Times change. Now we are a busy, mobile society using email and computers. We still desperately need knowledge of God through Scripture — and Christian fellowship through communication. So for those who are unable to meet face-to-face weekly for 2 — 2. Each week I will help you explore some of the deep spiritual issues that Julia and I thought and prayed about when we wrote the Disciple Manual. We started new adult Sunday School classes, but that only reached a few- and it was hard to find teachers. Then I remembered how John Wesley reached out to people with little class meetings — a handful of folks — many poorly educated, farmers and hard-working people — meeting in homes.
I dreamed of starting small group Bible studies- but had neither the materials nor the lay leadership to do it.
It shows a clear progression from the gospel according to Luke, picking up just where that book left off. Luke even began to speak in the first person plural in the latter portion of Acts, as he traveled the Roman Empire alongside Paul Acts Acts ends abruptly with Paul imprisoned in Rome, waiting to bring his appeal before Caesar.
More than likely, Luke completed the book before either of these events occurred, sometime between AD 60 and AD 62, while Paul sat in prison, awaiting the resolution of his appeal. As such, it provides us with a valuable account of how the church was able to grow and spread out from Jerusalem into the rest of the Roman Empire. In only three decades, a small group of frightened believers in Jerusalem transformed into an empire-wide movement of people who had committed their lives to Jesus Christ, ending on a high note with Paul on the verge of taking the gospel to the highest government official in the land—the Emperor of Rome.
Acts can be neatly divided into two sections, the first dealing primarily with the ministry of Peter in Jerusalem and Samaria Acts 1—12 and the second following Paul on his missionary journeys throughout the Roman Empire Acts 13— Acts is significant for chronicling the spread of the gospel, not only geographically but also culturally.
It records the transition from taking the gospel to an exclusively Jewish audience—with Peter preaching to a small group in the Upper Room—to the gospel going out among the Gentiles, primarily under the ministry of the apostle Paul. This led Peter to then share the gospel with many Gentiles.
Paul is sent off to Rome. Acts — On the journey to Rome, Paul and several other prisoners are shipwrecked. They end up staying on the island of Malta for some time before being continuing the journey to Rome. While in Rome, Paul is under house arrest. He lives by himself and is guarded by only a single guard.
He spends a lot of time preaching to Romans from his cell. This is the last we hear about Paul in the Book of Acts. From there Paul journeys to Crete Titus , beginning his final missionary journey. Then he goes to Nicopolis Titus and likely to Spain Romans — But in the end, he is thrown in prison again under orders from Nero.
He's killed around 68 AD.
Luke couldn't keep writing indefinitely. So he had to bring the Book of Acts to a close.
Of course, spending time with their resurrected Savior had a big impact on the faith of all the disciples, but their most dramatic change occurs after the Spirit comes. This centurion was to develop a deep respect for Paul, so that he would extend considerable liberties to him, take seriously his advice, and make every effort to protect him. When the outcome is known, and the One who determines it is both faithful and sovereign in control , the danger of harm is removed, along with the need for fear. He's then taken to governor Felix in Caesarea until they can decide what to do with him. Whether by divine revelation, intuition, or by learning of their plans from some human source, Paul became aware of their intentions.
But that doesn't mean that Acts is over! The church has continued Acts's story for thousands of years and will continue until Jesus returns. Jesus told the disciples that His message would leave Jerusalem and travel to the ends of the earth, and every one of His followers has been at work seeing this command to completion since that day.
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Come another night. There is danger in the area. Have you ever gone through a season of rich intimacy with God and an almost constant awareness of His presence?
You begin The year was Jesus Film Project. Luke wrote Acts There's never been much contention about the authorship of Acts. There are many reasons why the church has always accepted Luke as the author: The Book of Luke was written for a man named Theophilus Luke At the beginning of Acts, the author mentions Theophilus and references a former writing that appears to describe the Book of Luke: "In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach" Acts Both books share the same level of detail and precision.
