome to Gentiles and focuses on the apostle Paul.
The direction of Acts is one of ever-expanding global reach and is summed up in Acts 1:8 “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts reverses the curse of Babel (Gen 11)—when God cursed the pride of humanity by scattering the human race and gave different languages to different people groups. In Acts 2, Holy Spirit falls on the disciples and they speak in tongues, “and at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language”. With the pouring out of the Spirit right after Christ’s ascension, God was undoing the effects of sin.
Acts shows that God welcomes all kinds of people into the family of God; and it shows the priorities for God’s ever-expanding family. Ministry involves both word and deed, both speaking and doing, both preaching and serving. Christians are generous to all those made in God’s image but there is special kindness shown amongst believers. But the greatest lesson for us to learn from Acts is to treasure the Spirit and his presence and power.
“Acts declares to the church today that it is by the power of the Spirit that the gospel will go forth to the end of the earth. This is humbling to human pride, yet it is also our great hope. Evangelistic effectiveness does not depend ultimately on human cleverness and sophisticated strategies. Global fruitfulness comes as weak Christians depend on the Spirit and look to him for strength.”