Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Acts: Becoming a World Christian

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage
Acts 28:1-31 30

30 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him. Acts 28:30-31 (NKJV)

The Book of Acts is the story of the beginnings of Christianity. It is the story of the initial flames of faith that burst out from the life of Jesus and through the apostles began to spread throughout the earth. There are many ways we could study and understand the Acts of the Apostles. Perhaps the most basic understanding of the book is summed up in these last two verses.

Paul has arrived in Rome and is placed under house arrest awaiting his appearance before Caesar. For two years, he receives seekers and shares the faith in this city that has become the center of the civilized world.

Three insights are of vital importance:

1. Acts is the story of the movement of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Rome - from birthplace to destiny. The Gospel moves from Jewish origins to WORLD IMPACT. As we end the Book of Acts we are in ROME. This has always been God's plan. His heart is for the NATIONS.

2. The last word in Acts is "unhindered." The Greek word is akolutose.  The New King James translates this one Greek word with four English words: "no one forbidding him". From the limitations of cultural and ethnic Judaism, Christianity bursts out to be a faith for all people - for every tribe, every tongue, every nation. The Gospel breaks all walls of resistance. It penetrates the Iron Curtain, the Bamboo Curtain, the Ivory Towers of Intellectualism, EVERY BARRIER!

3. There is no AMEN at the end of Acts. The story goes on. We are today living in "The Age of the Holy Spirit." This river continues to flow today. God invites us to dive in.

This is the story of the Early Church. God sends us out. He wants this river to flow bringing healing to the nations of the earth. May we become WORLD CHRISTIANS.

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