Teaching: Luke and Acts - Introduction to Christ and Christianity

About

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

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.

Purpose

The introductions to both Luke’s Gospel and Acts are helpful to understand the purpose of God and the books to do so:

Luke 1:1-4

“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.”

Acts 1:1-8

“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.””

The Bible

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.

Questions

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.

Jesus

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.

Apostle Paul

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.

Singing: Give Me Jesus

About

From their Youtube description, which provides helpful related resources:

Get the song: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/giv...

Free sheet music: http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

••• Prayers of the Saints Live ••• 15 new congregational worship songs of adoration, confession, intercession, and anticipation. http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

LYRICS

VERSE 1
Take the world, but give me Jesus
All its joys are but a name
But His love abides forever
Through eternal years the same

VERSE 2
Take the world, but give me Jesus
Sweetest comfort of my soul
With my Savior watching o’er me
I can sing though billows roll

CHORUS
Oh, the height and depth of mercy
Oh, the length and breadth of love
Oh, the fullness of redemption
Pledge of endless life above
Take this world, my God’s enough!

VERSE 3
Take the world, but give me Jesus
In His cross my trust shall be
Till with clearer, brighter vision
Face to face my Lord I see

BRIDGE
Take this world and give me Jesus
In His cross my trust shall be
Take this world and give me Jesus
Till that day my Lord I see

"Give Me Jesus" Adapted from “Take the World, But Give Me Jesus” by Fanny Crosby (1879). Music and additional words by David LaChance, Jr. © 2017 David Thomas LaChance (BMI)/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI) Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Churches. All rights reserved. Administrated worldwide at www.CapitolCMGPublishing.com, excluding the UK which is adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family. www.SovereignGraceMusic.org

Singing: O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer

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Get the song: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/o-l...

Free sheet music: http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

••• Prayers of the Saints Live •••

15 new congregational worship songs of adoration, confession, intercession, and anticipation. http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

"O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer" Music and Words by Nathan Stiff © 2017 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP) Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Churches. All rights reserved. Administrated worldwide at www.CapitolCMGPublishing.com, excluding the UK which is adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family. www.SovereignGraceMusic.org

Lyrics

VERSE 1
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Greatest treasure of my longing soul
My God, like You there is no other
True delight is found in You alone
Your grace, a well too deep to fathom
Your love exceeds the heavens’ reach
Your truth, a fount of perfect wisdom
My highest good and my unending need

VERSE 2
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Strong defender of my weary heart
My sword to fight the cruel deceiver
And my shield against his hateful darts
My song when enemies surround me
My hope when tides of sorrow rise
My joy when trials are abounding
Your faithfulness, my refuge in the night

VERSE 3
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Gracious Savior of my ruined life
My guilt and cross laid on Your shoulders
In my place You suffered bled and died
You rose, the grave and death are conquered
You broke my bonds of sin and shame
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
May all my days bring glory to Your Name

Singing: We Look to You

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Get the song: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/we-...

Song information and resources: http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

••• Prayers of the Saints Live •••

15 new congregational worship songs of adoration, confession, intercession, and anticipation. http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

"We Look to You" Music and Words by Joel Sczebel and Matt Searles © 2017 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP) Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Churches. From Prayers of the Saints Live. All rights reserved. Administrated worldwide at www.CapitolCMGPublishing.com, excluding the UK which is adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family. www.SovereignGraceMusic.org

Lyrics

VERSE 1
Deliver us from evil, Lord;
We sojourn in a broken world
Though evil hands give rise to war,
Remind us this is not our home
We look to You, we look to You,
Sovereign King of all the earth
We look to You, we look to You;
In Your strength we will endure
In Your strength we will endure

VERSE 2
Deliver us from evil, Lord;
Our hearts so quickly run astray
Temptation crouching at the door
To turn us from the narrow way
We look to You, we look to You,
Christ the conquering Son of God
We look to You, we look to You;
Lord, complete what You’ve begun
Lord, complete what You’ve begun

VERSE 3
Deliver us from evil, Lord;
The devil’s seeking to devour
With trembling hearts we hear his roar,
But Your strong arm will crush his pow’r
We look to You, we look to You,
Come and end his earthly reign
We look to You, we look to You;
Lord, deliver us, we pray

TAG
We look to You, we look to You
You will come again to reign
We look to You, we look to You
All the earth will bow in praise

Singing: I Lay It All

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Free sheet music: http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

••• Prayers of the Saints Live •••

15 new congregational worship songs of adoration, confession, intercession, and anticipation. http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

Lyrics

VERSE 1
When troubles come, when darkness crowds
When fortunes fail and loss surrounds
My soul is weak, but Christ is strong
And so to Him I leave it all
For He Who holds all things
Can bear each care I bring

CHORUS
So, I lay it all on Jesus
Steadfast is the love of Jesus
He hears my cry, He’s faithful
I lay it all on Jesus

