Strange. Let the Apostle John interpret the book of Acts? Acts was written by Luke. What does John have to do with it?
Many have said that Acts of the Apostles would be better-entitled Acts of the Spirit! God’s Spirit is promised in Acts 1 and then comes with fire and speaking-in-tongues power in Acts 2. The rest of Acts is a fasten-your-seatbelts acceleration as the gospel is taken to ends of the earth.
How was the gospel preached? By the power of God! In the book of Acts, the Spirit heals, thousands accept Jesus, men are miraculously delivered from prison, the lame walk, snake bites have no effect, and Eutychus is raised from the dead.
Acts of the Spirit!
Back to John. Acts is written A.D. 62 on April 10. (Oops, got that confused, as April 10th is my wife’s birthday and I did remember to get her a present!) Acts is written in A.D. 62 and the Gospel of John in A.D. 90. A key passage or teaching in the Gospel of John is about the Spirit.
But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. John 16:5-7 NASB95
The Spirit took charge of the church in the book of Acts.
Hopefully, the Spirit is directing and empowering the church today. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke give little instruction about the Spirit. The Gospel of John is a “look back” book in that John considers what was written in the other gospels and fills in from his own spirit-inspired memory what could or should be added… nothing better than some of the best teaching about the Spirit of God.
The Gospel of John says about being born again:
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6 NASB95
Also, about living in the Spirit:
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37-39 NASB95
HHHMMMHHH, “The Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” Then Jesus says in John 16, “It is better that I go, but if I go I will send Him to you.”
Most of John is one speech followed by a prayer in John 14 to 17. A dominant theme is the Holy Spirit and Jesus says the Spirit will do two things: 1. Teach and guide, even giving you words to speak in difficult situations, and 2. Convict concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (Read chapters 14 to 17).
John calls the Spirit or the “Paraclete” as “one called alongside to help and comfort” (John 15:26).
At the end of the Gospel of John, Jesus appears to the Apostles… and… and…
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21 NASB95
Jesus breathed the Spirit upon the apostles. The teaching in the Gospel of John about the Spirit finds focus in the Acts of the Apostles/Acts of the Spirit. Peter said in his first sermon:
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 NAB95
Personally, I was raised in a Christian background that taught little about the Spirit. I now enjoy reading the Gospel of John and letting this book interpret the Acts of the Spirit. I am filled with the Spirit of God.
Because the same Spirit that empowered the church in the first century dwells in the church today, we should pray for the same power to be released.
Acts of the Spirit should also be the title of the book written about us.