Summary: The Book of Acts gives Luke's account of how the Gospel was preached and the Church grew in the days after Jesus went back to Heaven. This outline for the first chapter served as a launching point for a mini-series of messages on Acts.

Introduction: The Book of Acts gives an overview of Church history from the last few days when the Lord Jesus Christ spent on earth before He ascended, and the arrival of Paul in Rome about 30 years later (estimates vary). Certainly, any book begins with the first chapter and that is certainly the case with Acts. This book, and this chapter, begins with proof that Jesus was alive after He was crucified. This chapter ends with the selection and election of Matthias to take the place of Judas Iscariot as the Twelfth Apostle.

This chapter also begins with a promise, a statement of the mission, and ends with prayer. Here are some additional points for analysis:

1 A connection to the past or previous era

--Jesus reminded them of the Father’s promise which they had heard from Jesus Himself. John 14-16 has the Lord’s message (discourse) to the disciples about many things.

--Jesus also reminded them of John’s baptism, three or so years before. At least two of John’s disciples became disciples of Jesus (John 1:37-40, one was Andrew). This was a baptism of repentance as John announced the Kingdom of Heaven was “at hand (Matthew 3:1-2)” or could be coming at any moment.

2 A contrast with past and future

--John’s baptism: the past, literal, water to baptize people; John and his disciples did this

--Baptism of the Holy Spirit: the future, figurative, and would be the Spirit Himself doing this.

3 A commission to proclaim the Gospel

--Beginning at Jerusalem (They were already here and soon many others would be here too).

--No way to deny the proofs of Christ’s death and resurrection. Many had seen His body before; soon, there would be no body to see!

--On to the uttermost parts of the earth. Acts gives sketches of the Gospel’s spread throughout the known world.

4 A completion of the people

Selection of a replacement for Judas Iscariot. Note the requirements listed. No genuine apostles since that time.

Conclusion: this first chapter is an introduction to the rest of the book. The Church had a great beginning and a promise of a great future. Thank the LORD!

Scripture quotations were taken from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV).

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