… Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
When I was growing up, I watched television programs in the comforting assurance that they would reach a timely and logical conclusion. Whether it was Bonanza, The Dick Van Dyke Show, or Perry Mason, I could be sure that there would be a resolution to the plot. It was a bad show when the plot didn’t resolve and the dreaded phrase appeared at the bottom of the screen: “To be continued…” In a similar way, the plot in Acts is left unresolved, and we are left with the realization that the full story is yet to be completed.
In writing the book we know as Acts, its author, Luke, wasn’t composing a biography of the apostle Paul. Rather, he was demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit to spread God’s word in the world through a variety of individuals in the unfolding story of human history. He wasn’t encouraging readers to create their own endings but inviting them to be a part of the continuing story.
The final word in the Greek text of the book of Acts is akolytos, which means “unhindered.” This is in step with what Paul wrote during his second imprisonment: “I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!” (2 Timothy 2:9). In other words, Acts concludes but the action continues. Acts is the beginning of the story, a story of the work of God’s Spirit, through His church, that sweeps into our world and up to our time.
In fact, the unfolding story of redemption, in which we find ourselves, actually begins much earlier than Acts 1. We catch one of our first glimpses when God promised Adam and Eve that one of their family would crush Satan and undo the effects of their sin (Genesis 3:15); we see another when the Lord told Abraham, “In your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (22:18). The Father’s plan was always that He would give to His Son the nations as an inheritance (Psalm 2:8). This is an all-encompassing promise worthy of our life, and even our death.
Your life is wrapped up in this amazing story. The same Spirit that powerfully worked in the book of Acts is still at work today. The extension of the gospel message—that Jesus is the long-promised King and the much-needed Savior—did not conclude with Paul in Rome, nor when it arrived at your doorstep. God is still telling it, and His people are still called to share it, unhindered. Whether you give your life to doing that as a missionary overseas or you seek each day to make Christ known among your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors, God wants you to be involved in the greatest story of the ages, which will be told throughout eternity. What would you rather spend your life doing than writing a line in this great, unfinished story?
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Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.