This month, and through the summer, we will be exploring the book of Acts, the massive conversions, and earliest Church. I encourage you to read through the book several times. Devote yourself to it, figure out what’s going on, and come with the questions!
We won’t get as detailed as our deep study of the words of Jesus in Matthew, but take notice that it says over and over that the apostles would teach, teach, teach the new converts - but never explicitly says what they taught. Every time you see this remember Jesus’ “Great Commission.”
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. . . - Matthew 28: 19-20
They were teaching what we just finished studying! The words of Jesus! It would be quite the lengthy book if the author included and repeated all the teachings of Jesus over and over. In fact, it was out of the need to make sure those words were preserved and spread around that the Gospels were written! When we read the Gospels, we’re reading what the disciples were teaching to those very first churches!
I mention this because in the book of Acts, many of the highlights include amazing and difficult to grasp miracles of the Spirit, sermons steeped in Old Testament prophecy, and characters with such holy fervor that they are sometimes hard to relate to. It’s much easier to relate to the observing crowds. Because as readers of the book of Acts, we are a part of the observing crowd.
And as one in the observing crowd, we are challenged with the same questions they were: “was Jesus really the one sent to save the world?” If yes, continue to the next question. If no, spend some time on the first.
“What then shall we do?” Peter says in Acts 2: 38 to Repent, be baptized for forgiveness, and accept the Holy Spirit. If having a hard time with any of those, spend some time with them, learn, ask questions! You’re not the only one in that boat, because after instructing those things, the apostles still had to teach, teach, teach! What did they teach? What Jesus taught. We have everything the original church had, and as we’ll learn this month, if it is not from God it will fizzle out. 2000 years later, it seems like we’re far from it!
The same real, tested, and true invitation to wholeness, healing, purpose, and immediate relationship with God is open to us here at the ends of the earth. It’s more than an opportunity of a lifetime, it's an opportunity of life! To God be the glory.
Sean King is the Pastor for First Christian Church of Cisco.