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Summary: Introduction to Acts

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Acts of The Apostles

1. The Author of The Book - Luke - (See notes in Lesson 2.) - Luke’s authorship of Acts is seen in :

A. Similar introductions to both books (Lu 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2);

B. Similar literary styles;

C. Use of the pronoun “we” indicates it was written by one of Paul’s traveling companions, and careful analysis points to Luke (Acts 16:10, 19; 20:4-6);

D. Early Church fathers all agreed that Luke was its author.

2. The Recipients of The Book

A. Written to Theophilus, (Acts 1:1-2; 23:26)

B. See notes on the Gospel of Luke for information on Theophilus.

3. The Date & Place of Writing

A. Date - Written around 63 AD:

· Written after Luke

· Written during Paul’s 1st Roman imprisonment.

· Paul was evidently released from prison, traveled between Asia & Spain and imprisoned a 2nd time in Rome; then executed in 68 AD.

B. Place - Written in Rome during Paul’s 1st imprisonment.

4. The Purpose of The Book

A. To record an accurate account of Jesus’ continued work through the lives of His Apostles (Acts 1:1);

B. To show how the Apostles impacted their world for Christ (Acts 1:8; 17:6);

C. To show the geographical spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem, through Judea, to Samaria and the uttermost parts of The earth (Acts 1:8);

D. To demonstrate the importance and power of prayer in Christian witnessing (Acts 1:14; 4:31);

5. Keys to The Book

A. Key Verse - 1:8

B. Key Words:

1) Name - 33

2) Prayer - 18

3) Preach - 38

4) Spirit - 54

5) Witness - 21

6) Power - 11

7) Raised - 29

8) Salvation - 19

6. The Outline of The Book

A. Witnessing in Jerusalem and Judea (1:1-8:3)

1) Chapter 1 - The Ascension of Christ (1:1-26)

a. The Author (1:1-2)

e. The Ascension (1:9-11)

b. The Appearances (1:3)

f. The Awaiting (1:12-14)

c. The Affidavit (1:4-5)

g. The Action (1:15-26)

d. The Authority (1:6-8)

2) Chapter 2 - The Day of Pentecost (2:1-47)

a. A Demonstration of the Spirit’s power (2:1-13)

b. A Declaration of the Son’s passion (2:14-36)

c. A Decision by the Sinners present (2:37-47

3) Chapter 3 - The Healing of a Lame Man (3:1-26)

a. The man’s conditions (3:1-2)

b. The ministers compassion (3:3-7)

c. The Master’s cure (3:7-8)

d. The multitude’s curiosity (3:9-11)

e. The message communicated (3:12-26)

4) Chapter 4 - The Beginning of Persecution (4:1-37)

a. The persecution (4:1-7)

e. The prayer (4:23-31)

b. The preaching (4:8-12)

f. The power (4:32-33)

c. The predicament (4:13-18)

g. The pattern (4:32-37)

d. The persistence (4:19-22)

5) Chapter 5 - Purging and Persecution (5:1-42)

a. The Corruption (5:1-11)

d. The Christ (5:29-32)

b. The Conversion (5:12-16)

e. The Counsel (5:33-39)

c. The Command (5:17-28)

f. The Comfort (5:40-42)

6) Chapters 6 & 7 - Stephen, the First Martyr (6:1~8:3) - Consider: The witness of his:

a. life (6:1-8)

b. labors (6:8)

c. looks (6:15)

d. lips( 6:9- 7:53)

e. love (7:54- 8:3)

B. Witnessing in Samaria (8:1-12:25)

1) Chapter 8 - The Ministry of Philip (8:4-40)

a. Mass evangelism in Samaria (8:4-25)

b. Personal evangelism on the Gaza road (8:26-40)

2) Chapter 9 - The Conversion of Paul (9:1-31)

The account of Paul's conversion (9:1-19)

The aftermath of Paul’s conversion (9:20-31)

3) Chapter 10 - The Conversion of Cornelius (10:1-48)

a. The Desire of Cornelius (10:1-8)

b. The Determination of Peter (10:9-18)

c. The Direction of the Spirit(10:19-24)

d. The Declaration of Cornelius (10:1-7)

e. The Desire of Cornelius (10:1-7)

f. The Desire of Cornelius (10:1-7)

4) Chapter 11 -

a. The plea of Peter (11:1-18)

b. The church at Antioch (11:19-30)

5)Chapter 12 - The Christian Persecution (12:1-25)

a. The death of James (12:1-2)

b. The deliverance of Peter (12:3-19)

c. The death of Herod (12:20-23)

d. The dissemination of the Word (12:24-25)

C. To the Uttermost Parts of the Earth (13:1-28:31)

1) Chapter 13-14 - 1st Missionary Journey (13:1-14:28)

a. Events in Antioch (13:1-3)

b. Events in Cyprus (13:4-12)

c. Events in Galatian cities (13:13-14:20)

d. Events on The return to Antioch (14:21-28)

2) Chapter 15 - The Council at Jerusalem (15:1-35)

a. The dissension over circumcision (15:1-5)

b. The discussion (15:6-18

c. The decision (15:19-29)

d. The delivered of the letter to Antioch (15:30-35)

3) Chapter 15-18 - 2nd Missionary Journey (15:36-18:22)

a. The personnel chosen (15:36-40)

b. The churches revisited (15:41-16:5)

c. The call to Europe (16:6-10)

d. The work at Philippi (16:11-40)

e. The work at Thessalonica, Berea & Athens (17:1-34)

f. The ministry at Corinth (18:1-17)

g. The journey completed (16:18-22)

4) Chapter 18-21 - 3rd Missionary Journey (18:23-21:26)

a. Ephesus: The Power of the Word (18:23-19:41)

b. Greece (20:1-5)

c. Asia Minor: Troas & the elders of Ephesus (20:6-38)

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