Back to Basics:
THE BOOK OF ACTS
INTRODUCTION: Acts in general, and Acts chapter 2 in particular, has
been called the "Hub of the Bible." It is certainly central to our understanding
of the New Testament.
I. THE BOOK OF ACTS IS A LINK BETWEEN THE LIFE OF CHRIST AND THE EPISTLES.
A. The writer connects it to the Gospels.
II. IT IS A BOOK OF BEGINNINGS.
1. Luke 1:1_4 Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in
order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, "2"
just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of
the word delivered them to us, "3" it seemed good to me also, having had
perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you
an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, "4" that you may know the
certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
B. The end of Acts links with the epistles.
2. Acts 1:1_3 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus
began both to do and teach, "2" until the day in which He was taken up,
after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles
whom He had chosen, "3" to whom He also presented Himself alive after His
suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days
and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
3. Luke ends his gospel with Jesus preparing to go back to Heaven and
begins Acts with Jesus ascending into Heaven. (Luke 24:59; Acts 1:9)
4. Luke's gospel ends with the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit
(Luke 24:49) and in Acts it shows the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1).
1. It charts the early growth of the church and tells us about
the beginning of the churches of Philippi, Corinth, Thessalonica, and Rome.
C. Acts is essential to the understanding of the rest of the New Testament.
2. It ends with Paul facing a trial in Rome for his life. The epistles
show Paul released and wanting to go back to Rome to minister to the church
1. It gives the beginning of the church, and a history of the
church as it began to reach out to the Roman world.
2. It tells us what we need to do to be saved.
A. The beginning of the church.
III. MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, IT IS A HANDBOOK ON HOW MANKIND IS SAVED
FROM THEIR SINS.
1. Acts chapter 2
B. The bringing in of the Gentiles.
2. Acts 2:47- "praising God and having favor with all the people. And
the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."
1. Acts 10:28, 34-35 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful
it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation.
But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean....
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows
no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness
is accepted by Him.
C. Christians wearing the name Christian
2. Acts 11:17_18 "If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave
us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand
God?" "18" When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified
God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."
1. Isaiah 62:2 - "The Gentiles shall see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the
mouth of the LORD will name."
D. The first martyr for Christ.
2. Acts 11:22- "Then news of these things came to the ears of the church
in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch."
1. Acts 7:54_60 When they heard these things they were cut
to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. "55" But he, being
full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and
Jesus standing at the right hand of God, "56" and said, "Look! I see the
heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" "57"
Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him
with one accord; "58" and they cast him out of the city and stoned him.
And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named
Saul. "59" And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying,
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." "60" Then he knelt down and cried out
with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he
had said this, he fell asleep.
(Four examples - there are more in Acts)
A. On the day of Pentecost.
CONCLUSION: The book of Acts clearly tells us what we need to do to be
saved. It is summed up in one verse in Acts. "Then Crispus, the ruler of
the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of
the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized" (Acts 18:8).
1. Acts 2:36_38 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know
assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and
Christ." "37" Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and
said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall
we do?" "38" Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you
be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and
you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
B. The Samaritans
1. Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the
things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both
men and women were baptized.
C. The Ethiopian treasurer
1. Acts 8:35_39 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning
at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. "36" Now as they went down the
road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water.
What hinders me from being baptized?" "37" Then Philip said, "If you believe
with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that
Jesus Christ is the Son of God." "38" So he commanded the chariot to stand
still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he
baptized him. "39" Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of
the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he
went on his way rejoicing.
D. Saul of Tarsus (His conversion is recorded on one occasion and recounted
twice later in Acts)
1. Acts 9:6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what
do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the
city, and you will be told what you must do."
2. Acts 22:16 'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and
wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
STUDIES OF BASICS:
Existence of God
Creation of Mankind
Epistles- Christ's Messages to the Church
Book of Acts
The Inspiration of The Bible
The Inspiration of The Bible (Part 2)
The Life & Mission of Christ
The New Testament
The Book of Revelation -- Victory
Copyright 2000 by Grady
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