Acts & the Kingdom: An Overview

Acts 1:8 is the thematic verse, or thesis, of the book of Acts.  The worldwide witness of the Apostles in the power of the Holy Spirit is exactly what is evidenced throughout the narrative.  Their witness is of the gospel of the kingdom.  In essence, the book of Acts is about the preaching and expansion of the kingdom of God.  The kingdom is central throughout:

1:3b “…being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

1:6 “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’

8:12 “But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.” [note relation to 1:3]

14:22 “strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

19:8 “And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.”

20:25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.”

28:23 “So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.”

28:30-31 “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”

So, the kingdom of God, which is centered on the Person, redeeming work, and Lordship of Jesus Christ, was central in the preaching and teaching of the Apostles’ ministry.  In the above passages we see the “already/not yet” aspect of the kingdom – the kingdom has come with Christ and expands through the gospel witness of the Church in the testifying power of the Holy Spirit, but we await its final culmination.

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