The Acts of the Apostles
The fifth book of the New Testament has been known from ancient times as The Acts of the Apostles; but this title cannot be found in the book itself. One of the earliest manuscripts, the Codex Sinaiticus, gives as the title the simple word Acts, with no mention of the apostles. There is a reason for this. Acts was intended to be more than a brief history of the service rendered by the twelve disciples, much more than the principal events in the lifework of its four leading characters, Peter, James, John, and Paul.
The book of the Acts was written by “the beloved physician,” Luke, a Gentile convert, for the whole church, Jews and Gentiles alike. While it covers a period of a little more than three decades, it is filled with important lessons for the church in every age. In the book of the Acts God clearly indicates that the Christian today shall experience the presence of the same Spirit who came with power at Pentecost and fanned the gospel message into a flame. The acts of the Holy Spirit through Peter and Paul, John and James, and others, can be repeated in the modern disciple.
The abruptness with which the book of Acts closes is not accidental; it deliberately suggests that the thrilling narrative is unfinished, and that the acts of God through the Spirit are to have their sequel throughout the Christian dispensation—each successive generation adding a chapter full of beauty and power to the one that preceded it. The acts recorded in this remarkable book are in the truest sense the acts of the Spirit, for in apostolic times it was the Holy Ghost who appeared as the counselor and helper of the Christian leaders.
At Pentecost the praying disciples were filled with the Spirit and preached the gospel with power.