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ACTS continues to amaze and reach out

August 2016

When an experienced prosecuting barrister passionately shares common ground with ‘Chris’, a convicted prisoner, we need to see why. When the son of an Imam unconditionally endorses their agreement, there is something special.

That ‘special’ thing is, of course, the wonderful good news about what Jesus Christ has done and continues to do for those who follow him. Is this not the emphasis of the amazing message of the 28 action-packed chapters of the Acts of the Apostles?

Commendations

Lawyer Stephen Wright, serving prisoner ‘Chris’, and well known author and speaker E. M. Hicham heartily recommend the way that the book of Acts is presented, in the new Evangelical Press (EP Books) trilogy, under the title Amazing Acts. Wright says it is a ‘must read’.

From custody, ‘Chris’, who has ‘never written a reference before’, describes how he came to Christ through a similar approach to Mark’s Gospel and prays ‘God will use [the trilogy] to bless many, just as Mark time [also EP Books] has’.

E. M. Hicham, who pioneered the Word of Hope ministry to help Muslim friends consider the gospel, says, ‘I look forward to the time when these three volumes will be available both in French and Arabic’. Any offers to help that happen?

David Ide of Pastor Training International is ‘thrilled that the Amazing Acts trilogy is even now being translated into Ukrainian, and possibly Russian’. When God blesses a work, it seems to develop a God-given life of its own.

The experience of enjoying the real-life drama of Acts extends beyond the books. It includes a free audio download from http://amazingacts.net/downloads (or a CD version from the same site). Others can listen to and read the books, one chapter at a time at no charge, on the amazing acts.net website.

That website’s architect and much respected pastor and Bible teacher, David Harding, expects ‘people to read and listen online from anywhere in the world. Amazing Acts is a wonderful, Christ-centred devotional and discipleship commentary, like its sister book Mark time. It can help kick-start a flagging “quiet time”, or breathe new life into family devotions’.

Global ministry

Gerard and Phillippa Chrispin recorded the books at the studio of Grace Baptist Mission (GBM). This led to GBM beaming Amazing Acts radio programmes into all English-speaking Africa in their Serving today radio ministry. GBM also offers Amazing Acts books and CDs to listeners from Africa and other countries.

GBM’s Derek French, supervised the audio production. He shares: ‘The Amazing Acts trilogy is an excellent set of books to help anyone who wants to understand how the Lord worked through his servants in the days of the early church.

The books are more than a survey, as they give a clear, non-technical exposition of each passage, plus helpful questions to consider at the end of each chapter. They could be used personally in daily Bible reading, and also be an excellent tool for discussional Bible studies in small groups.

‘Gerard Chrispin has the ability to open up passages in a way that is not complicated, and so the books are suitable to pass on to anyone who wants to study Acts. They could also be used as a basic framework for anyone who wanted to preach through this part of the Word of God’.

Prison ministry

But Christians and churches are not the only ones in the UK to benefit from Amazing Acts. Christian Prison Resourcing (CPR) runs prisoners’ evangelistic, discussional Bible studies, based on the trilogy. CPR also promotes the optional and user-friendly Amazing Acts correspondence courses in prisons. This forms an important part of CPR’s burden to help UK prisoners turn ‘dead’ cell time into a profitable search for God, during the prolonged periods when they are ‘banged up’.

CPR director of ministry David Fortune says, ‘CPR has open doors to send Amazing Acts free of charge to all prisons. Given bigger financial resources, we could greatly expand our sending Amazing Acts to UK prisons, receive the prisoners’ completed correspondence courses, mark them carefully and return them.

‘The potential to help many prisoners turn to Christ and learn about discipleship by studying God’s Word is great through Amazing Acts. We pray for God’s provision to capitalise on this amazing opportunity’.

With 10ofThose distributing Amazing Acts, EP has offered an attractive ‘buy two books in the trilogy, and get the third one free’ to encourage Christians and non-Christians alike to enter into ‘enjoying the real-life drama of Acts’.

Helpful websites: (i) amazingacts.net (ii) amazingacts.net/downloads (iii) word-of-hope.net (iv) pastor-training.org (v) gbm.org.uk (vi) christianprisonresourcing.org.uk (vii) epbooks.org (viii) 10ofthose.com