Original Research

God’s acts in Lukan-Acts: God’s active involvement in the execution of the plan of salvation

Jan van 't Spijker
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 58, No 1 | a3068 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v58i1.3068 | © 2024 Jan van ‘t Spijker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 February 2024 | Published: 23 May 2024

About the author(s)

Jan van 't Spijker, Department of Missiology, Faculty of Missiology, Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn, Apeldoorn, the, Netherlands

Abstract

Faced with the difficulty today of executing the church’s responsibility to be a witness to Jesus Christ in the world, I researched the way in which the Scriptures speak about the direct involvement of God in the implementation of his plan of salvation. In this research, I particularly focused on what is brought forward by Luke in his gospel and in the Book of Acts. Lukan-Acts has been examined for indications that point to the direct involvement of the triune God in the execution of his plan of salvation. I proceeded in a biblical-theological-exegetical manner, looking specifically at those indications that speak of the fulfilment of the Scriptures by God; of the continuing work of Jesus; of what Luke brings forth about the involvement of the Holy Spirit; and of what Luke wrote about the activities of angels, about words that were heard from heaven, and about the miracles that took place. In addition, specific words for witnessing and sending used by Luke, as well as the summary remarks he noted, particularly in the Book of Acts, were looked at. The aim of the article was to show how the triune God himself is fully involved in the execution of his plan of salvation. From studying the Lukan-Acts, it became clear that God himself is indeed the Actor in the execution of his plan of salvation – theologically referred to as the missio Dei. It became clear that God is still the Actor when he uses the service and engagement of people. He encouraged them to it in what Luke in his double-work brought forward, using people, guided by the Spirit, as instruments in the hand of Christ. In this, the work of Luke gained extra significance in that it encouraged its first readers, as well as the church today. Being involved in mission makes sense, because God is and will be directly involved in the execution of it.

Contribution: This article was written to show the relevancy of the Book of Acts for the church in relation to its involvement in mission. This shows what is the foundation of all missionary efforts of the church, namely God’s own activity and direct involvement.


Keywords

Luke-Acts; Plan of salvation; Work of God; Jesus’ work; Holy Spirit; Angels; miracles; witnesses; testimony; summary remarks.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

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