We have observed a portrait of the church in its inception.  Without the benefit of media and technology, the gospel spread to the known world in the first century.  Seven imperatives, derived from Luke’s narrative in Acts, will show us how this was possible as well as become a template for the expansion of God’s kingdom in our present world.

  1. The disciples had a selfless devotion to Christ as a result of the sound teaching of the Word of God.  This is revelation.
  2. The disciples spent their lives assimilating and acclimating to the enormity and the energy of what the Spirit was doing in and through them in their communities of faith.  This is immersion.
  3. The disciples were in a constant process of being motivated and changed by the person, the teachings, and the commands of Jesus Christ.  This is transformation.
  4. The disciples realized the necessity of bonding their lives and resources together for encouragement and endurance.  This is communion.
  5. The disciples were constantly injecting the eternal into their everyday conversations with clarity and compassion.  This is proclamation.
  6. The disciples realized that declaring and living the truth would be provocative.  It was their destiny to participate in the sufferings of Christ.  This is persecution.
  7. The disciples realized that God’s reality was breaking into their midst, and they were radical participants in a high-commitment endeavor.  Initiated at the cross, God’s rescue operation had been put into effect once and for all.  This is restoration.

Acts begins with Jesus speaking about the kingdom of God for forty days after His resurrection and just before His ascension.  The narrative concludes with Paul boldly preaching about the kingdom of God and about the Lord Jesus Christ.  The baton in this relay has been handed to us.