2The Acts of The Apostles -The 1st church historyPresented by Mary Tinuke Jagun
3General Outline Background Content Lessons learned Personal application
4BackgroundAuthor: Generally accepted as Luke, a gentile physician and the writer of the third Gospel.Why? (review of the book report on the Gospel of Luke)Address of Book to the same man as in the third Gospel, TheophilusThe assumption that the reader is aware of the happenings in the third Gospel.The remarkable similarity in the author’s style E.g. tender regard for the gentiles and concept that the Gospel is for all men; special treatment of the role of women, etcDateThe abrupt ending allows for an early date for the writing suggesting that perhaps it was written during the 2 years Paul spent preaching in Rome which were from 62AD- 64 ADTitleIt’s not a book about the all the acts of all the apostles as the name might suggest, but just some of the acts of some of the apostlesPurposesA biblical history recordTo reassure next generation Christians of the truth of ChristianityInteresting suggestion was made by some theologians that it is a trial brief for the apostle Paul to be presented to Theophilus who might have some power to facilitate apostle Paul’s release from house arrest in RomeKey Verse:Acts 1:8“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
5Outline of the Content (ways of breaking the book into parts) Luke’s style Multiple-Concentric Modeli.e. the development of 3 distinct but overlapping motifs all at the same timeThis fact poses the challenge one faces when presenting this book
6Outline of Content Prologue Witnesses in Jerusalem The coming of the promised Holy Spirit: PentecostTrailblazing Effects of the Holy SpiritWitnesses in JerusalemIn Judea and SamariaTo the ends of the earth: journey to Rome
7PrologueJesus’ post-resurrection/pre-ascension instructions to the apostlesActs 1:4-5 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”Why wait? Rely on God’s Spirit not human effort. For this reason, some have suggested that this book be titled, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”Key verse 8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Why Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria, then the ends of the earth? Think globally, but act locally. When we are faithful in Jerusalem, then faithful in Judea and Samaria, we are trained by God to grow and bear the cross of the mission of carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth.Their response to Jesus’ instructionsActs 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”The appointing of Judas’ replacementMatthias is prayerfully chosen heavy dependence on ScripturePs. 69 and Ps. 109 do not directly refer to Judas but since David was regarded as a type of Messiah, his enemies were regarded as typical of the enemies of Jesus.
8The Pentecost (Acts 2) Pentecost (means fiftieth) = Feast of weeks Old Testament History (Lev. 23:15-23)What?Solemn Jewish festival (one of the seven main annual feasts including the Passover, Feast of Unleavened bread, the Feast of the Firstfruits, etc)When?observed on the seventh Sabbath (50 days) after the harvest of the firstfruitsWhy?Purpose is to remember the giving of the law at M. Sinai which meant that God had entered into covenant with the Jewish nation.Note that the expression “the poor and alien” in Lev. 23:22 refers to Gentiles, so the coming of the Holy Spirit would not be exclusively for the Jews but for Gentiles as wellNew Testament Fulfillment of prophecyViolent wind, tongues of fire settling on each, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in other tongues understood by residents (Jews and Gentile converts) of Asia, Arabia, Northern Africa and even Rome who were in town for the festivalIt happened 50 days after the resurrection of JesusTongues were of temporary purposes, especially for unbelieving Jews see 1Cor. 14:21, 22 “Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers”God was entering into a covenant with all those who believed in Jesus, His Son; the speech in other tongues symbolizes that language was to be no barrier in the spread of the gospel.Only 3 times are tongues spoken in Acts (2:1-4; 11:15; 19:6,7) each time, it was a sign that God had brought the Gentiles into the family of believers on the same basis as the Jews.Clearly, the feast was a foreshadow of the coming of the Holy Spirit
9Trailblazing Effects of the Holy Spirit 1. The First Christian Sermon (14-41) “a masterpiece”Appeal to the works of JesusThe crowd’s guilt in nailing Jesus to the crossThe resurrection of Jesus and promise of the forgiveness and the Spirit to those who repent and believeThree thousand people were “cut to the heart”, believed his message and were baptized.When the Holy Spirit moves, Bible students are cut to the heart and there’s no limit to what God can do. Even America can be a “Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation”2. The Attitude of the Fellowship of the BelieversVerse 42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” 4 extremely important aspects of one’s New Life in Christ.Verse 46 “Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” I thought we had too many meetings in UBF, but I see that there is no such thing as too many meetings, but perhaps meetings can become cumbersome because of a lack of the Holy Spirit.
