One of the most amazing books in the Bible is the book of Acts. It is hard for us to realise how remarkable the early church was because we have 2000 years of church history behind us.
The establishment of the early church was a wonderful miracle. Its leader had been publicly executed but then had risen from the dead. Now his followers were starting a new movement in the face of great opposition.
In the book of Acts we have the story of what happened. The book only covers about 30 to 35 years but there is so much packed into it. It seems as though the Holy Spirit was wanting to show what one generation could do through his power.
The book therefore has sometimes been called the 'Acts of the Holy Spirit'. It is an introduction to his work in ways unknown to Old Testament saints. As the gospels tell of Christ's earthly ministry, so the book of Acts tells of the work of the Holy Spirit.
It is also a book of personal challenge. Here we discover what happens when Christ is allowed to be the absolute head of the church and when members are open to his direction.
This book speaks about witnessing, about stewardship and about prayer. It gives us glimpses of house to house evangelism and of church administration. Here we are shown the secret of the power of that early church, the wonder of its fellowship, the solution of its problems and the spread of its message.
May God bless and challenge us as we study it together.
Lord make our church like that early church and more like what Christ wants it to be.