Foreword – Act two by Stephen Wright, Barrister at Law
If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?’
Acts is an Amazing book because literally the early Christians were on trial for their faith and they were literally tried and convicted for their faith!f you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?’
Gerard Chrispin is no stranger to trials. As a Lawyer he has borne witness to the criminal justice system both inside the court room and in his Christian work in prisons. With great lucidity he masterfully clarifies the teaching of the Acts of the Apostles. He traces the trials of Stephen; the conversion of one the greatest opponents of Christianity, Saul of Tarsus, and his subsequent trials. This book makes these amazing stories of suffering, inspiration and faith walk straight off the pages of the early church and he shows their applicability to the reader’s life today.
Next to the Gospel of Mark, I would recommend a young Christian to read the Acts of the Apostles. Never has a more gripping record been penned. If the amazing events in Acts fail to electrify the imagination and stir the emotions of any serious reader, nothing ever could. Acts is the sequel to the mighty events of the gospels and the gateway to the great teachings of the Epistles. It marks in fact, one of the greatest turning points in history.
Christianity today is under attack by secularism and in some cases suffers hostility just like the early church. How did Christianity thrive? This book will unlock some of the amazing secrets. My father, Professor Verna Wright (who was a spiritual mentor to the author) said ‘our greatest need as Christians in not opportunity but power. Power with God and power with men’. The book of Acts exemplifies this. As a teenager in Young Life and the United Beach Missions such relevant and practical teaching given by Gerard Chrispin, encouraged and enabled me to grow and stand for Christ when I was in a college of 1000 students with only a handful of Christians.
Time and again in the Acts of the Apostles, we read of someone being converted. The key word of Acts is ‘witness’ and it appears in various forms at least 20 times. The key verse in Acts 1:8 is ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.’
The growth in the Church was explosive, quite apart from the Day of Pentecost. Acts 6:7 ‘the Word of God increased and the number of disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly’.
Acts 9:3 ‘The Church … walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied.’
Acts 12:24 ‘word of God grew and multiplied.’
Acts 16:5 ‘churches established in the faith and increased in number daily.’
Acts 19:20 ‘so mighty grew the Word of God and prevailed.’
Acts 28:30, 31 Even when Paul was in prison he still preached on as visitors flocked to see this unusual prisoner. ‘He received all that came in … Preaching the Kingdom of God today, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence.’
Amazing Acts outlines how the Gospel, in adverse circumstances won acceptance throughout the world. The author explains how the Gospel triumphed and was accepted among the religious, the pagans and in communities that were commercially successful yet morally corrupt. As Christians living in the 21st century ad we need to rediscover some of the principles that the church in the 1st century ad operated on. Amazing Acts is a must read!