The Acts of Jesus
If the Gospel According to Luke (the “former treatise, O Theophilus”) is about what Jesus “began to do and to teach,” then Acts is about what Jesus continued to do and to teach, through the Holy Spirit and the apostles, after his ascension. Compare that beginning to the way Acts ends, with Paul under house arrest but nothing resolved. The narrative doesn’t really end. It just stops. And that is the point.
We live in Acts chapter 29. We tend to think of the gospel as what Jesus did (rightly), and of church history as what we have done (rightly, up to a point). But Jesus is still doing things. Every time the Holy Spirit calls a person to faith and regenerates him and makes him a new creature, Jesus is still acting through his personal Agent and Emissary. And whenever we proclaim the gospel faithfully and back it up with sound apologetics, Jesus is still teaching.
If we think of church history as what Jesus is still doing through us, and of ourselves as living in Acts chapter 29, we will be thinking of things the way Luke did.
Donald T. Williams Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Toccoa Falls College and the author of Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Square Halo Books, 2016) and Ninety-Five Theses for a New Reformation: A Road Map for Post-Evangelical Christianity (Semper Reformanda Publications, 2021).
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