Summary: In this series of sermons, my goal will be to unfold the text, to open the Word for you, to show you the significance of Acts in our lives today, and to demonstrate to you that God is on the move in His Church today.
Sermon Text: The Book Of Acts
Please join me in prayer.
God our Elector, Father just and true, we give you thanks for Your Holy Word, inspired, inerrant, infallible. Open our minds to receive your teaching today. God our Savior, Lord Jesus, living Word of God, we give you thanks for showing us the Living Word when you came God incarnate. Open our eyes to see you in the teaching of your Word today. God our Sanctifier, O Holy Spirit, we give you thanks for opening our ears to hear and our minds to understand your truth. Be present with us as we listen and absorb your word this morning. We pray this as children of the King in the Name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.
WHY STUDY ACTS?
The Book of Acts is NOT empty of Christ. Rather it is filled with His truth and shows His power.
A study of Luke and Acts give us clues about the inspired writer. He was evidently a physician; Greek medical terms are used. The two books use the same style and language. They both show a clear understanding of the Roman and Greek world of the first century. Both books stress ministry to the Gentiles.
- Luke is first seen with Paul at Troas. He switches from using “he” and “they” to "we".
- Luke joined Paul on his journey to Philippi
- Luke evidently remained in Philippi until Paul returned from Jerusalem (Ac 16:10).
- Luke later went to Jerusalem with Paul when Paul was arrested (Ac.20:5-21:15).
- Luke is seen with Paul again while Paul was a prisoner in Caesarea.
- Luke accompanied Paul the prisoner to Rome (Ac.27: 1-28:15).
- Luke is the last one to remain with Paul in his imprisonment (2 Ti.2:11).
TO WHOM WRITTEN:
Theophilus, a Gentile convert (Ac.1:1).
The Gospel of Luke also was addressed to him personally.
DATE: uncertain. Around A.D. 62.
The book was definitely written before the fall of Jerusalem (A.D. 70)
but after Paul’s mission tours and imprisonment in Rome.
PURPOSE: to show how the church grew through the witness of believers “both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Ac.1:8).
This is Luke’s great aim. He shows how the church in Jerusalem was persecuted and how believers were forced to scatter throughout the whole world (Ac.8:1). He shows how the church moved out from Jerusalem, and in less than thirty-five years captured the very capital of the world, Rome itself. In brief, he shows how the expansion of Christianity took place.
Acts might be called “The Acts of Peter and Paul” or “The Acts of Two Apostolic Men.” The present title, “The Acts of the Apostles,” is authentic but inaccurate. Only four apostles are mentioned: Peter, Paul, James and John. James is mentioned only once (Ac.12:2), and John is seen only as an unspeaking companion of Peter (Ac.3:4; 4:1, 13).
In the early chapters, the book centers around Peter, the apostle to the Jews (chapters 1-9). The later chapters center around Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles (Ac 10-28; see Gal. 2:7).
Acts might be called “The Acts of Jesus’s Continued Ministry.” Originally the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts were probably one volume. The words of the first verse, “All that Jesus began both to do and to teach” show clearly that Luke considered the letter to be a continuation of Jesus’ ministry.
Acts might be called “The Acts of Triumphant Faith.” At the end of Luke, and the other Gospels, we see the disciples living in fear and defeat because of the death of Christ. Then, quite quickly, the story turns to one of victory and explosive growth. The new energy and sense of victory, of bravery to face even prison and death, is far different from their uncertainty and apprehension and powerlessness even after His resurrection. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, life and witness are renewed.
Whatever other labels we might give the book, it is clearly and centrally “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.”
The Gospel of Luke concentrates upon the ministry of Jesus in the “days of His flesh”.
Acts continues that ministry through the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit appears frequently in Acts, more frequently than in any other book.
The Spirit is the moving force in the expansion of the church.
He baptizes and infills believers.
He leads believers in their daily lives and in their witness for the Lord Jesus.
With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the early church moves and grows with boldness and power. We will see these marks of the Spirit’s presence, of God on the Move:
- We will see the courage to stand before crowds and to proclaim fearlessly the very message for which they had previously been hunted down.