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Bible Study for Dummies the Rest of Us. I can do this!. A “How to” Guide for Reading the New Testament. Acts: Luke’s Second Volume. Luke 1:1-4

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bible study for dummies the rest of us

Bible Study for Dummiesthe Rest of Us

I can

do this!

A “How to” Guide

for Reading the

New Testament

slide2

Acts: Luke’s Second Volume

Luke 1:1-4

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Acts 1:1

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen

slide3

Acts: Luke’s Second Volume

    • Acts of the Apostles
  • Peter: Chapters 1-12
  • Paul: Chapters 13-28

Acts of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost (Acts 2)

Mighty Deeds/Wonders

Acts of the Holy Spirit through People

Peter - Paul - Stephen - Philip - Barnabas - Priscilla

slide4

What is Acts?

  • History?

Theology?

Theological History:

Divine Explanation for On-going Work of Jesus in and through People

slide5

Reading Keys for Acts

  • Examples of Divine Explanation
  • Apostles need explanation about Nature of Kingdom: Acts 1:6
  • 2. People need explanation about nature of Spirit: Acts 2:12; 2:17-21; 2:37
slide6

Reading Keys for Acts

Examples of Divine Explanation

3. Jewish Leaders need explanation about Power of God in the Christian movement Acts 4:7; 5:38-42

4. Christian Leaders need explanation about nature of New Testament Church Acts 10:17-21

slide7

Outline of Acts

Chapters 1-12

Primarily Peter

Primarily Jewish

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

in Samaria,

and to the ends of the earth.

Chapters 13-28

Primarily Paul

Primarily Gentile

slide8

Outline of Acts

Rome

Ends of the Earth

Chs. 13-28

Judea and Samaria

Chs. 8-12

JerusalemChs.2-7

Jews only

Jews, Samaritans, God-fearers

Jews, Samaritans, God-fearers, Gentiles

slide9

Outline of Acts

Goal #1

Geographic (Rome)

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

in Samaria,

and to the ends of the earth.

Goal #2

Missionary (Witnesses)

Goal #3

Spirit-Filled Witness

slide10

Unique Contribution of Acts

1. History and Theology in Speeches

30% (300 out of 1,000 verses) of Acts is in the form of speeches

Christian Speeches

Peter (8 speeches)

Paul (9 speeches)

Stephen (7:2-53)

James (15:13-21)

Non-Christian Speeches

Gamaliel (5:35-39)

Ephesus Town Clerk (19:35-40)

Festus (25:24-27)

slide11

Unique Contribution of Acts

2. The Exalted Christ Began in Volume 1, LukeJesus’ Words (Luke 9:1)  Actual ascension (Luke 24:50-51)

Continues in volume 2, Acts Luke the Narrator (Acts 1:1-2)  Angels (Acts 1:9)  Peter’s Sermon (Acts 2:33)  Stephen’s Death (Acts 7:55)

slide12

Unique Contribution of Acts

3.The Holy Spirit Began in Volume 1, Luke Birth Narrative of John the Baptist (Luke 1:15; 1:17)  Birth Narrative of Jesus (Luke 1:35; 1:41)  Zechariah’s Prophecy / Song (Luke 1:67)  Simeon’s Prophecy in Temple (Luke 2:25; 2:26; 2:27)  Jesus’ Baptism (Luke 3:16; 3:22)  Jesus’ 1st Sermon (Luke 4:17)

slide13

Unique Contribution of Acts

3. The Holy Spirit Continues in Volume 2, Acts  Opening Narrative (Acts 1:2)  Jesus’ Instruction (Acts 1:5; 8)  Pentecost (Acts 2)  Character and ministry of Apostles (Acts 4:8; 6:3; 6:5; 7:55; 11:24)  Guidance (Acts 16:6; 16:7; 20:22)  Prophecy (Acts 20:23; 21:4; 21:10-11)

Holy Spirit permeates Christian life and ministry at every conceivable point

slide14

Unique Contribution of Acts

4. The EMERGING Church

Not fixed but dynamic Jerusalem (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37)

Judea & Samaria Philip and Ethiopian (8:26-40)

Ends of the Earth (Rome) Paul and Barnabas in Lystra (14:8-18)

Church and Evangelistic approach must change with culture. (Cultural Contextualization)

slide15

Unique Contribution of Acts

4. The EMERGING Church Central authority; diverse leadership

 Apostles in Jerusalem (Acts 2-5)

 Deacons Chosen (Acts 6) Minister (Acts 7-9:31); BUT Apostles Oversee (Acts 9:32-15:35)

 Mission to Gentiles (Acts 12-28) Appointment of Elders (14:21-23) and Gentile churches support Mother Church in Jerusalem (Collection; 1 Cor 16:1)

slide16

World of Acts

Roman Rule

Julius Caesar (d. 44 B.C.)

