The Gospel of the Spirit
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach
- Acts 1:1
The Book of Acts is the long-awaited sequel to the Gospel of Luke. Written by a doctor named Luke, who was a Gentile and a companion of the Apostle Paul, Luke and Acts read like two halves of a great story.
As we look forward to studying Acts together, we should expect Luke to continue what he began in his “former book.” Luke wrote like a historian, gathering data and stories from eyewitnesses and piecing them together in a coherent narrative. As a historian, Luke pays careful attention to the impact of the gospel on those who would ordinarily be excluded from the circles of the wealthy, the powerful, and the religious. These trends in the Gospel of Luke hold throughout The Book of Acts.
Acts, however, presents a shift in focus for the author. While the Gospel of Luke focuses on Jesus’ life, teaching and death, the Book of Acts focuses on the work of the Holy Spirit to spread the news of Jesus’ victory over death to those who God wants to redeem. Justo González jokes that “Acts is the Gospel of the Spirit.” And we’ll see evidence of this over the next several weeks.
The Holy Spirit is perhaps the shyest person of the Trinity. We struggle to understand him at times. We have analogies that help us understand a father and a son. A spirit is more elusive.
But it’s important that we pay close attention to and learn to rely on the Spirit. God’s mission will prove impossible without the Spirit’s involvement.
What’s your relationship with God’s Spirit? How do you feel about engaging more deeply with the Holy Spirit as you participate in God’s mission?