On average one thousand books are written each year, six hundred and fifty are forgotten by the end their first year of publishing, and after three years, one hundred fifty more have slipped from memory. Only about fifty of the one thousand books survive seven years. Books and their authors come and go with dizzying speed which makes even more remarkable the lasting popularity of the Bible. Completed almost two thousand years ago, this book is still read, debated, and followed today.

If someone asked, what would your favorite Bible book be? There are so many options, and a lot might depend on what’s going on in your life at the time, but one of my lasting favorites is the book of Acts, In his book, Luke tells the exciting story of the beginning of the church. Acts is the pivotal book of the New Testament as it continues the story told in the Gospels and explains the truths declared in the epistles.

Tertullian, one of the early church founders, explained the significance of Acts when he said: “Those who do not accept this volume of Scripture can have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit, for they cannot know whether the Holy Spirit has yet been sent to the disciples; neither can they claim to be the church, since they cannot prove when this body was established or where it was cradled.”

Acts is important for another reason as well. Acts not only tells us about the church of the first century, but it also provides valuable information and inspiration on what the Church should like in the 20th century.

We all have searching questions. What is the church? What is our purpose? What is our source of truth? How are we to relate to each other? To the world? To God? Answers to those questions are found in the stories that make up the book of Acts. This Sunday we address one of these stories and gain valuable insight into our response to God’s grace in Acts the fifth chapter.

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