10Witnesses in Jerusalem Healing of the crippled beggar + sermonArrest and witness before the SanhedrinChurch life, Ananias and SapphiraHarmony among believers, “all the believers were one in heart and mind.” (4:32)Strict dealings with dishonest members.Miraculous escape and witness before the SanhedrinAppointment of Greeks as leadersAn example of how sometimes, co-working problems can arise where there is close fellowship among believers and the way to solve it is through prayer and delegation.Martyrdom of StephenPaints a picture of Christ in his…Full-proof, Spirit-filled and unarguable knowledge about the Scripture and the fulfillment of it through ChristHis dying words as he was being stoned, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit…Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”Summary statementThe church in Jerusalem was a happening place, they enjoyed each other’s favor, they were highly regarded among the people and they were fruitful. When you have beautiful fellowship, no one wants to go out, but…The propagation of the ministry was as a result of persecution Acts 8:1“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.”
11Ongoing propagation of the ministry In Judea and SamariaPhilip and the Ethiopian Eunucha positive response to the gospel in SamariaPaul’s conversion (Acts 9)In revelation to the disciple Ananias, God says in verse 15, “This is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles…”Healings by PeterRaising of Tabitha “Dorcas”, a disciple back to lifeConversion of Cornelius, a centurion: Holy Spirit to the Gentiles (they heard them speaking in other tongues)Peter Defends the conversion of Gentiles in JerusalemChurch (Greek, ecclesia means assembly) at Antioch in SyriaThe ministry was moving out from Judea and Samaria to the neighboring vicinity of Antioch but at first, most preached to other Jews. It was something like a Korean missionary to America only fishing Korean students in America, but soon after, some preached to non-Jews and they had a successful ministry.They no longer saw themselves in light of their nationalities but an assembly of people from all nations who have come together in the name and mission of ChristFirst reference to the believer’s as Christians (Christ’s men/followers) because they had Jesus’ name on their lips so much.Ongoing propagation of the ministryActs 13:3“The Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”
12To the ends of the earth( “The Birth of the Gentile Church”) Now, they began to have a broad vision/ World Mission VisionCyprus conversion of the Roman proconsul, even the highest ranks of society changed by the GospelPisidian Antioch (a Roman colony) John Mark left (modern day Jonah), but the Gospel was honored by the Gentiles hereIconium, Lystra and Derbe a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed here, but there was also persecutionPhilippi (leading city of Macedonia (14:11-40)) considered because of the vision of the man of MacedoniaLydia’s heart opened to the Gospel she and her household were baptized and whose house became the location of a small churchImprisonment and Miraculous prison “shake-up” leading to their release, an apology from authorities and proper escort out of prisonThessalonica and Berea some acceptance of the gospel in Thessalonica but less so than in Berea where there was an unequaled eagerness for the gospel.Athens (Acts 17:21)A University environment: “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas”The city was full of idols, but in the Areopagus, after hearing the Gospel of the “Unknown God”, few men became followersCorinth church established and nurtured by Paul himselfEphesus (18:18-28)Priscilla and Aquila First pioneering “House Church” mentioned.TroasIn Troas, a young man named “Eutychus” whose name means “one who had good fortune” is raised from the dead after he falls asleep and falls 3 stories down during Paul’s preaching.Return to Jerusalem why? he was compelled by the Spirit (20:22)Paul’s imprisonment and Life testimonyJourney to Rome exciting sea adventure all part of God’s plan to use it as an opportunity for Paul to gain the respect of the Romans through his shepherding. As a result, Paul had his own personal body guard and preached freely in Rome.Shipwreck and the island MaltaSummary statement There’s the misconception that Paul is just jumping from ministry to ministry but it is evident that he is not just randomly spreading the word as he desired, but being carefully led by the Holy Spirit and raising up leaders wherever he went. Similar to M. Paul Oh.Acts 28:31“Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.”kinda makes you wonder if it really might be a trial brief in defense of PaulFitting action packed ending to a book titled “Acts”
13Map Showing the spread of the gospel in the early days Map Showing Overview of Regions into which the Gospel spread in the Early Days
14Lessons Learned A fruitful Church that is pleasing to God Witnesses of Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea andSamaria and to the ends of the earth
15ApplicationA fruitful University Bible Fellowship ministry that is pleasing to GodWitnesses of Jesus to UMCP, 206 East Coast Campuses and 33 Latin American countries and to the ends of the earth (Moslem and Communist countries)
16Personal Application Fruitful shepherdess Witness of Jesus to UMCP, UMAB and to the ends of the earth as a Doctor Missionary, like the author, Luke!