BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
POWER TO DO THE WORK OF GOD
(GOD empowers us to do HIS work)
The Book of the Acts of the Apostles is written by Luke, and is more or less, a continuation of his Gospel account. In this book, he attempts to enlighten us about the beginnings of the Christian Church, and its gradual spread to nearby and distant lands. His book of Acts chronicles the sudden explosion of missionary activities, led by the Apostle Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and other prominent early church workers.
In Luke’s Gospel account, he emphasized the ministry of the HOLY SPIRIT in the life of CHRIST JESUS. However, in the Book of Acts, he emphasizes the role of the HOLY SPIRIT, in the growth and development of the early Christian Church in its infancy. In the first century, the world was rife with myths, mystery religions and magic, and it was probably because of these confusions that Luke set out to more accurately record the facts of the origins of Christianity. He was intent on proving, through his Gospel account, and through this Book of Acts, that Christianity is not rooted in such myths and fables, but rather, has its roots in history, beginning with the birth of the Messiah in Palestine.
More than any of the other Gospel writers, perhaps, Luke proves to us most successfully, that JESUS was both 100 percent man, and 100 percent GOD (the Hypostatic Union). He also wanted the world to know that CHRIST’s Gospel was actually being spread by eyewitnesses of HIS life, who saw HIS miracles performed, and, who actually heard HIM speak on many occasions.
The Book of Acts takes us from Jerusalem, into many cities within the Roman Empire, including Asia Minor and Europe. Luke gives us vivid and dramatic depictions of the trials and triumphs in the lives of the early missionaries. We can see very clearly that GOD is with these missionary teams as they traveled throughout the world as it was known at that time.
The three decades covered in the Book of Acts shows the Christian message being spread by missionaries like Barnabas, Silas, Paul, John Mark, Priscilla, and her husband Aquila, and many, many others who worked diligently and vigorously starting up Christian churches in every major population center in the Roman Empire.
When GOD gives a person a task to do, HE always gives them the power necessary to carry out and complete that task to HIS satisfaction. Oftentimes, GOD has already prepared us, long in advance, for the work HE will call us to do at some future date. Part of the human struggle that is involved, is that, we are often unaware of GOD’s plan for us, and, when HE makes it known to us, we then either have a problem in the “waiting” to get started, or, we have a fear of taking the necessary steps, into the unknown, where JESUS is.
Remember, Samuel anointed David King, while he was still a shepherd boy, and long before he actually got to sit on the throne of Israel. And then there is Moses, who was called by GOD to free Israel from bondage in Egypt, forty years before he actually re-entered Egypt to begin the exodus of HIS people from their miseries.
Here we see in the opening lines of the Book of Acts, (Acts 1:4) JESUS instructing HIS Disciples not to leave Jerusalem until GOD had sent them the HOLY SPIRIT, with which, they would be spiritually baptized and empowered. The HOLY SPIRIT would forever be their Protector, Comforter, Counselor, and Guide, as they moved forward to fulfill the commission of CHRIST, while, at the same time, fighting the great spiritual battle that JESUS also fought with satan. The HOLY SPIRIT would also forever represent the power that GOD would infuse into every Christian who desired to do HIS will (Acts 1:8).
The Disciples expected JESUS to immediately set up the “Earthly Kingdom” that had been predicted by the ancient Prophets since the dawn of creation. In verse 7, we see that JESUS does not deny the Prophets’ visions, but rather, diverts their attention back to the task at hand. HE tells them that GOD will keep HIS Old Testament promises, in HIS own time, but right now, they were to concentrate on bringing CHRIST’s message to the world.
It is still the duty of every Christian, to this day, to carry out that “Commission of CHRIST”, by spreading the Gospel to any and everyone who is willing to listen. And JESUS promises us that, “lo, I AM with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20b) (KJV).
(1). Reflect on ways in which GOD has prepared you ahead of time for something
HE later called you to do.
(2). Have you responded in the right way to GOD’s calling on your life?
(3). Is your relationship with CHRIST, close enough, that you may even hear HIS
Pray for empowerment from GOD’s SPIRIT and anticipate HIS Holy arrival. Then continue to trust GOD to do HIS work through you, and always rely on the power that only HE can provide.
KEY VERSE: Acts 1:8
DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: 1 Samuel 16:7-13, Romans 15:17-21 & 2 Corinthians 12:7-10