Luke, the author of Luke & Acts said in Luke 1:1-4 (also see Acts 1:1) that he wrote a full history of what happened with Jesus and the early Church. Taking his gospel with the book of Acts together, it seems that the gave us a full history of the events that took place. Full, not in the sense of everything that occured, but in the sense of why these events occured in the way they did. Lost? Hang on…
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, (named after a roman deity), and wrote twenty volumes on Roman history. He really wanted to write GOOD history! Good history does not just record things of the past, it records how the events were influenced, what directed them and what pushed them in the direction they went. He claimed that speeches changed the course of history. The word that Luke uses in chapter 1 verse 3 of Luke to say that he will write a “full” account is the same word that Dionysius used to describe his idea of “good” history. This means, that Luke is going to include the things that tell us how history took the course it did, he is not just going to tell us events. Luke is going to tell us what actually is driving these events! Luke wants to write this kind of gospel, a full gospel. This is also why Luke wrote Acts.
It is worth noting, that 30% of Acts is speeches. 60% of Acts 1-7 is speeches. (Luke’s gospel does this also) This means that Luke thinks these speeches have changed the course of history. Also, the role of the Holy Spirit is crucial in the speeches. The Spirit fell on the disciples so that they could give a speech (or preach the gospel). This means that Luke is telling us that it is the Holy Spirit who is directing history! The Holy Spirit is taking people places, and creating the scenes for these powerful speeches. What has affected history? People’s speeches that are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Therefore Acts is an account of God’s actions that direct history through people; empowered by the Spirit, who proclaim the Word of God, the gospel! This means that in Luke’s mind Christianity is the fulfillment of History. Knowing this, we could call the book of “Acts of Jesus, by His Spirit, through His Apostles” which fits Luke’s idea of the history he wants to write.
Who cares? I DO! Why?
a) We are saved by God (through His Son by the power of the Spirit) individually into a community to take a message to the nations!
b) We can now give people an understanding of Christianity as the fulfillment of history.
c) WOW and Amen!!