The Central Theme Of The Books Of Acts

Much debate has taken place about the central theme of the book of Acts. Some have argued that it’s a record of the Acts of the Apostles. Others have argued that it’s a record of the acts of the Holy Spirit. Still others have argued that it’s a defence of Paul’s ministry.

Each argument can be cleverly supported. But rather than being broken on this stone of stumbling, I wish to point out that Luke himself tells us what the book of Acts is all about. The theme appears in his opening words:

The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach. (Acts 1:1 nasb)

In order to understand the above sentence, we need to compare it with the opening statement of the gospel of Luke.

Since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:3–4)

Luke was the hand behind the gospel that bears his name as well as the book of Acts. Both books were addressed to a prominent man named Theophilus. The gospel of Luke and the book of Acts are twin volumes. They are two parts of the same story. The gospel of Luke is a record of what Jesus Christ “began to do and to teach” (Acts 1:1). It’s a record of the beginning of Christ’s life and ministry on earth.

The book of Acts is a record of the continuation of Christ’s life and ministry on earth through His body. As John the apostle said, as Jesus was in this world, so now is the church (1 John 4:17).

Throughout Acts, we see Jesus Christ preaching the gospel, reaching out to the Gentiles, and raising up corporate expressions of Himself throughout the Roman Empire. Let’s look at some specific examples and let Scripture speak for itself.

Continue Reading in ‘From Eternity To Here’ – by Frank Viola – Pages 239-240



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