Summary: And Luke says that the story he told, ending with the ascension of Jesus into heaven, was the BEGINNING of the teaching ministry of Jesus. It was the BEGINNING of the deeds of Jesus. Jesus had instructed His disciples by both deed and word.

Pastor Allan Kircher

Shell Point Baptist Church

12 Feb 2011

Acts 1:1-3

“Series” God’s Vision and Power for Shell Point Baptist

Acts: A Church’s one Foundation

INTRO: The early church was mighty in its infancy.

The plague of apathy, the disease of inertness and indifference and unconcern, was not known among this church.

They were zealous, all fired up to carry out the Lord's will.

The freshness of the resurrection was reflected in every aspect of their lives.

What has happened to us today!

Aren't we in love with the Same Lord? Shouldn't we bear the same family likeness as the early church?

What made them vigorous-convincing in their witness can make us vigorous and alive also.

Through this series I want to share with you the things that made them different and the things that we have lost in the last 2 millennia

By studying the book of Acts we'll give ourselves a biblical STANDARD to follow.

This is important because the sad truth is many churches don't pattern themselves after God's original design.

Instead they organize themselves and operate according to the latest trend.

They copy what other churches are doing and if this continues to happen then churches eventually become less and less like the New Testament model and more and more like the fallen world around them.

It's the same sort of thing that happens when you use a Photostat machine and copy a copy of a copy of a copy.

Eventually you get a very blurred image-after a while you can no longer read the writing.

As any good secretary will tell you, the only way to get a good copy is to copy the original.

Well for a similar reason it's vital that churches always refer to the New Testament model-

otherwise over the years if they're not careful they will resemble it less and less and eventually they'll FORGET who they are called to be and what they are called to do as God's people.

Acts 1:1-3 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

I am glad that God puts it in the heart of some doctors to do more than medicine.

I thank God for that. But the doctor I am most thankful for in all the world is the doctor called Luke.

In Colossians 4:14 Paul calls him "the beloved physician."

We meet him for the first time in Troas where he joins Paul and Silas and Timothy on the second missionary journey (Acts 16:10, note the "we").

He may have been converted there and joined the missionary team as a kind of staff doctor.

But O how much more than a doctor he became!

It happened like this, Luke arrived in Jerusalem with Paul (21:17) and left with him on their voyage to Rome (27:10).

In between was a period of more than two years, during which Paul was held a prisoner in Caesarea (24:27),

Luke was a free man.

It would be reasonable to guess that he travelled the length and breadth of Palestine,

gathering material for his Gospel and for the early Jerusalem-based chapters of the Acts.

I find one of Paul's most moving sentences in his last letter (2 Timothy 4:11) during his final imprisonment in Rome. He says simply, "Luke alone is with me."

All these years in all these travels, including two years in Palestine, Luke is taking notes about the works and words of Jesus and the progress of the church.

Finally God moves him to write a two-volume work that makes up more of the New Testament than what any other New Testament writer wrote, including the apostle Paul.

Luke's Aim in Writing

He wrote the Gospel According to Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles.

And his immediate purpose in writing them was to help a man named Theophilus see the truth about what Jesus did and taught

and how the church spread throughout the Roman world.

It may help to see this first-hand. In Luke 1:3–4 he writes: 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Theophilus is probably some kind of Roman official because of the title "most excellent" which Luke uses only for Roman officials like Felix (Acts 23:26) and Festus (Acts 26:25), the governors of Judea.

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