As we look at this; is it necessary to teach the whole book of Acts or, can I simply get you started and then allow the Spirit of God to direct you as we go forward?
Look at ( Acts 1:1-2) The former treatise have 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 that he through the Holy Ghost had given commands unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
As we begin and, look at these two verses, we need to, first of all, realize who is doing the speaking. Who actually wrote the Book of Acts? I don’t know that it actually matters however, it is all relative. It’s a continual study. We have to compare scripture with scripture to move forward spiritually. Simply reading scripture is not the proper way to know who Jesus is. The word of God is not written that way. As a matter of fact, it is written so that only those that are spiritual ( born of his spirit ) can understand it. All that means is that you have to be a child of God and, also have a desire to know. ( 1 Corinthians 2:14 ) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
So, as we read these first two verses in Acts; what is it that causes us to have the desire to know ( who is doing the speaking )? The natural man will simply read right by these verses and never question any part of what is being said but, the spirit that lives within us causes us to desire to know more than just the words that are written.
Let’s see if we can find out just who is speaking here. ( Luke 1:1-4 ) Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, ( 2 ) Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word: ( 3 ) It seemed good for me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, ( 4 ) That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou has been instructed.
It appears that ( the Book of Acts ) is a continuation of what Luke was teaching to a man called Theophilus. It’s one point that stands out to me about Luke, He says that ( he has a perfect understanding of all things from the very first ). That is a very powerful statement. Now, I realize that God used certain men like Luke, the Apostle Paul and others to do certain things in scripture but, just how much can we know if we truly seek to know all things? These people had the spirit of God within them. They were used; by God the Father to pen down his word but, we have that same spirit now living within us, do we not? Since God used men to pen it down, men with his spirit within them, why can’t that same spirit teach us to understand what has been written? Our only weakness is our flesh. When we yield our flesh to his will then, God can teach us all things that he desires for us to know.
Consider this; wasn’t Luke teaching Theophilus? Therefore, wasn’t it the responsibility of Theophilus to learn what Luke was teaching him; having a perfect understanding?
As I desire to teach you. doesn’t it become your responsibility to seek to know what I’m teaching, listening the Spirit of God, even beyond what I might say?
In researching the name ( Theophilus ) I find it no where else in scripture but when it is mentioned in Luke and Acts. Therefore, I also find that the name ( Theophilus ) means ( friend of God ) in Greek. Again, therefore, is it possible that Luke is writing to any person that considers themselves to be a ( friend of God )? Would that be; you and I?
In closing this part out, I would like to point something out about the gospels. ( Matthew ) reveals Jesus Christ as the ( King of the Jews ). We find his lineage in Matthew by to King David. ( Mark ) reveals Jesus as the ( servant to man ). A servant has no lineage, not one that is important at any rate therefore, we see no lineage in Mark. ( Luke ) the book we are looking or referring to, reveals Jesus Christ as the ( son of Man ). We see a lineage here back to Adam, that is; how he relates to us. Thus, the name of ( Theophilus ). Not only does Jesus Christ relate to Luke but, he relates to all of mankind if we are willing to hear what he has to say. Last of all is ( John ). In this gospel he is revealed as the Son of God, here we see no lineage because God has no beginning or end, no family tree.
As he continues in ( Verse 1 ); he says ( Thing Jesus both did and taught ). When we consider the things he taught, what might that be? I’d like to make reference here of a point that needs to be made. Did you realize that the term ( Kingdom of Heaven ) is only found in the gospel of Matthew? That phrase is not found in none of the other three gospels, nor is it found in any other books of the New Testament until we get to the book of Revelation. This point is relevant as we seek to understand why we even have ( the Book of Acts ), If you’ll notice he says: ( both to do and, teach. Therefore, what was Jesus teaching? And, that beyond what he was doing? The Book of Acts shows us, teaches us what he was teaching. If you look or read on down in ( verse 3 ) you’ll see that he make this statement: ( things pertaining to the Kingdom of God ).
Jesus was teaching those things in the gospels. Just how many of the people caught what he was saying? And of those, even his disciples. Jesus made this statement in the gospel of John. ( John 6:45 ) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Can you see in that verse, it’s a difference in hearing and learning. We might spend a lot of time reading or, we might say; hearing but, how much time do we spend, learning?
We’ll get to this. In the next part. ( Act 1: 2-3 ) continued.