Category Archives: Acts

“God-honouring worship” by David Peterson

“Spirit-inspired preaching about Jesus is the way in which His power and authority are made known and people are enabled to respond to the great saving events of His death, resurrection and ascension. In this way they may engage with the ascended Lord Himself…

In the perspective of Acts, the glorified Lord Jesus is the new point of contact between heaven and earth for people of every race without distinction. The focus is not so much on His redemptive work as a fulfillment of the sacrificial system, but on the idea that God’s glory and kingly power are supremely expressed in Christ…

Preaching about Christ must be at the heart of a Christian theology of worship. As in the Old Testament, the word of the Lord is central to a genuine encounter with God. Those who are concerned about God-honouring worship will be concerned about the proclamation of the gospel, in the world and in the church, in public teaching and private dialogue.

If worship is an engagement with God on the terms that He proposes and in the way that He alone makes possible, preaching Christ is a key to that engagement. Acts points to the proclamation of the heavenly rule of Christ, with all its implications, as the means chosen by God to draw people into relationship with Himself, through Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

God’s great act of redemption in Christ is the basis of a call to enter into and enjoy the blessings of the new covenant. Worship in New Testament terms means responding with one’s whole life and being to the divine kingship of Jesus.”

–David Peterson, Engaging With God: A Biblical Theology of Worship (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1992), 143-144.

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“The risen and reigning Lord Jesus” by Alan Thompson

“God’s plan of salvation is being carried out according to His promises through the continuing reign of the risen Lord Jesus. The inaugurated kingdom of God continues to be administered by the Lord Jesus.

In this era of the kingdom of God the Lord Jesus continues to add to His church, to enable the spread of the word, to strengthen His people before the consummation of the kingdom at His return. His death and resurrection mean that the blessings of the age to come are found in Him even now.

All who turn to Him receive the blessings of forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. God’s people may be assured that they will be enabled and transformed by the Spirit of Jesus. The Lord Jesus is the one who grants these gifts to Jew and Gentile alike.

Thus Gentiles are receiving God’s salvation by the grace of the Lord Jesus through hearing and believing the same good news of forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus, not because God has failed to keep His word to Israel.

God’s people may be reassured, therefore, that God fulfills His promises through the acts of their Saviour, the risen and reigning Lord Jesus!”

–Alan J. Thompson, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus: Luke’s Account of God’s Unfolding Plan (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011), 195-196.

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“The church without the Spirit” by John Stott

“Without the Holy Spirit, Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, even impossible. There can be no life without the life-giver, no understanding without the Spirit of truth, no fellowship without the unity of the Spirit, no Christlikeness of character apart from His fruit, and no effective witness without His power. As a body without breath is a corpse, so the church without the Spirit is dead.”

–John Stott, The Message of Acts, Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990), 60.

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“The gate of salvation” by John Calvin

“If God should promise salvation simply, it is a great matter. But it is a far greater matter when He promises the same salvation amidst manifold dungeons of death. He says: ‘Even while all things shall be out of order and the fear of destruction shall possess all things, only call upon Me and you shall be saved.’

Therefore, however man be swallowed up in the gulf of miseries, yet there is set before him a way to escape. We must also note this universal word, ‘whosoever.’ For God admits all men to Himself without exception, and by this means does He invite them to salvation, just as Paul gathers in the tenth chapter to the Romans (Romans 10:13), and as the prophet had set it down before, ‘O You who hear prayer, to You shall all flesh come.’ (Psalm 65:2)

Therefore, since no man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is set open to all men. Neither is there any other thing which keeps us back from entering in except our own unbelief. I speak of all to whom God makes Himself manifest by the gospel.”

–John Calvin, Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, trans. Christopher Featherstone (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005), 1: 91-92. Calvin is commenting on Acts 2:21.

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“And then the Spirit came” by Michael Green

“Three crucial decades in world history. That is all it took. In the years between AD 33 and 64 a new movement was born. In those thirty years it got sufficient growth and credibility to become the largest religion the world has ever seen and to change the lives of hundreds of millions of people. It has spread into every corner of the globe and has more than two billion putative adherents. It has had an indelible impact on civilization, on culture, on education, on medicine, on freedom, and of course on the lives of countless people worldwide. And the seedbed for all this, the time when it took decisive root, was in these three decades. It all began with a dozen men and a handful of women: and then the Spirit came.”

–Michael Green, Thirty Years That Changed the World: The Book of Acts for Today (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993/2002), p. 7.

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“Is the church scriptural?” by Christopher J. H. Wright

Commenting on Acts 15, Wright notes the following: 

“It is ironic how far we have moved from this early difficulty. For many contemporary Christians the problem lies with the Old Testament. For these early Christians the Old Testament was the given Word of God; the problem lay with the church. Our question so often is, Is the Old Testament really Christian? Their question was, Is the church scriptural (i.e., consistent with the Old Testament)?”

–Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2006), 193, footnote #3.

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