A Journey through the Book of Acts
Our next series will be on the book of Acts. It will not be an exhaustive study. By that I mean we will not go verse by verse through all twenty-eight chapters. But we will be looking at many things within the book of Acts.
Acts should be the beginning of what publishers identify as the “New Testament.” The Gospels rightfully belong as the final books of the “Old Testament” since they are the conclusion of following the Mosaic Law.
The book of Acts covers approximately 35 years, from ten days before the feast day of Pentecost in 27 A.D. until Paul is released from his first imprisonment in Rome around 62 A.D. Acts covers the Ascension of Jesus Christ, appointing an apostle to replace Judas, the opening of the Revealing Administration, Israel being held in abeyance, God pronouncing judgment, the transition into the Grace Administration, miracles and wonderous acts, and details for many other events recorded in its pages.
The word “began,” in Acts 1:1, implies the work of Jesus Christ did not end with his earthly ministry but continued even after his Ascension. Acts is about Jesus Christ working through God’s gift of holy spirit to build his church, the Bride, and to edify his Body, in the Administration of Grace, as his continuing work.
The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
Theophilus is the name of a believer to whom Luke addressed this book. Theophilus is a compound Greek name consisting of Theos, meaning God, and philos, meaning friend, literally, a friend of God. Some translate the meaning of Theophilus as, “one who loves God.” From this it is said Acts is addressed to someone who loves God or is a friend of God.
We also have two letters addressed to Timothy, one to Titus, and one to Philemon. Timothy comes from the Greek word Timotheos and means “honoring God” or “honored by God.” Titus means “pleasing.” Philemon comes from the Greek word philema which means “kiss.” So, what is my point? I do not think we gather “to whom” these letters are addressed by the meaning of the person’s name.
Acts is addressed to Theophilus and for us, has “instruction in righteousness.”
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
“…is given by inspiration of God…” is one Greek word theopneustos. We have looked at this word before but in review. It is a compound Greek word consisting of theos which means God and a form of the word pneo which means to breath. Together they would translate into God breathed. When we speak, we breath. God is saying He has spoken the words we call scriptures.
Further, God says these words are profitable, ophelimos in the Greek. Ophelimos means to be beneficial, serviceable, advantageous or, as translated, profitable. The words of God are profitable in one, or more, of four ways, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
All four areas of profitability are preceded by the preposition for, pros in Greek. When used in the accusative case pros means “with a view to.” Therefore, God’s words are profitable “with a view to” these four areas mentioned.
Doctrine, didaskalia, meaning instruction or teaching.
Reproof, elegchos, meaning to refute, to present evidence of wrong action.
Correction, epanorthosis, meaning restoration to right state or right way; a setting straight again.
Instruction, paideia, meaning to mold a child in education, morality, overall life.
Righteousness, dikaiosyne, meaning approved actions, approved or right way of living.
Acts is to direct us in right living before God. First, Israel under their covenant relationship with God and the mediator of that New Covenant, Jesus Christ. Second, those who believe in the Administration of Grace in our family relationship with God and His son Jesus Christ.
Paideia comes from the Greek word pais which means child. Spiritually we are all children. By that I am not referring to our spiritual relationship with God as His sons and daughters through our identification in Christ. But rather I am speaking of our understanding of spiritual matters, we are little children in understanding spiritual matters.
Consider that regarding a newborn, or toddler, even a teen. They have life, but how much do they know, how much do they understand?
How much do they need to learn?
1 Corinthians 12:1-2
Now concerning spiritual gifts [pneumatikos = spiritual matters], brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
The word “gifts” is not in the text. The Greek word used here is pneumatikos which means spiritual matters or spiritual things. God does not want us to be ignorant of spiritual matters or things. At the time we believe Romans 10:9-10 we are very ignorant of spiritual matters because we were Gentiles following the system and logic of the world, we were led around. Therefore, we required a tutor, an instructor to help mold us and direct us into righteous living, righteous attitudes, and righteous actions. That tutor is the Word of God overall and specifically the Pauline Epistles.
The Pauline Epistles provide for us the doctrine, the reproof, and the correction for our administration and all of that is instruction in righteousness. Knowing all the Pauline Epistles is to be tutored, to be molded spiritually, both in education and morality, as to what it means to be a child of God in the Administration of Grace. These epistles, in combination with God’s gift of holy spirit created within, is HOW God edifies those who believe in our administration.