VERSE 2
When questions rise, when faith wears thin
When fears come fast, and truth grows dim
The One Who saved will not forsake
I’ll trust His word and trust His way
For He Who bore my blame
Can bear each care I name

BRIDGE
I am weak; You are strong
Jesus, come and take it all
All my cares I cast on You

TAG
I lay it all, I lay it all on Jesus


Singing: All Creatures of Our God and King

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Free sheet music: http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

••• Prayers of the Saints Live ••• 15 new congregational worship songs of adoration, confession, intercession, and anticipation. http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

Lyrics

VERSE 1
All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou, burning sun with golden beam
Thou, silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

VERSE 2
Let all things their Creator bless
And worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
And praise the Spirit, Three-in-One
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

VERSE 3
All the redeemed washed by His blood
Come and rejoice in His great love
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Christ has defeated every sin
Cast all your burdens now on Him
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

VERSE 4
He shall return in pow’r to reign
Heaven and earth will join to say
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Then who shall fall on bended knee?
All creatures of our God and King
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Singing: He is Our God

About

Get the song: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/he-...

Free sheet music: http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

••• Prayers of the Saints Live •••

15 new congregational worship songs of adoration, confession, intercession, and anticipation. http://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/...

"He Is Our God" Music and Words by Jon Althoff and Bob Kauflin © 2017 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP) Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Churches. All rights reserved. Administrated worldwide at www.CapitolCMGPublishing.com, excluding the UK which is adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family. www.SovereignGraceMusic.org

Lyrics

VERSE 1
Who can light the fires
Of a thousand burning suns
Blazing in the heavens?
There is only One
He is our God

VERSE 2
Who commands the nations
Building up and tearing down
Silencing His rivals?
There is only One
He is our God, He is our God

CHORUS 1
Holy, You alone are holy
Matchless in Your glory, holy God

VERSE 3
Who would come to save us
When we turned away His love
Conquer us with kindness?
There is only One
He is our God, He is our God

CHORUS 2
Holy, You alone are holy
Matchless in Your glory, no one is like You
Worthy, You alone are worthy
We adore You only, holy God

BRIDGE
Now to the King on the throne
Who was and is to come
And to the Lamb Who was slain be glory

Listening: Background Song

Listening: Background Song

I could play the background
I could play the background
'Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead

It's evident you run the show, so let me back down
You take the leading role, and I'll play the background
I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines
I'm sticking to your script, and I'm reading all your signs (Aye)
I don't need my name in lights, (Aye) I don't need a starring role
Why gain the whole wide world, If I'm just going lose my soul?
And my ways ain't purified, don't live according to Your Word
I can't endure this life without Your wisdom being heard
So word to every dancer for a pop star
'Cause we all play the background, but mine's a rockstar
Yeah, so if you need me I'll be stage right
Praying the whole world would start embracing stage fright
So let me fall back, stop giving my suggestions
'Cause when I follow my obsessions, I end up confessin'
That I'm not that impressive, matter of fact
I'm who I are, a trail of stardust leading to the superstar

Listening: Don't Waste Your Life Song

Listening: Don't Waste Your Life Song

We're created for Him
Outta the dust he made us for Him
Elects us and he saves us for Him
Jesus comes and he raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
He made us so we could bless Him
To the world we confess Him, resurrects Him
So I know I got life
Matter fact better man I know I got Christ
If you don't see His ways in my days and nights
You can hit my brakes you can stop my life
Then I lost my rights
I lost my life
Forget the money cars and toss that ice
The cost is Christ
And they could never offer me anything on the planet that would cost that price.

Listening: Made Alive Song

Listening: Made Alive Song

I once was dead in sin, alone, and hopeless
A child of wrath I walked, condemned in darkness
But your mercy brought new life, and in your love and kindness
Raised me up with Christ, and made me righteous

You have bought me back with the riches of
Your amazing grace and relentless love
I'm made alive forever with you, life forever
By your grace I'm saved

Listening: New Every Morning Song

Listening: New Every Morning Song

In the beginning, you hovered over the water
You broke an unbroken silence
You spoke light into darkness
And there was light

In the beginning, we were made in your image
And we were naked without shame
Till we fell for the darkness
And there was night

Your mercies are new
Your mercies are new
New every morning
Your mercies are new
Your mercies are new
New every morning

In the beginning, there was the Word and he was God
And the Word was with God
And he dwelt among us
And there was life

Listening: Wood and Nails Song

Listening: Wood and Nails Song

O humble carpenter, down on your hands and knees, 
look on your handiwork and build a house
so you may dwell in Me, 
so you may dwell in Me. 

REFRAIN 1: 
The work was done with nothing but
wood and nails in Your scar-borne hands
O show me how to work and praise
trusting that I am Your instrument. 

VERSE 2: 
O loving laborer with the sweat upon your face, 
oh, build a table that I may too may join you
in the Father’s place
oh, in the Father’s place! 

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