Why We Prefer the Book of Acts as History

On Friday, I wrote about the fact that many people want to read Acts as history, not as an instruction manual. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the big reasons is its easier to relegate the book of Acts to the past than it is to wrestle with the implications of the book of Acts in our own lives. 

What specifically does the book of Acts reference that may be easier to leave in the past?

A church focused on the Great Commission (Acts 1:8)

A church that encounters the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3-4)

The church is a community calling people from sin to a focused, communal lifestyle (Acts 2:38-47)

Healings happen (Acts 3:7-8)

Untrained men are vessels for the Gospel (Acts 4:13)

The church had a supernatural unity that manifested itself in economic care (Acts 4:32-35)

God had high standards for his church (Acts 5:1-11)

Unusual miracles like the apostles’ shadows healing people (Acts 5:12-16)

Faithfulness to Jesus doesn’t save Stephen’s life (Acts 7:59-60)

The Holy Spirit doesn’t fall immediately at salvation (Acts 8:16)

God directs the harvest in crazy, supernatural ways (Acts 8:26, 39)

God chooses a murderer as a leader (Acts 9:5)

Trances (Acts 10:10)

Tongues (Acts 10:46-47)

Prophets predicting events (Acts 11:28)

The angel of the Lord striking people (Acts 12:23)

God sending blindness on someone (Acts 13:11)

Persecution (Acts 14:19-20)

“We must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)

Elders appointed long after a church was established (Acts 14:23)

Demons being cast out (Acts 16:18)

Rapid church planting (Acts 17:2,10)

Tent-making apostles (Acts 18:3)

Visions that direct mission (Acts 18:9-10)

Unusual miracles like handkerchiefs healing people (Acts 18:11-12)

Paul providing for his own needs (Acts 20:34)

“It is more blessed to give than receive.” -Jesus (Acts 20:35)

Personal prophecy and the difficulty with interpretations (Acts 21:10-14)

Visions of Jesus directing people (Acts 22:17-21)

“…all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do.” -Paul (Acts 26:20)

Angels directing people (Acts 27:23)

“Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed.” -Acts 28:9

What did I miss?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

4 responses to “Why We Prefer the Book of Acts as History”

  1. Steven Colborne says :

    Hi Travis, are you familiar with the Last Reformation movement? They are especially focused on living out the Christian life in accordance with the Book of Acts. If you search ‘The Last Reformation’ (Google of YouTube) you’ll find loads of relevant content. Blessings, Steven 🙏🏻

    • traviskolder says :

      Steven

      I haven’t, but thanks for the heads up. I’ll check it out. Is it a movement you’ve been a part of?

      • Steven Colborne says :

        Hi Travis, I was involved in this movement for quite a while, yes. I live in London and there was recently a big TLR event where 180 people got baptised and around 1300 attended. The movement is growing around the world, including in the US, so worth checking out. Blessings, Steven

  2. Dan says :

    Good points.

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