All other books and epistles must be understood with regard to application and interpretation considering to whom it is addressed. In other words, we can see and learn principles from every other book in the Bible, but we need to leave their doctrine in their administration.
We leave the doctrine of not eating fruit from a particular tree in the Garden, but we can learn about obeying God. We leave the doctrine about the seed of the woman in the Patriarchal Administration, but we can learn from Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and others. We leave the doctrine of the Law in the Law Administration; it has been fulfilled by Jesus. But many principles come to life from the many believers who lived during the Law Administration.
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do and the God of peace shall be with you.
This is a great section on having a peaceful mind as opposed to a mind in turmoil or distress.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
This verse from the Law Administration provides more instruction in having a peaceful mind without adhering to the doctrine of the Law. This is instruction in righteousness. There is nothing in this verse from Isaiah that conflicts with the doctrine of the Administration of Grace.
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
We can receive instruction in right living from this verse about a peaceful mind without adding the doctrine of the Revealing Administration.
And he shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
On the other hand, this verse does not apply since it speaks of the transition into the Millennial Kingdom Administration and has no application in our administration.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
The same is true with this verse from Matthew. We are sons and daughters of God through our identification in Christ not by making peace.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Our sonship came when God created His gift of holy spirit within us, with our identification in Christ. Therefore, we need to be sharp in the doctrine, and the reproof, and the correction, and the instruction in righteousness that is addressed to us in our administration.
The doctrine in the Pauline Epistles has, for the most part, been lost or watered down in mixing it with doctrine from other administrations. This has happened because we have not known or obeyed the doctrine addressed specifically to us.
We looked at 2 Timothy 3:16, now let’s consider the next verse.
2 Timothy 3:17
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
“That” is the conjunction hina and can be translated, in order that.
The word “perfect” is artios in Greek and the word “furnished” is exartizo, a form of artios. This is the only verse in which artios is used and exartizo is only used twice. A lexicon will give you the definition of “fit” or “complete” or “perfect.” However, we have variations to these words used in other verses. The variations are katartizo, katartisis, katartismos, and prokatarizo.
The Theological Lexicon of the New Testament has this to say about artios, “well equipped, in proportion, fitting together perfectly.” The root of artios is ar which means completely qualified, qualified to function.
What do all these Greek words add to our understanding?
They show us that beyond a definition of “perfect” or “complete” that a person is completed or made perfect by equipping and/or mending. The doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness equip us to walk forth in a world, filled with lies from the Adversary, to see clearly and spiritually.
Remember part of what Jesus told Paul about the his future ministry?
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God…
Then, when Paul preached the gospel of God's grace this is what occurred.
1 Thessalonians 1:9
For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.
So, back to Timothy.
2 Timothy 3:17
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
All scripture is God breathed in the areas of doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness so that we may be fully fit, fully complete, fully equipped unto “good” works.
"Good" is the Greek word agathos and it means good in, or by, nature. We are the only administration whereby believers in that administration have the nature of God created within us. With the nature of God created within us we have been created for agathos works.
For we are his workmanship [masterpiece], created in Christ Jesus unto good [agathos] works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
God was the only One who is agathos by nature, that is, until He created His spirit within us. When used of a man of body and soul only it should be translated “pleasing or honorable.”
And behold, one came and said unto him, Good [agathos] Master, what good [agathos] thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, why callest thou me good [agathos]? there is none good [agathos] but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
The book of Acts will show us Paul as he begins to hold forth the greatness of the doctrine for our administration. Acts will coordinate with the church epistles to give us a greater context and scope of our administration as it develops during the transition and demonstrate the great depth of God’s statements in 2 Timothy 3.
All of Genesis through Revelation will provide insight and wisdom for righteous living but we want to be sharp on the doctrine specifically given to and for our administration.
It is my prayer and believing that as we study the book of Acts, we will be prepared to study and understand the Pauline Epistles and see who God has enabled us to become in the Administration of Grace.
We will begin in Acts chapter 1 and consider the integrity of God’s Word.
© Auxano Ministry 2021
All verses quoted in this teaching are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.