In fact, the Greek used in Luke and Acts displays a greater level of sophistication than the other Gospels. Luke and Acts both focus on Jesus's ministry to the Gentiles. The author of Acts speaks about himself in the first person Acts demonstrating that he was helping to build up the church. He would have had access to the disciples and eyewitness accounts he used to compile the book of Luke Luke Luke wrote most of the New Testament If someone asked you who wrote the most in the New Testament, you'd likely be tempted to say, Paul.
Paul, on the other hand, is responsible for about 23 percent In fact, Luke is one of five biblical authors responsible for 45 percent of the Old and New Testaments: Moses: , words Ezra: 43, words Luke: 37, words Jeremiah 35, words Paul 32, words 3. Luke isn't just a journalist in Acts When writing his Gospel, Luke plays the part of a reporter, compiling the eyewitness accounts of people who saw Jesus. Luke was also present on the trip back from Macedonia to Jerusalem Acts — He even shows up on the journey to Rome from Caesarea Acts — Acts is the link between the Gospels and the Epistles The Gospels tell the story of Jesus's ministry, death, and resurrection.
Acts covers the first 30—35 years of church history If you read at an average pace, the Book of Acts can be read in a little over two hours. Acts reveals the outpouring of the Holy Spirit The Gospel of John records a critical discussion between Jesus and His disciple: All this I have told you so that you will not fall away.
And it's just as exciting and as dramatic as you might expect: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. The Spirit transforms the disciples The night Jesus was arrested, He took the disciples to pray with Him, but they were too tired to keep watch. Peter gives the first evangelistic sermon Immediately following the pouring out of the Spirit in Acts 2, there's a lot of confusion. Acts is about the church's birth Acts's story really begins with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and Peter's dramatic sermon; the result is a flame that spreads all across the Roman Empire.
Peter and Paul are the main characters Right out of the gate, Luke focuses on Peter: He decides that Judas needs to be replaced Acts —22 He preaches the first sermon Acts —36 He heals a paralytic Acts —7 His disapproval leads to a dramatic end for Ananias and Sapphira Acts —10 He prays for people to be filled with the Spirit Acts He raises a girl from the dead Acts He receives a vision from the Lord about Gentile inclusion in the gospel Acts —15 We also witness opposition to Peter as he's imprisoned Acts —18 and flogged Acts Acts tells the story of the first Christian martyr We don't know a lot about Stephen, but Acts does tell us that the disciples ordained him as a deacon in the early church: In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.
But Stephen soon began to stand out, making himself an essential member of the early church.
Acts reveals the conversion story of Paul Saul of Damascus was a staunch opponent of the gospel. On his way to Damascus to round up more Christians, Saul had an unexpected encounter: As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. Acts documents three Pauline mission trips Spurred by the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, Paul was constantly on the move. The first journey Paul and Barnabas with John Mark as a helper start from Antioch's seaport Selucia where they sail to Cyprus Acts —12 From there they go to Pamphylia John Mark returns home and the other Antioch in Pisidia Acts —52 They go down to Lycaonia, via Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe Acts —23 They return through Pisidia and Pamphylia, spending time in Perga Acts —25 Lastly, they go down to Attalia and take a ship back to Antioch in Syria Acts —26 All told, the first journey lasted about two years and took them a little over 1, miles.
The third journey Paul heads to Galatia and Phrygia Acts Paul ends up in Ephesus Acts —41 Paul then heads back to Macedonia, Greece, Troas, and on to Miletus Acts —38 From Miletus, Paul sails to Caesarea and then back to Jerusalem Acts —17 This third journey was shorter in distance to the second only about 2, miles , but it lasted the longest—clocking in at around four years. Acts was completed before Paul's death Rome wouldn't put Paul to death until after Acts is completed, but Acts's narrative demonstrates a growing awareness about Paul with Roman officials.
Here's how Paul's story ends: During a trip to Jerusalem, Paul visits the temple with four Jewish converts. Acts — On the journey to Rome, Paul and several other prisoners are shipwrecked. Acts — While in Rome, Paul is under house arrest. The book is done but the mission continues Luke couldn't keep writing indefinitely. Leave us a comment and tell us about your favorite story or verse in Acts!