September 26, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Acts 1-2
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Author: Luke, a physician and companion of the apostle Paul; also authored the Gospel of Luke
Date: Likely written prior to AD 64
Context: The book of Acts picks up immediately after the Gospel of Luke. Jesus spends 40 days on earth after His resurrection, giving final instructions to His disciples. His disciples still did not fully understand Jesus’ role, as they still believed He would overthrow the Roman government. Following Jesus ascension, the group returned to Jerusalem, where they proceeded to select a new disciple by seeking the will of God through lots. This is the last time lots is used to determine God’s will. From here on out, Christians have the Holy Spirit as a guide. The coming of the Holy Spirit was an event that Luke probably did not witness but had heard described countless times. It was an event no one present would ever be able to forget. Through the Holy Spirit, people of all nations were able to hear about salvation through Jesus Christ is their own, native langue. Acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior allows the Holy Spirit to take hold in you and work in your life. It is an incredible gift! After receiving the Holy Spirit, all believers fellowshipped together. It is important to fellowship and worship with other believers. It encourages us and allows us to grow and develop our faith and relationship with Christ.
World History: The book of Acts tells of the early Christian church, from the accession of Jesus Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, to Paul’s final imprisonment in Rome. Luke addresses the book to Theophilus, meaning “lover of God.” It is unclear who this person is. Some scholars speculate that Luke used the name symbolically, while others believed that Theophilus was a name given after being baptized. Many also believe that Theophilus was a wealthy Greek Christian who wanted to know more of Jesus and the early Christian church.