Summary: The Book of Acts provides us with a blueprint of living as Dr. Luke presents the beginning of the early church.
Tonight we begin a journey to explore the unfinished work of Jesus Christ as the pages of Acts unroll before us. From the infant stages of the early church to our contemporary existence today, the work of the Kingdom of God is still actively being finished. This is an exciting adventure we live, the Christian life, and this expository exploration of our heritage will provide us with fresh enthusiasm and fire to continue to walk out the plans and purposes God has for our generation.
I want to encourage you to take advantage of the notebook, and to secure a copy of the tapes of each weeks message so you can continually go over the information in the coming weeks and lifetime you have ahead. The first notebook has space for 12 tapes and the notes for the first twelve lessons along with additional study helps and practical application guides.
One thing I hope becomes quite obvious to you is the early church had things going for it that over the generations the church has seemed to lose. They had a freshness of discovery, there was an anticipation in their lives of something which was beyond themselves, but something which was about to be brought to pass in their midst. There was an awakening to all the Lord had told them and was at that moment working out in their lives. The early church was a church of power, it was a church of outreach. You will see how they continually faced mounting persecution but through the power of the Holy Spirit was able to conqueror their fears. As we go through the verses of Acts, we will see an incredible commitment which existed in the early church and how they were able to see past their personal needs reaching out and influencing society at large for the Kingdom of God. This was indeed a church that turned the world right side up, a church which serves as a model for us today to make a similar impression as we travel through our time, and leave the world better than when we came. The first church was alive with a sense of anticipation that Jesus would one day fulfill His promises and come back for a glorious church.
I have been looking forward to sharing this expository study with you, so together we can be stirred for our time and our era. The events we will read and study are not just logos, printed words, but they are words which are alive with spiritual understanding. What happened then is still happening today. In small pockets of believers, applying the word of truth and using it to touch heaven and change earth. There is an army today which does not hold to the doom of this day but cherishes the word of God and His promises and is making a way through the garbage of a generation to bring hope. Are you part of that army? I hope so. It is my prayer this study of the Book of Acts will bring a desire within you to rise to new heights in your Christian walk and commitment, that God will pour out a fresh anointing and presence of His Holy Spirit on all of us, and in this hour we will resolve to make an impact with the time we have here on planet earth. The Book of Acts not only shows us what God has done in the past, but what God is doing and wanting to do in the present. God is the same today as He was 2,000 years when the early Christians paved the way for us today. So lets look at what we will accomplish through this study…
A. Discover a Fresh Revelation of Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we have the opportunity as we read through the accounts of the early church to gain fresh perspective on Jesus.
B. A fuller expression of the power of His resurrection. The opening verses will bring us a fuller understand of the resurrection as well as the additional notes provided for you.
C. An unwavering faith in His Word. What Jesus promised He delivered.
D. A fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we need to look beyond our present circumstances and look to God.
E. A spirit of unity among believers. What caused the early church to explode with the dynamics it did? We will see how believers, united, brings this into play.
F. A renewed practice of the discipline of prayer. One thing that can be said of the early church, they were people of prayer, something that needs to be recaptured for the church of the 21st Century to move forward with the same and greater impact today.
The real power of the Church will come when each and every believer personally allows the Holy Spirit to live and direct all the areas of his or her life. To live completely and at all times in the power of the Spirit.