Preaching the Book of Acts

Acts begins with the ascension of Jesus into heaven. Unlike the Gospels, therefore, Jesus is not front-and-centre, in an earthly sense, throughout the book. This does not mean, however that Acts is not about Jesus. Indeed, without Jesus there would be no Acts of His Apostles. He remains the foundational subject of the book, as the early Church endeavours to carry on His earthly ministry in and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Neither Peter nor Paul is the principle actor in book of Acts. Jesus alone remains the lead. This under-girding reality must be preached as the basis of every message from Acts.

Furthermore, Jesus must be preached as the active leader of the Church, the head of the body. Whatever the Church does, Jesus is doing. Whenever the Church is being persecuted, Jesus is being persecuted. Wherever the apostles go, there goes Christ. By the measure the Church grows, so grows the reign of Christ in the hearts of men and women. Acts provides preachers with the tremendous opportunity to preach the presence of Jesus in the world today through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the activity of the Church. To separate Jesus from the Church is to decapitate the Church. Therefore, to preach the Church must always be to preach Christ.[1] This may not be self-evident for the congregation and therefore it falls to the preacher to underscore this profound reality at every turn.

[1] Clowney, All of Scripture, 56-57.

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