The supreme importance of a knowledge of the Acts need hardly be insisted on. Even a slight acquaintance with the nature and contents of the book is quite enough to place beyond dispute its entire usefulness, and even necessity, for the Church historian, the theologian, the Christian apologist, and the preacher. This a few points will easily illustrate. St. Luke in his Gospel tells us of the fulfillment of the promise of redemption in the Incarnation, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord; and in this book he records the beginnings of the Christian Church and of the final dispensation of the Holy Ghost in the regeneration and salvation of men's souls. The Acts are therefore a record of the continuation of Christ's work on earth and of the fulfillment of His last solemn promise to His disciples. Shortly before His Ascension the Saviour told His Apostles that, beginning at Jerusalem, they should soon go forth into the whole world" preaching the Gospel to every creature and to all nations," and that, fortified by the Holy Ghost whom He would first send upon them, they should "be witnesses unto him in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the uttermost parts of the earth." St. Luke in this his second book has shown us how all these predictions were verified. In the first seven chapters of his work he describes the establishment of the Church and the preaching of the Gospel in Jerusalem. In chapters eight and nine the spread of the Gospel to the other parts of Judea and to Samaria is recounted. And in the remaining chapters we are told how the Church was extended and the glad tidings carried to all nations, even to the heart of Imperial Rome. In the book of Acts, then, we have an authentic and reliable account of the beginnings of Christianity and of Church organization.
Rev Charles J Callan OP, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 150884920X, ISBN 13: 9781508849209