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The book of Acts gives us a unique view of the earliest days of the church. It was written by the gospel writer Luke, and as our BIND video teacher explained, Acts can be thought of as “Gospel of Luke, Part 2.” It is a continuation of the life of Jesus, only now Jesus is living his life through the church, in resurrection power, and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There is a sense of miracle, joy, and astonishing events. Just as Jesus brought healing, hope, and conversions, the church in Acts is able to do many of these same deeds. Clearly, we are meant to realize that the Lord is still doing the things he did in his earthly body, and he does the as followers of his Way respond to his call.
Several characteristics of church life are to be noted. First, everything is centered on Jesus Christ as Lord. That is the message they preached and taught about, and it was also the source of their abilities to bring radical transformation to people’s lives. We also note that they lived daily with a sense of expectancy, knowing that each day, God had surprises in store. They experienced the Lord’s intervention in problems they faced, including imprisonment, shipwreck, poison, and persecution. We see, too, that the early Christians shared the adventures of faith through deep fellowship. They formed something new in human experience. It was a community, called into being by God, committed to Christ and to prayer, and creatively ministering to real needs in Jesus’ name.
The marks of the early church are meant for us as well. We are to celebrate the centrality of Christ, live with a sense of expectancy, strengthen our bonds of fellowship, and devote ourselves to mission and ministry in Jesus’ name. As we do so, we experience more and more of God’s work among us.