Oct. 26. Luke Writes Acts of the Apostles, History of the Church

The writer of The Acts of the Apostles (Acts) does not identify himself. As one reads Acts and Paul’s epistles, it becomes evident from various references to Luke that he indeed did write Acts. He probably wrote this account from Rome about A.D. 63.

Acts contains the events of approximately the first thirty years of the church. The question, “What must I do to be saved?” is answered. One learns how the church with the apostles guided by the Holy Spirit was able to grow rapidly even in the face of fierce persecution.

Luke began his history of the early church with Jesus being assembled with His apostles in Jerusalem shortly before His ascension on Mount Olivet. He described the events surrounding the establishment of the church on the Day of Pentecost ten days later.

As the church began a rapid growth, Luke related the preaching and miracles performed by the apostles. He described the enduring fortitude and faith of the apostles and of the newly converted Christians as they faced persecutions by the unbelievers.

One of those persecutors was Saul of Tarsus. Luke described the events that led to Saul’s conversion and how that he later became the apostle Paul, who in turn was also persecuted.

The gospel was preached first to Jews, but later Peter was sent to Cornelius, a Gentile army officer. After having the gospel explained to him, he and his household became the first Gentile converts (Christians).

A major portion of Acts centered on the travels of Paul and his companions as they went about on various missionary journeys. They were responsible for establishing a great number of churches in the various cities they visited.

Luke ended his account of Acts with Paul as a prisoner being permitted to live in his own rented house—but always chained to a guard. He said that Paul lived two years under those conditions. He had the freedom to write and to receive, “All who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”