Caesar Augustus (a.k.a. Octavian) (27 B.C.-A.D.14) (Luke 2:1)

Tiberius (A.D.14-37) (Luke 3:1)

Caligula (A.D.37-41)

Claudius (A.D.41-54) (Acts 11:28; 18:2)

Nero (A.D.54-68) (Acts 25:10-12; 27:24)

slide18

World of Acts

Hellenistic World

Rome ruled the world through military might

BUT

Greece influenced the world through ideas

•Language •Social Order •Religions

No separation of politics / religion / social world

Summary:

New Testament Church was not born in a religious or cultural vacuum.

slide19

Acts 2 - Pentecost

1. The Event of Pentecost (2:1-13)

a. The Fulfillment of the Father’s Promise Luke 24:45-49 / Acts 1:8

slide20

Acts 2 - Pentecost

1. The Event of Pentecost (2:1-13)

b. The Description of the event

Timing: Feast of Pentecost (50 days after Passover) Celebration of Harvest (Ex 23:16) Celebration of Giving of Law (Anniversary of Giving of Law) Jewish tradition associates Mt Sinai with wind, fire, voice Heb 12:18-19

Three Signs: Sound like . . . Blowing wind Sight like . . . Tongues of fire Speak in other languages (dialects)

slide21

Acts 2 - Pentecost

Tongues: GlossolaliaActs 2 vs. 1 Corinthians 12 & 14

Different in direction

Public Praise to God 2:11 14:2; 14-17, 28

Different in Character

Understood Unintelligible, by all needed interpreter

Different in purpose

Bearing witness Self -Edification; to outpouring of Building of Church Holy Spirit

acts 2 pentecost
Acts 2 - Pentecost
  • Of prophecy and tongues, which does Paul encourage more for the Corinthians (14:1-2, 5)?
  • What is the main draw back to the use of tongues in worship, according to 14:2, 4, 5, 7-12, 13-17, 19?
  • Did Paul speak in tongues (14:18)? Do you think he was being “Tongue in cheek” here in reference to his ability to speak numerous languages or that he really did privately speak in ecstatic speech (cf. Rom 8:26)?
  • Under what circumstances did Paul allow the use of tongues in public worship?
  • Did Paul forbid speaking in tongues?
slide23

Acts 2 - Pentecost

  • 2. The Explanation of Pentecost (2:14-41) a. Speeches in Acts Complete Verbatim accounts or summaries?
      • With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” (2:40-41)
  • Summaries abound in Acts. (2:47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; 9:31; 9:42; 11:21; 12:24; 13:48; 16:5; 19:20; 28:30-31)
slide24

Acts 2 - Pentecost

2. The Explanation of Pentecost (2:14-41) b. Formation of the Kerygma of Jesus *Foretold in Scriptures 2:14-21 *Jesus’ life 2:22 *Jesus’ Death 2:23 *Jesus’ Resurrection 2:24-32 *Jesus’ Exaltation 2:33-36 *Jesus’ Salvation 2:37-39 *Jesus’ New Community 2:40-41

slide25

Acts 6 – Choosing of Deacons

1. Problem: Numbers growing, Care deteriorating

Hebrew widows cared for; Greeks overlooked

These cultural and social distinctions perpetuated into the new community; and had to be eliminated (see John 17:22; Gal 3:28; Eph 2:14-18; Col 3:11)

2. Solution: The Twelve appoint Seven

Note: All seven had Greek names The deacons move the Gospel (6:7)

slide26

Acts 9 – Damascus Road Experience

1. Paul the Persecutor (Acts 8:1-4, 9:1-3)

Note 1:8 vs. 8:1 Jerusalem (Acts 2-7)

Judea/Samaria (8-12)

Ends of the earth (13-28)

Note 8:3-4 Paul attempts to destroy the church

The church was scattered

Word to Samaria

Qs. How does this impact our view of persecution?

