Discovering Dynamic Faith in the Book of Acts
In just one week, a new study will launch that explores the volatile, spiritually invigorated world of the early church as it exploded on the scene in its infancy after the death and resurrection of Christ. This semester-long Grace Equip study is called Dynamic Faith: Exploring the Book of Acts. I have the privilege of teaching this study. As we begin, I am asking myself, why Acts? What is its significance? How does it help us better understand the plan God has for His people and how we are to live our lives today?
I believe every believer has the responsibility (and privilege) to study the Word of God, to live it out in their lives, and to pass it along to future generations. My experience has been that the more I study His Word, the better I know the true author; and the better I know Him, the more I love Him; and the more I love Him, the more I want to live for Him. The theme verse I have selected for our Sunday morning study is 2 Timothy 2:15, which says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” I take this command seriously! That’s why I study, and that’s why I love to teach His Word.
So why the Book of Acts? Acts is a bridge between the Old and New Testaments that covers almost 40 years and takes us through a transition from “law” to “grace.” As we walk in the shoes of these first century believers, we get a sense of their emotional ups and downs. We see the tremendous excitement as the Holy Spirit descends and then as the news spreads, thousands of new believers place their faith in Jesus as their Messiah. There was great anticipation that Jesus would soon return and set up His promised kingdom, which had been promised to the Jews for some 2000 years. However, as the years went by, the struggle among these early believers began to intensify. Persecution grew fierce. Many believers began to develop doubts and fled the city in fear for their lives. And now a new phenomenon: God begins to pour out His Holy Spirit upon the Gentiles, which the Jews did not understand. These were difficult and confusing times for first century believers and they struggled mightily.
Understanding the Book of Acts and the struggles of these early believers is relevant for our lives today, over 2000 years later. First, it provides us with a good framework in our study of all of Scripture, which in turn helps us better understand other books of the Bible. Second, from the study of Acts, we get a better understanding of the “church” of today and how God’s vision for the church can apply to our everyday lives.
I would love to share with you some of the helpful insights God has taught me through my study of this wonderful book. Please consider joining us as we begin a new study in Acts on January 10. May God give you an even greater excitement about studying His Word!
Learn more about Larry's Grace Equip study on Sunday mornings beginning January 11 online.
Posted on Thu, December 31, 2015
by Larry Williams