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THE JERUSALEM CHURCH: ITS BEGINNING (1:1—2:47)

"Let the church be the church!" This rallying cry from John MacKay, missionary statesman and ecumenical leader of an earlier generation, needs to be heard and heeded again in our day. Pressures from without (secularization or resurgent religious fundamentalism) and from within (marketing or accommodation to the spirit of the age) work to keep the church from being the church.

As Luke seeks to convince Theophilus and other interested Romans that the implementation aspect of the gospel message is true (Lk 1:4; 24:47), he places before us what the church is to be and do: its missions mandate. As Luke begins, he gives the mandate's source, emphasizes the divine power needed to implement it, and portrays its divinely worked results in individual lives and in the dynamic fellowship that is the church.

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