slide27

Acts 9 – Damascus Road Experience

Who Was Saul (Paul) before meeting Jesus? •born in Tarsus

•Jew, Pharisee of Pharisee (Phil 3:4-6)

•trained by Gamaliel I, in Jerusalem

•most likely tri-lingual (Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic; Acts 22:1)

slide28

Acts 9 – Damascus Road Experience

Why was Saul (Paul) a persecutor of Christians?(Acts 9:1-2)

1. Paul’s persecution of the Christian Church could be validated through scripture!

•Phil 3:4-6

•Deut 21:23

•Numbers 25:1-15

slide29

Acts 9 – Damascus Road Experience

2. Paul’s persecution of the Church could be validated through extra-Biblicalhistory!

•2 Macc 6:13 “In fact, it is a sign of great kindness not to let the impious alone for long, but to punish them immediately!”

•Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) “A righteous man shows unremitting hatred toward all men of ill repute” (1QS 9:22) “The nearer I draw to you, the more I am filled with zeal against all who do wickedness” (1QS 4:13)

slide30

Acts 9 – Damascus Road Experience

3. Paul’s persecution could be validated through Jewish and Romanpublic policy!

•Josephus records a friendly relationship renewed which makes Rome overall rulers but the Sadducean high priests were given authority over most internal matters, especially in strictly religious matters.

(Antiq XIII, 259-66; XIV 145-48) See Acts 9:1-2

slide31

Acts 9 – Damascus Road Experience

  • What Happened on the Road? (Acts 9:3-6)
  • Saw a light from Heaven / Heard a Voice
  • 2. Brief Encounter
  • Jesus: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
  • Paul: “Who are you, Lord?”
  • Jesus: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”
slide32

Acts 9 – Damascus Road Experience

Revelation of Christ that Paul was confronted with:

1. Jesus is alive!

Must revaluate everything, since God has raised him from the dead

2. Paul stands under God’s rebuke!

Light and Voice from heaven corrected him

slide33

Acts 9 – Damascus Road Experience

Revelation of Christ that Paul was confronted with:

3. Jesus and His church are one body

Why do you persecute me?

4. Mission to Gentiles

No distinction between Jew and Gentiles

slide34

Acts 10 & 11– Peter, Cornelius, and the Church

  • Peter has responded boldly to challenges of sickness and death. (Acts 9:32-43)
  • We have seen Peter at Pentecost, then taking gospel to Samaritans, but will Acts 1:8 be pushed further . . . Gospel to the Gentiles?
  • How will he respond to the challenge of racial and religious discrimination?(Acts 10-11)
slide35

Acts 10 & 11– Peter, Cornelius, and the Church

  • Gentile-Jew Divide
  • Not Biblical, but Racial / Cultural for God’s purpose has always been…
      • All nations would be blessed Gen 12:2-3
      • All nations will worship Isaiah 2:2-3
      • Messiah will accomplish this Psalm 2:7-8
slide36

Acts 10 & 11– Peter, Cornelius, and the Church

  • Gentile-Jew Divide
  • Not Biblical, but Racial / Cultural
      • To the Jews, gentiles were “dogs”
      • No Jew could enter home of gentile
      • All conversation with gentiles was avoided.
slide37

Acts 10 & 11– Peter, Cornelius, and the Church

  • Description of Cornelius (Acts 10:1-8)
  • 2. Vision of Peter (Acts 10:9-23)
  • 3. Answer in the Form of Holy Spirit (Acts 10:23-48, esp. 44-48)
  • 4. Peter Understands God’s Agenda, and convinces Church (Acts 11:1-18)
slide38

Acts 15 – Jerusalem Council 49 AD

Point of the Issue (15:1-5)

Without Circumcision, you can not be saved!

Compare Gal 2:11-15

slide39

Acts 15 – Jerusalem Council 49 AD

  • Sides:
  • Believers of the Men of the Pharisees (15:5)
    • Moses first, Grace Second
  • Peter (15:7-11)
    • Witness #1: We treat Gentiles as God Does
  • Barnabas and Paul (15:12)
    • Witness #2: God working in and thru Gentiles
slide40

Acts 15 – Jerusalem Council 49 AD

Sides:

4. James (15:13-21)

Final Verdict: We are in agreement with Words of Prophets (15:15)

Welcome Gentiles as brothers and sisters

Gentiles should respect Jewish law (cf. Romans 14-15)