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Acts. The Orchestrated Power of the Progressive Witness of the Church. Rembrandt’s “Ascension”. Acts. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Acts 2:32. … proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ

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Acts

The Orchestrated Power

of the Progressive Witness of the Church



Acts

  • This Jesus God raised up,

  • and of that

  • we all are witnesses.

  • Acts 2:32

… proclaiming the kingdom of God

and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ

with all boldness and without hindrance.

Acts 28:31


What s the big idea of the book
What’s the big idea of the book?

  • the orchestrated power of the progressive witness of the church

Kingdom or church?


Acts importance
Acts: IMPORTANCE

  • • If Luke’s first work in the Gospel was to communicate the person and ministry of Jesus – that is, what Christ began,

  • • then Luke’s second work in the book of Acts was to communicate about the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives and activities of the apostles in the early church – what the Holy Spirit continued to do.


Acts overview
Acts: Overview

  • The book of Acts shows (in summary):

  • the descent of the Spirit,

  • the spread of the gospel,

  • the organization of the church,

  • the kind of preaching by which the church was to be collected and organized,

  • the facts that constitute a full proof of the truth of the Christian religion,

  • and the conduct of the apostles.

  • All of this to be a model for ministers and the church in all future times. The Book of Acts richly lives up to its name!


Acts overview1
Acts: Overview

  • After formally dedicating the work to Theophilus (Acts 1:1-5),

  • we are reminded of the purpose of Luke’s work, namely,

  • to give Theophilus

  • “certainty of the things you have been taught.”


Root problem
Root problem

  • Absence of Christ

  • Absence of a 12th apostle

  • The problem of carrying out the Great Commission

  • Administration

  • Methods

  • Establishment of first church groups

  • Opposition from without, and from within


Purpose of the book
Purpose of the book

  • the purpose is simply stated:

  • the gospel is for both Jew and Gentile.

  • Between the two great centers of the known world, Jerusalem and Rome, the gospel was spoken. However, just stating that the gospel is for both Jew and Gentile is only the introduction to the purpose. What were the broader implications of such a purpose?

To communicate

all that Jesus began to do and teach(Acts 1:1)


Author
Author

  • Luke

  • A Gentile

  • A physician and a teacher

  • Possibly from either Syrian Antioch or Macedonia

  • Someone who could write covering 30 years of history

  • Writes in Greek

  • A man resolute, receptive, thorough, orderly, astute.


Acts

  • THE WITNESS OF THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM (1:1 – 7:60)

  • THE WITNESS OF THE CHURCH IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA

  • (8:1 – 12:25)

  • THE WITNESS OF THE CHURCH TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

  • (13:1 – 28:31)


Date

  • Many feel that Luke wrote Acts sometime shortly after A.D. 62.


Life setting
Life setting

  • The life setting of the Book of Acts spans:

  • 4 Roman Emperors,

  • 15 Judean and Samaria rulers,

  • 4 rulers in the Galilean and Northern territories,

  • the loss of 4 disciples of Christ who were martyred,

  • and, at least, eleven written epistles from the New Testament!


Structure
Structure

  • The witness of the Church

  • to the ends of the earth.

  • 13:1 – 28:31

  • The witness of the Church

  • in Judea & Samaria.

  • 8:1 – 12:25

  • The witness of the Church in Jerusalem.

  • 1:1 – 7:60


Features
features

  • The work of the Spirit in the church

  • Christian life in community

  • The growth and health of the church (Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-35, 5:42, 6:7, 9:31, 12:24, 16:5, 19:20)

  • the progress reports (Acts 1:1-2:47; 3:1-6:7; 6:8–9:31; 9:32-12:24; 12:25-16:5; 16:6-19:20; and, 19:21-28:31)

  • Devotion to prayer and the Word

  • How God focuses the message on two men; Peter and Paul – their modeling of the Spirit-led, powerful outpouring of God’s love

  • The gospel reaching across cultural boundaries –“Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

  • Did you know…

there are 24 sermons or speeches in the Book!


