To The Lover Of God
“The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.“ Acts 1:1-3 NKJV
This letter of Acts has been written to “Theophilus”. He was a real live person but it is interesting to learn what his name actually means. Theophilus means “lover of God”, so even though it was addressed to an individual it is also addressed to all of us read it and love God.
He begins his comments to Theophilus (and to you and me personally) by saying the former book he wrote (referring to his Gospel of Luke) was about all the things that Jesus did and taught, right up to the day that He ascended into heaven. Jesus taught these things as a man, and as a man, He needed the Holy Spirit to see beyond the flesh and the carnal. The things of the Spirit are unable to be seen or understood by the flesh outside of the Holy Spirit. This principle was also true for Jesus when He was in his body of flesh on this earth, so it is just as true for us.
Verse three indicates that after His suffering and sacrifice Jesus appeared to the disciples. For 40 days Jesus presented Himself to them but now He taught them something different. Before His suffering, He taught them how to live in this life. After His resurrection and before His ascension He taught them the things of the kingdom. Now they are getting to see and understand the things of the spiritual realm, of the kingdom of God, of the greater realities, of the power of the kingdom that will shortly be at their disposal with the coming of the Holy Spirit within them.
As you read these three verses they are written to you as the “lover of God”. He has already taught you the things of this life and we can learn them as read the gospels. We can learn how to serve Him and how to follow His example in this life, within this flesh. He is now teaching you, as the “lover of God”, how to see the kingdom power released through you to bring kingdom results to your life and the life of others.
J Todd Hostetler