After the gospels and 1 John, the most important book in the Bible is Acts. In this book, we see the best examples in Scripture of believers living mature lives that please the Lord. The book of Acts should be the book that provides us with the model of how to live as a mature Christian. Furthermore, the book of Acts should show us how churches are supposed to be in daily life.
Why read or study the book of Acts after reading the gospels and 1 John, but before delving into the other books of the Bible?
- The book of Acts is the sequel to the gospel of Luke, and thus, naturally is the most appropriate book to read after reading the gospels.
- The rest of the New Testament is set in the historical, cultural, redemptive, and theological context that the book of Acts introduces for us. Without understanding the book of Acts, it is impossible to properly understand the rest of the New Testament.
- It is impossible to understand the Old Testament apart from an understanding of the New Testament.
Rather than simply giving us propositions and commands, the book of Acts provides us with real-life examples of how to be a Christian that is becoming more like Christ, and is thus pleasing the Lord. One may think of it as an instructional and inspirational book of history that instructs us on how to live the Christian life, while at the same time inspiring us to live the Christian life in a way that pleases the Lord. Since it is the sequel to the gospel of Luke, it builds upon the gospels by telling us how the Lord began and established His church after ascending into heaven. In it, we see how believers lived in light of the facts that they believed that Jesus was the Christ, their Lord, their perfect example, the Son of God, their Savior, and the source of their eternal life.
If you’ve already read the gospels and 1 John, have you read Acts?