The themes in the book of Acts
The overall theme of the book of Acts in the Bible is the growth of the early church. And the key verse is “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (1:8NIV). That’s the mission of the church. Believers are to be God’s witnesses.
The themes in Acts are shown in this schematic diagram. These were the components of God’s plan of salvation to spread Christianity across the Roman Empire. They are:
– God supplies a message and a messenger that leads to people repenting of their sin and trusting in Jesus Christ for their salvation.
– The message is the good news about Jesus.
– The main messengers were the apostles.
– the messenger and believers pray to God.
There is positive feedback in this diagram because once a person becomes a believer they also become a messenger. This pattern could lead to exponential growth in the number of believers (like compound interest, or pyramid schemes, or going viral on the web).
When there is a group of believers in one location, they become a church, where the foundation is the gospel that is offered to all nations. God the Holy Spirit empowers believers to declare the gospel among both Jews and Gentiles. In doing so they establish the church.
In molecular biology, messenger RNA copies the instructions in DNA and then transports this information outside the cell nucleus to build a protein molecule. To build a protein you need both a message (in the DNA) and a messenger (mDNA).
So the main themes in the book of Acts are God the Holy Spirit (the power), the apostles (the messengers), the gospel (the message), the church and prayer.
Written, March 2021
Also see: Building the church – Acts 1-12