The Acts of the Apostles and Paul's Letter to the Romans
The Book of Acts was written to provide a history of the early church. Acts emphasis the importance of the day of Pentecost and being empowered to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ. Acts sheds light on the ministry gift of the Holy Spirit, which empowers, guides, teaches, and serves as our Counselor. When reading the Book of Acts many of the readers will be enlightened and encouraged by the many miracles that were being performed during this time by the disciples Peter, John, and Paul. The Book of Acts emphasizes the importance of obedience to God's Word and the transformation that occurs as a result of knowing Christ. There are also many references to those that rejected the truth that the disciples preached about in Jesus Christ. Power, greed, and many other vices of the devil are evidenced in the book of Acts. Acts 1:8 serves as a good summary of the Book of Acts. Acts records the apostles being Christ's witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the rest of the surrounding world.
The book of Acts has a total of twenty-eight chapters and it's primary purpose was to give the history of the Christian church and thereby to equip the church to reach people for Christ. Many faithful servants carried out the work of God in the earth. Although many faithful servants were used to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Saul, whose name was changed to Paul, was the most influential. Before he was converted, Paul took great pleasure in persecuting and killing Christians. After his conversion he went to the ultimate extreme of loving God and preaching his word with power, fervency and the Spirit of the true and living God. In this book the main emphasis was in Acts 1:8, when the disciples were told by Jesus to wait until they had been empowered by the Holy Spirit from on high to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts chapters 1-7 record the apostles being Christ's witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea. Acts chapter 8 records the apostles being Christ's witnesses in Samaria. Acts chapters 9-28 record the apostles being Christ's witnesses "to the ends of the earth."
God can do amazing things through ordinary people. God essentially took a group of fisherman and turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). God took a Christian-hating murderer and changed him into the greatest Christian evangelist, the author of almost half the books of the New Testament. God used persecution to cause the quickest expansion of a "new faith" in the history of the world. God can and will do the same through us if we fully submit ourselves to Him.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8
What is the reason we receive the power of the Holy Spirit? How is receiving the Holy Spirit essential to becoming a disciple of Jesus?
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
What is central to being a disciple?
Is there more than one way to be saved?
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. Acts 17:10-12
What were important characteristics of the Bereans?
The main theme of this letter is obvious of course.it is Righteousness. Guided by the Holy Spirit Paul first condemns all men of their sinfulness. He expresses his desire to preach the truth of God's Word to those in Rome. It was his hope to have assurance that they were staying on the right path. He strongly points out that he is not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is what every one need to direct them to Salvation.
Paul points out again that God did not demand that men have their lives straightened out before coming to Christ. Because, it is a fact that while we were still sinners He, Christ died on a cross for our sins. When we turn our lives over to Jesus Christ, we are no longer controlled by our sin nature, but the Spirit controls us. If we make confession that Jesus is Lord, and believe that He is raised from the dead, we are saved, born - again. We need to live our lives offered to God as a living sacrifice to Him. Because, that should be our highest desire to worship Him so. We cannot please Him by living according to this world and its pleasures. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus at all times.
Never seek to take revenge on anyone because it is God's place to repay, and we need to leave it Him. We need to feed the hungry and quench their thirst. Nothing is ever accomplished if we are overcome by evil, but evil, we need to overcome evil with good. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you m ay overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is very difficult to summarize the Book of Romans. It is so full of truth! The Book of Romans tells us about God, who He is and what He has done. It tells us of Jesus Christ, what His death accomplished. It tells us about ourselves, what we were like without Christ and who we are after trusting in Christ. Perhaps the best application of Romans would be to apply Romans 1:16 and not be ashamed of the Gospel. Instead, let us all be faithful in proclaiming it!
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Does a person need to clean up their lives before coming to the Lord and accepting salvation?
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Can a believer loose their salvation?
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2