Baptism
Baptism

  • There are 23 references to the term βαπτίζω (verb) and βάπτισμα (noun) and their different cognates

  • There are four (4) in Chapter 1 and 2; part of the ministry to Jerusalem

  • After a long gap there are ten (10)mentions in chapter 8, 9 and 10; part of the Judea and Samaria ministry

  • And finally, there are nine (9) mentions scattered in the remaining chapters; the ministry to the uttermost parts of the earth


What is known as the we sections
What is known as the “we” sections

  • Certain passages in the book make use of the pronoun "we." At these points the author, Luke, includes himself as a companion of Paul in his travels:

  • From Troas into Macedonia as part of the outward leg of the 2nd missionary journey (16:10-18);

  • The majority of the return leg of the third missionary journey and the time spent in Jerusalem (20:5 -- 21:31 (through Acts 22?);

  • Journey to Rome (27:1 -- 28:16).


Paul s journeys
Paul’s journeys

  • • First Journey (Acts 13-14)

  • – Home church – Antioch

  • – Gospel to surrounding regions – Cyprus, Galatia, etc.

  • – Return to Antioch

  • – Jerusalem Council about status of Gentiles (Acts 15)

  • • Second Journey (Acts 15:30-18:22)

  • – Strengthen the churches

  • – Main church: Corinth

  • – Gospel to surrounding regions: Greece (Macedonia and Achaia)

  • – Return to Antioch




Paul s journeys3
Paul’s journeys

  • • Third Journey (Acts 18:23-21:17)

  • – Strengthen the churches

  • – Main church: Ephesus

  • – Gospel to surrounding regions: Asia Minor

  • – Return to Antioch

  • • Imprisonment

  • – Spirit-guided pilgrimage to Jerusalem

  • – Paul is imprisoned by Sanhedrin, then Roman governors

  • – Paul appeals to Caesar; voyage to Rome



Pattern of paul s mission
Pattern of paul’s mission

  • Looking at Paul’s work is a fascinating study. It can be dissected in so many ways and viewed from many perspectives. Here are some of the threads of that pattern.

  • • Message focused on Christ and the gospel

  • • Ministry team

  • • Major urban centers without churches

  • • “Jew first, then Gentile”

  • – Mission order

  • – Ties to Jewish churches in Judea

  • • Strengthen churches

  • • Ministry methods flex to address different cultures

  • What else do you see?


The expanse of the gospel in acts
The expanse of the Gospel in Acts

  • • Gospel goes to Jerusalem – Acts 1-5

  • • Hellenistic Jews selected as leaders – Acts 6

  • • First martyr is a Hellenistic Jew – Acts 7

  • • Persecution drives the Gospel to Judea

  • • Phillip, a Hellenistic Jew, brings the gospel to outsiders – Acts 8

  • – Samaritans

  • – A Gentile (Ethiopian) converts to Judaism

  • • Saul / Paul, a Hellenistic Jew, receives the gospel and is appointed as apostle to the Gentiles – Acts 9

  • • Peter brings the gospel to Gentiles – Acts 10

  • • First Gentile church, in Antioch – Acts 11:19-20

  • • Paul and Barnabas, Hellenistic Jews, make the first mission trip, to Jews and Gentiles in Cyprus and Galatia – Acts 13-14

  • • Conflict between Jew and Gentile Christians, Council – Acts 15

  • • Paul brings the gospel to major Gentile cities – Philippi, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus – Acts 16-21

  • • Paul brings the gospel to Jew and Gentile leaders – Acts 22-26

  • • Paul freely preaches the gospel while in prison.


The gospel
The gospel

  • Do you think there should be training in how to present the Gospel?

  • are you sufficiently prepared to present?


The gospel1
The gospel

  • A good disciple should know at least one entry point to engage with others…

  • and a way of carrying on a longer discussion


The gospel2
The gospel

Great Communion

Great Commandment

Great Commission


The gospel3
The gospel

Matthew 22:36-40

Mark 12:28-34

Great Commandment

Luke 10:25-28


The gospel4
The gospel

Matthew 28:19-20

Mark 16:15

Great Commission

Acts 1:8


The gospel5
The gospel

Great Communion

Great Commandment

Great Commission


The gospel6
The gospel

John 13-17

Rev. 19:8-9

Great Communion

  • communion is a time for …

  • God’s grace at work

  • invitation

  • the turning of our hearts to Him

  • our seeking to know Him

  • a time (present and on-going) to remember Him

  • the shedding of selfishness

  • Community: Strength and Hope

  • loyalty

  • unity

  • giving thanks: in gratitude and confession


The gospel7
The gospel

Great Communion

Great Commandment

Great Commission


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