Luke and Acts are incredible books of the Bible that helpfully explain who God is.
Luke authored both books as a research analysis of Jesus along with people and events that happened during and after the time he was on the earth, which has been proven, validated, and repeated throughout the last 2 thousand years of human history. Luke records the time periods from shortly before 4 B.C. (Jesus’ birth year) and 63 A.D. (apostle Paul in Rome’ imprisonment and Luke writes both Luke and Acts) — spanning over 60 years of profound history. Luke shares several times throughout Acts that he accompanied the apostle Paul while Paul later writes in Colossians 4:14 confirming the friendship:
“Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.”
God used Luke and Paul among others to reveal the truth and love he has for the world, his creation, and how he works in the world to accomplish his will, especially through the person and work of Jesus the Christ. God continually leaves mankind without excuse to reject him and all the more reason to trust him. God does not bring confusion, rather, he draws people to clarity and certainty of who he is.
The introductions to both Luke’s Gospel and Acts are helpful to understand the purpose of God and the books to do so:
“Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”
“In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.””
God’s word is connected and not contradictory, from the 1st book of the Bible (Genesis) to the last book (Revelation), which is confirmed yet again in Luke and Acts. The Bible is like a library of 66 books divided up into two sections (Old and New Testament). There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. Luke references a lot of the Old Testament by recording Jesus and others quoting the Old Testament.
Therefore, this one author in these two books presents tremendous answers to a whole host of issues that have been raised throughout history, including our contemporary time of the 21st century. Like, do you have objections or doubts about God? Do you think Jesus never existed? Who is the Holy Spirit? Who was around and involved during this period of time? Was this a private or public thing? Is Christianity a cult, culture, custom, or conviction? What are and are not miracles, signs, and wonders? Do you think readers should interpret how they want to interpret? How do you deal with hypocrites? What is sin and how do I deal with it? Who is Satan? Is the gospel of Jesus true and even loving?
As you read through Luke and Acts, you will gain the profound but simple truth that God the Father planned, prepared, and fulfilled his will to draw the world to trust in Jesus with the entirety of their life on earth and in heaven by the help of the Holy Spirit.
We then say with certainty that Jesus is to be the epicenter to humanity, history, and hearts. He is to be looked upon and trusted. He is to be heard and believed. He is to be followed and loved. He is the cause of our conviction, the church, and Christianity. He is the wonder of the world. He is the beauty in the midst of great evil. He is the sacrifice and savior to sinners. He is the exalted one to the humbled. He is the redeemer to a people in need of redemption. He is the defender of the weak and condemner to the proud. He is the best teacher and pastor/shepherd in the world. He taught in ways that trained people to trust. He is divinity that entered into humanity.
And therefore, he affects hearts, history, and humanity in a ways that sends ripple effects to continue the same work of transforming people to trust him.
The apostle Paul (mentioned in Acts 9 and throughout the latter part of the book of Acts by Luke) wrote in the book of Romans introduction of 1:1-17 (c.f. vv. 5 and 16-17):
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.””
God is good.