Bible Time Period: The Church
The Church carries on your work in the world: Make me a faithful ambassador of your love.
In the period of Messianic Fulfillment, we reached the pinnacle of our journey, the climax toward which the entire story has pointed. Who would have guessed that God Himself would come to Earth as a man, or that he would suffer and die so that the demands of the covenant would be met and all his scattered children could be reunited in Him? Who would have guessed that Satan’s fiercest weapons—suffering and death—would be transformed into the very door to eternal life? It is hard to fathom the depths of God’s love for us.
It would seem that the story is over. The promises are fulfilled, the problems solved. And yet something very important remains. The disciples Jesus left on Earth, and all those who follow, are invited to become part of the story and enter into the new kingdom that Jesus founded here and which will reach its own perfect fulfillment in heaven at the end of time. “This is the new covenant in my blood,” he said at the Last Supper. God has been building his family through covenants since the start of the story. Now the whole world will be invited in.
The final stage of our Great Adventure is The Church, which is the earthly embodiment of the eternal Kingdom of God. Its birth and early years are described in the book of Acts.
Acts 1:8 provides us with a structure for our reading: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” This describes three “waves of witness” that begin in the city of Jerusalem and expand outward as the Apostles and other disciples proclaim the good news of the Gospel farther and farther afield.
Notice the word “bagan” in 1:1. Acts tells what Jesus continues to do, after his ascension to heaven, through His body, the Church. What does the early church community look like?
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