Entries by David Cook

Jesus Works Through His Servants

The book of Acts has had many names throughout its life—for example, “The Deeds of the Apostles”, “The Acts of All the Apostles”, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”, and “What Jesus Continued to Do”. Some of these titles seek to express the truth that in the Gospels are the records of what Jesus did in His life on earth, while in Acts we have the record of what Jesus continues to do through His Spirit, as He sits at God’s right hand.

The Gospel Transforms

Saul baffles the Jews in Damascus. They expect him to defend Judaism against the new movement, but now he is preaching that Jesus is the Son of God (v. 20) and proving that Jesus is the Christ (v. 22). Luke tells of their reaction, they are astonished (v. 21) and baffled (v. 22). Meanwhile, Saul grows more and more powerful. He cannot be beaten in argument and so the Jews plan to kill him instead (v. 23). Here is another example of unreasonable and unreasoning blind belligerence.

A Spiritual Experience

Today’s passage has been the source of much controversy in the church. Peter and John are sent by the apostles to Samaria, they lay hands on the disciples who have previously been baptised in Jesus’ name (v. 16), and they receive the Holy Spirit (v. 17). Whose name should they have been baptised with in order to receive this Holy Spirit? It is clear they were true believers. So why had they not received the Holy Spirit at the time of their repentance, as did the 3,000 in Acts 2 and others elsewhere?.