The Book of Acts, John Stott believes, is important not only for its vivid historical record. It is also vital for the inspiration which it brings to us now. Today’s church can seek to recapture something of the early confidence, enthusiasm, vision and power of the church of the first century. Despite all its imperfections and troubles, the young church clearly had been overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit, who thrust it out to witness.
The experiences of the early church therefore have much to say about issues that concern Christians today. What can Acts tell us about extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit? How should churches structure themselves – with elders, deacons, pastors or all three? And, of course, how should the church reach out into a lost world, with the glorious message of salvation?
As John Stott concludes: ‘The Acts of the Apostles have long ago finished: the acts of the followers of Jesus will continue until the end of the world.’