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Summary: Learning how to be the church in today's world through learning from the book of Acts.

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[“Jesus” represented by the media – married, aquarian, self-claims, Jesus and satan brothers, Jesus a created god, etc.]

There’s so many voices giving the world the wrong impression of who Jesus really is. It’s up to us as Christians to tell the world and to show the world with our lives who Jesus really is. We’ve got to be the church to a world that needs to know the true Jesus.

And this is where being the church really starts, [2] with people who tell the truth about Jesus Christ.

Now this might seem like a principle that doesn’t need to be emphasized. That is, until you’re talking with someone about the Lord and you don’t know how they’re going to react.

Have you ever gotten nervous when sharing your faith with someone?

Have you ever gotten defensive when arguing with someone about Jesus?

Have you ever tried to make Jesus seem more ‘palatable’ when talking with someone?

It happens to the best of us. So we must remember that we need to be people who tell the truth about Jesus, no matter the response of those listening. Because when you get down to it, it’s the true Jesus that changes lives – not the politically correct one.

As we begin our studies in the book of Acts, we’re going to hear the voices of people who simply tell the truth about Jesus Christ. But in each instance, the Truth is intended to benefit the listener for a different reason. Let’s start with the author of the book itself, Luke.

[3] Turn with me to Acts 1:1 as we’re going to see Luke speaking the truth about Jesus for the purpose of discipleship.

[Read Acts 1:1-3.]

Now the key to seeing Luke’s emphasis of discipleship is in understanding who it is writing this book and who he’s writing it to. The apostle Luke wrote this book probably when he was attending to Paul when he was imprisoned in Rome around 61 a.d.

We know that Luke was a doctor and throughout the book of Acts you’ll see descriptive medical terms used by the writer.

Also, several times in the book of Acts the writer uses terms like “we” and “us” to describe who were going through the experiences written about. Much of the book describes the experiences of Paul and we know Luke was a companion of Paul from Paul’s writings in Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 24.

The most convincing evidence for Luke being the author of Acts is in his introduction to the book. He refers to having written an earlier book about Jesus to a man named Theophilus – of which he wrote the book of Luke to.

[Read Luke 1:1-4.]

Luke was writing the book of Acts as a follow-up book to his gospel that he had previously written. You see, the story didn’t end when Jesus went back to Heaven and his friend needed to know that.

This Theophilus was probably some kind of Roman official since Luke refers to him as the “most excellent Theophilus.” I also believe that he was a believer in Christ as well.

First Luke tells Theophilus that his book was to further teach, or disciple, him concerning what he had already been taught. Luke had probably helped him turn to the Lord and now wanted him to know more about his new faith.

Also, this book went from Theophilus to the church that preserved it for us today. Obviously Theophilus got the gospel of Luke, and later the book of Acts, to the local church in his town and it eventually made it to the mother church in Jerusalem. Luke trusted his eyewitness account of Jesus Christ and the early church with his friend that he was bringing along in the faith.

[Read Luke 1:4, Acts 1:1-2.]

Luke knew that if he was to help his friend progress in his faith, he needed to tell him the truth about Jesus Christ. His friend needed to know as much as he could about who Jesus is and what his teachings are.

That’s why we talk so much about Jesus here. We know that the key to growing our faith is our understanding of Jesus Christ. Man if we don’t know who Jesus is we can expect our faith to be superficial, weak and fickle. And where our faith goes, so goes our lifestyle.

So when you have opportunity to help someone grow in their faith, make sure you’re telling them the truth about Jesus Christ.

[Helping teen understand assurance of salvation at “Teen Church” story.]

If we want to help others grow in their faith, we need to teach them the truth about Jesus Christ. And that’s what Luke wanted to do here.

There’s another voice speaking the truth about Jesus here, and it’s Jesus Himself! [4] We see Him speaking the truth for the purpose of instruction.

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