Laborers in God's Harvest: A Study of the Book of Acts Part I looks at what happened in the years following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Jesus had told his disciples, "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matthew 9:37 and 38). Acts is the record of the laborers going forth into God's harvest. This first volume covers the period of time from the days just before Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, until the end of the great persecution of the Church by Saul. It deals with the growth of the Word in the lives of the believers and the multiplication of their numbers in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. We see how the early believers walked with the power of God and boldly proclaimed the gospel of God concerning Jesus Christ.
    "While there are doctrinal truths contained in Acts, it is not intended to be doctrinal presentation of how the Church is to operate but instead a historical account of how it did operate. Today we can learn wonderful things from the believers' successes and be warned by their failures so that we can go further than they did."

From Chapter 1: "From the Resurrection to the Ascension"

The second volume begins with how God prepared Peter to take the gospel to the Gentiles.  It then covers the events that occurred at the household of Cornelius when Peter preached the Word to the Gentiles who had assembled there.  At Antioch in Syria, Barnabas and Paul established a church, which then became the center of outreach, as the gospel went forth to those in Galatia, Macedonia, Greece and then into the Roman province of Asia.  We see the mighty growth of the Church, which began in Jerusalem and then continued in Judea, Galilee and Samaria, spreading into Gentile lands.  This growth culminated in Acts 19:20, "So mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed."  This study also looks at the division that threatened the Church over the issue of whether or not Gentiles needed to be circumcised and keep the law to be saved.  Although that issue was resolved by the leadership that met in Jerusalem, another issue that remained unresolved was that of the Judean believers accepting the Gentiles in full equality.

    "The decision of the council at Jerusalem to acknowledge that God was saving Gentiles apart from the law was a monumental step forward for these Judean believers.  In truth, however, the issue of salvation for Gentiles without the law had been decided by God years before at the house of Cornelius.  God hadn't even checked in with the leadership back in Jerusalem for their approval.  Furthermore, He had established the truth of salvation apart from the law by saving Gentiles in an ever-expanding geographical area.
    Our preferred ways of doing things might be quite different from God's ways, but we would do well to get our thoughts and plans in alignment with God's purposes."

From Chapter Six: "The Gentiles and the Keeping of the Law"

Laborers in God's Harvest
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