The Acts of the Apostles was written by Luke, who also wrote the Gospel that bears his name. All four Gospels take us up to the time of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, but not much farther. In the book of Acts, Luke continues the story.
The book of Acts can be divided into three sections:
- The first has to do with the early days of the church in Jerusalem, ending with the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
- The second shows how the disciples carried the story of Jesus to other parts of Palestine.
- And the third section tells how Paul took the gospel to the outer reaches of the Mediterranean world—all the way to Rome.
One of the important features in the book of Acts is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. From the Day of Pentecost onward, the Holy Spirit plays a prominent role in the life and work of the disciples.
The Acts of the Apostles may be a history book, but it’s much more than that. It’s an account of how God took a small band of initially dispirited men and turned them into enthusiastic leaders of a dynamic and growing movement, affecting the course of history, even to this day.