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Read Introduction to Acts

 

1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

 

Verses 1-5 comprise the introduction to Acts, and verses 1-3 are the prolog to the book.

1:1

The former account I made,

The “former account” is the Gospel of Luke. The book of Acts is Volume 2 of a two-book set from Luke the Apostle—a sequel to the Gospel. Acts takes up where Luke 24 ended. It is crucial to remember that, since Acts is a continuation of Luke, what Jesus “began both to do and teach” continues in Luke’s history account.

O Theophilus,

Luke addressed both the Gospel of Luke and Acts to Theophilus. This man was probably a Gentile (non-Jew), and he had a title of honor—“most excellent” (Luke 1:3)—which implies he was a man of wealth and governmental influence.

of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

The limit of “all” in all that Jesus began to do and teach in the Gospel of Luke is from the beginning of His public ministry to the Ascension (Acts 1:2). The word “began” is an indication that the Lord still teaches His people today.

1:2

until the day in which He was taken up,

Verse 2 speaks of the period between the Resurrection of Christ and His Ascension. Luke mentions the Ascension four times in chapter 1 (Acts 1:2, 9, 11, 22). The Ascension is the taking of the Lord’s physical body to heaven.

after He through the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to understand the “commandments” the Lord gave to them while on earth.

had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

During His post-resurrection life, our Lord taught the apostles principles important for when their lives would be without the physical presence of Christ. It was vital for them to know about His new program.

PRINCIPLE:

The Ascension of Christ marked the beginning of a new economy with new power.

APPLICATION:

The Ascension marked the end of the earthly work of the Savior. The burden of ministry was upon the Lord while He was on earth, but He placed the responsibility on the Holy Spirit once He ascended.

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