For hundreds of years Christendom has been blessed with Bible commentaries written by great men of God who were highly respected for their godly walk and their insight into spiritual truth. The Crossway Classic Commentary Series, carefully adapted for maximum understanding and usefulness, presents the very best work on individual Bible books for today's believers. The book of Acts provides an invaluable transition in the Bible from the life of Christ to the formation and expansion of the New Testament church, early struggles in the Body of Christ, and the conversion and later missionary journeys of Paul, making for enlightening and nurturing reading for all followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. John Calvin's insightful examination of this action-packed, fast-paced section of Scripture will give serious Bible students a solid grip on the key passages and themes of Acts. And that in turn will give believers renewed enthusiasm and boldness in taking the good news of Christ to their own time and setting.
“Here Luke shows that they were looking eagerly for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Their prayer was that Christ would send his Spirit as he had promised. From this we learn that true faith is faith that stirs us up to pray to God. The assurance that faith gives is quite different from laziness. God does not assure us that we have his grace so that we may at once become careless, but so that he may give us a keener desire to pray. Prayer is not a sign of doubting but is a witness to our certain hope and confidence, since we ask the Lord for things that we know he has promised.” (Acts 1:12–14)
“Luke sums up the purpose of the Gospel teaching: it is that God may reign in us. Rebirth marks the beginning of the kingdom, and its end is the blessing of immortality. In the middle we are moving forward and growing in spiritual life. Remember that from our birth on we are estranged from the kingdom of God, until God reshapes us for a new life. The world, our human bodies, and all that is in human nature are at odds with God’s kingdom. We are preoccupied with worldly things and look for our happiness here. But through the preaching of the Gospel Christ lifts us up to think about the life to come. To help bring this about, he reforms all our natural desires. Stripping away our sinful natures, he separates us from the world.” (Acts 1:3)
“Now Luke shows that Satan entered this holy group under the guise of commendable behavior. Satan attacks the church in this way when he cannot win by open warfare. We must pay special attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in this incident. Through this event the Holy Spirit shows, first, how singleness of heart is acceptable to God and hypocrisy is loathsome in his sight, and, second, how he greatly approves of holy and pure government in his church. This is the principal point about God’s punishment of Ananias and his wife. Great fear seized the whole church (verse 11) as a result. This shows us that God cannot stand unfaithfulness, and pretending to be holy is contemptible mockery.” (Acts 5:1)
John Calvin (1509–1564), one of the most important thinkers in church history, was a prominent French theologian during the Protestant Reformation and the father of Calvinism. His theological works, biblical commentaries, tracts, treatises, sermons, and letters helped establish the Reformation throughout Europe.
Calvinism has spawned movements and sparked controversy throughout the centuries. Calvin began his work in the church at the age of 12, intending to train for the priesthood. Calvin attended the Collège de la Marche in Paris at 14, before studying law at the University of Orléans and continuing his studies at the University of Bourges.
In 1532, Calvin’s first published work appeared: a commentary on Seneca’s De Clementia. The controversy of calling for reform in the Catholic Church disciplined Calvin in his writing project, and he began working on the first edition of The Institutes of the Christian Religion, which appeared in 1536. Calvin’s Commentaries and The Letters of John Calvin are also influential; both appear in the Calvin 500 Collection.