Acts 1 v 1 - 5

Welcome to my blog on the Acts of the Apostles, although many would prefer to call it 'Acts of the Holy Spirit'! This is the second of two books by Luke written to Theophilus, who is perhaps an individual or could well be the equivalent of 'dear reader'! Luke has written an account of the life of Jesus and now goes on to tell us about the beginnings of the Christian church. In this he becomes personally involved, as we can see when we get to the passages which begin with 'we'. The life and works of Jesus continue beyond His death, resurrection and ascension and the early believers were prompted and enabled and motivated to do this work through the agency of the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Godhead promised by Jesus before His crucifixion. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, but He is also the One who gives Christians courage and strength: it is impossible to draw a line dividing the work of the Spirit and the work of the risen Christ.

Try to imagine what it was like to be an apostle in the days spoken of in these early verses! You have experienced things beyond your wildest imaginings in Christ's death and resurrection and now He has again left you. He has commanded you to remain in Jerusalem, close to those who murdered your master and to wait for the Holy Spirit to come. You have been told by Jesus that far greater things will be done through Him than through Jesus Himself and you wonder how things will be. You are highly conversant with Old Testament Scriptures and you have read about the Holy Spirit's presence in particular people for specific tasks-Samson, Saul, Samuel and so on-but this seems to be a way forward which has not been experienced before. It is necessarily vital, because without some kind of supernatural strength you can't see yourself coping very well!

You are alternately filled with fear, anger, guilt, joy and expectation: what is to come?!

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