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Reese Commentaries

Acts

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Acts is a history book, written by Luke to complement and continue the record begun in his Gospel.  In Acts, Luke demonstrates how Jesus’ apostles faithfully and obediently put the Great Commission into practice, beginning “in Jerusalem, and then into all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  Acts is also indispensable for the introductions it provides to so many of the people encountered elsewhere in the New Testament:  Peter, Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila, and others.

The Restoration Movement has consistently treated Acts as a history book, but also as a type of unbiased How-To manual for the church.

  • 75% of the New Testament books find their historical backdrop in Acts.  Knowing when the churches in the Galatian region or in the cities of Ephesus or Thessalonica were planted is important to interpreting the epistles bearing their names.  Knowing the circumstances of Paul’s life during the period when he penned Romans or 1 Corinthians or Philippians colors our interpretation of those epistles.  And knowing who Peter, Luke, and Timothy were influences our interpretations of numerous Scriptures.  Such historical information can be gleaned from Acts.
  • If the early church is the pattern and model for us to follow, Acts becomes a How-To manual of sorts.  Who can be a Christian, and how does it happen?  Who receives spiritual gifts, and how does it happen?  What ordinances ought the church observe, and when?  What makes a church grow, and how does it happen?  What is the relationship between church and state?  What is the right response to persecution and tribulation?  How ought Christianity interact with other religions?  How ought we to battle the evil in the spiritual world around us?  What is missionary work like, and whom should be sent?  What is the right leadership structure in the church, and how are those leaders selected?  Such questions can be dealt with using the guidance the Holy Spirit has provided in Acts.

Because of their importance, this commentary includes multiple Special Studies on many of the How-To topics.

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