128 pages; £5.95
Peter Jeffery has produced a challenging book based on the first twelve chapters of the book of Acts. It is not a commentary in the technical sense, but rather a pithy exposition with serious application to the contemporary evangelical scene. The style throughout is engaging and eminently readable.
The author compares the pagan world in which the apostles declared the word of God with the secular and materialistic world of the 21st century. The emphasis in Acts is on a sovereign God who works by his Holy Spirit in the church, whatever the circumstances. The same great concepts must motivate us today.
Peter Jeffery does not play down the difficulties faced by the infant but growing church in Acts – which were surely greater than those we face today. The church is not presented in an idealised manner – its problems are rightly acknowledged.
But it is the way these problems were dealt with – and the momentum maintained – that is instructive. Equally instructive are the encouraging times of blessing and increase which followed the apostles’ preaching, as they declared the word with great power and ‘great grace was upon them’.
I found the book particularly helpful in its comments on prayer. The quote from Spurgeon that the prayer meeting is the ‘heating apparatus of the church’ was specially helpful and encouraging.
What occurred in Acts needs to be repeated in our own day if we are to know ‘times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord’. I recommend this book unreservedly.
John A. Crosby