"All that Jesus began to do and teach” He continues to do and teach today.
In Acts 1:1 the words “all that Jesus began to do and teach” are in the linear action. It is action still going on. The verb “began” is present infinitive, linear action. It is as if to say that Jesus is still carrying on from heaven the work and teachings which He started while on earth before His ascension.
Luke does not say “all that Jesus did and taught,” but “all that Jesus began to do and to teach.” The Gospel of Luke tells us what Jesus began to do and teach, while Acts of the Apostles tells what He continues to do and teach by His Spirit through His special Body.
In Volume 1 of the Life and Acts of Jesus Christ, Dr. Luke tells the story of the beginnings of what Jesus began to do and teach. In his Gospel, Luke gave “the first account I composed, Theophilis, about all that Jesus began to do and teach.” What was it Jesus began to do and teach?
In Luke 4:16-21 Jesus stood in the synagogue at Nazareth and read Himself into His divine office. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Then Jesus closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, sat down, and with the eyes of all the synagogue fixed upon Him said to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (vv. 20-21).
Those verses tell us what Jesus began to do leading up to His atoning death for our sins on the cross. What Jesus taught is summarized beautifully in Luke 24:25-27 as He reminded the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. “‘Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”
In the opening words of his second volume, Acts of the Apostles, Luke tell us what Jesus is still carrying on from heaven. He is still working and teaching, doing the same thing He started while on earth before His ascension. In volume two Luke tells us all that Jesus continues to do and teach after His ascension through His present spiritual Body here on the earth (2 Cor. 5:14-15, 18, 21).
What does Jesus continue both to do and teach through His present body on the earth?
Every born again believer is a member of the special Body with specific spiritual gifts that are needed by His Body. God places every member in a local church to accomplish His redemptive purposes through that church. He saved you by grace and put you in a local Bible believing church to accomplish His will on this earth (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:11-13; 1 Cor. 12:12ff, 27; Rom. 12:5, 6).
You were given at least one spiritual gift for a purpose when God saved you. If you are not exercising your gift not only do you fail to fulfill your mission, but also the Body of Christ does not function to its fullest potential.
The Body of Christ has authority to continue to do and see to completion all that Jesus began to do and teach (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). The risen Lord is the head of the church. He is continuing to do in and through you and me all that He began to do and teach. He has given us all the authority and power we need to accomplish His will. We are a specially equipped Body with power and authority to continue to do what Jesus began to do and teach. Will you say to Him, “Lord, whatever You direct me to do in relation to your Body, I will do. I am your servant for your purposes.”
When God gives you a divine assignment to accomplish His will, and purpose, you must depend upon Him alone to accomplish it. Why? Because it is His work, not yours. Since it is a God-sized task you must depend on God alone. Who is continuing to work? Christ does no ask you to do His work in your abilities, gifts, likes and dislikes. We must be totally available to Him and depend upon Him to do His work.
What chapter are you writing in Volume 2017 of the Life and Acts of Jesus Christ? Where is God at work in your life? What is He doing and teaching through you to accomplish His eternal purposes?
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (http://www.Lockman.org)
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Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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