The Next Next Gen | Acts 1:1-11 | Chapel Hill Church Gig Harbor

The Next Next Gen | Acts 1:1-11 | Chapel Hill Church Gig Harbor

Welcome to Easter Sunday plus one! And a special welcome to you who are back for a second time. Wasn’t Easter incredible? We had 500 more people than a year ago; an encouraging trend. I’m glad God is still at work growing His church. And that’s a perfect introduction to the book we’re going to be studying together for the coming months.

True story: A third grade Sunday School teacher was talking about the armor of God. She reached the part about the sword of the spirit and asked, “Alright class, who can tell me what our one weapon is as Christians?” Silence. “Come on, kids, what is our only weapon against evil?” Still not a word. “Let me give you a hint. It’s made of metal, it’s sharp and it cuts.” Finally, one little voice in the back piped up, “Is it the axe of the apostles?”

This morning, we begin a series on the Acts of the Apostles. We just spent 18 months in Luke’s gospel. Acts is Luke’s “Volume 2”. It’s the only history book in the New Testament; the story of how, within 30 years, a tiny religious movement from Judea spread 8000 miles to Rome and became the most significant force in human history. Acts starts this way:

“In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen…” Acts 1:1-2

“Theophilus.” That’s the same guy to whom Luke’s gospel is dedicated. The name means “God-lover.” It might have been someone’s real name. It might have been a pseudonym. We don’t know; it’s a little confusing. Even my computer was confused. When I dictated the word “Theophilus,” it printed out, “Osteoarthritis.” “In the first book— Osteoarthritis—- I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach…”

What is the implication of that phrase? “All that Jesus began to do and teach…” That Jesus was only getting started, right! That’s why Luke needed a second volume. He wants to describe the continuing work of Jesus. In some ways, the “Acts of the Apostles” is a misnomer; it only describes the work of two apostles: Peter and Paul. More accurately, this book is about the continuing acts of Jesus…carried out by the next generation of Christian witnesses…under the power of his Spirit.