Summary: Acts- the ’acts’ of who? ‘The continuing Acts of Jesus, to the glory of the Father, by the power of the HS, through Christians… to the end of the earth”

Acts overview Acts 1:1-11 WBC 21/4/2 am


Such an important book!

Without it wouldn’t know:

- who Paul is (or that once called Saul). His background

- background of many of the churches that our epistles are written to

- how they came into being

- Galatian, Ephesian, Philppian churches. Those written to in Revn

- forms a link between gospels and epistles

- wouldn’t know much about baptism (either in water or Spirit)

- water

 gospels – find Jn’s baptism

- know that Jesus’ disciples baptised… but don’t know how

 epistles- simply assumes you’ve been baptised. There’s nothing about water (apart from one small hint in 1Peter). Could be olive oil for all we’d know without Acts

 here/Acts- you see it happening. Christian baptism in the name of Jesus

- see that it’s in water

- amount = open to interpretation. The word means ‘dunk/drench

- Ethiopian Eunuch ‘here is some water’

- Paul and Philippian gaoler- in homes


- similarly, baptism in HS

- in gospels it’s all looking forward to it… Him

- “I baptise in water, but one is coming who will B in HS”

- are ‘foretastes’: ‘receive the HS” Jn 20:22

- Lk 24:45 “then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures”

- Lk’s gospel tells them there’s more 24:42 ‘stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high”

- > gospels are all looking forward

 epistles are all looking back

It’s Acts that tells us – how the early reception of the HS happened

- what we might expect

- that there were many encounters/fillings with the HS

- that certain manifestations could accompany HS activity

- that teaches us to avoid strict patterns and preconceptions for how these things should happen… as so many different models, here

- it’s a snapshot of early ch life: warts, experimentation & all


It’s part II of a single work by Luke the doctor (who accompanied Paul on later parts of his journey: 16:10ff ‘we’)

- remember: he didn’t know he was writing ‘scripture’

- but I’m ever so glad he did! We’d be impoverished without it

- some were of course

- for a good few years you might only have had Jn’s gospel, or one of the early epistles

- he didn’t know he was writing ;scripture’. The HS just inspired him to write a letter to Theophilus (‘dear to God’)

- it’s as though it was written to all of us who are dear to God

- but actually written to a specific man… the same man he wrote ‘Luke’ to


- so, it’s part II of the same story- and should really come after Luke’s gospel : ‘my former book”

- note: Lk 1:13 he’s called ‘most excellent Theophillus’.

- Here = just ‘Theophillus’

- No need to butter him up so much, now.

- Luke’s known to him… has his respect


- Interestingly enough, there are tremendous parallels between the gospel of Luke and Acts

- What happens to Jesus in Lk, happens to the church in Acts

- So, part I = life of Jesus, part II = story of ch

Both start with Mary being prominent (1:14- she’s a main character, here) > baptism in HS (Jesus, Ch) > preaching, healing, well received, gaining favour > hostility > trial (Jesus/Paul both have 3 acquittals)

= a clear lesson to us that we… as individuals… & a church (world-wide) go through… went through what Jesus did

- and should DO what Jesus did


We should ‘act’ like Jesus did

Lk, part I = all that Jesus ‘began’ to do & teach

- ‘began’ = linguistic oddity, unncessity

now, Luke part II… the sequel… = all that Jesus continued… continues to do

- through His church

- because He’s alive. Still

- (this is unique! There’s no continuing acts of Gautama Bhudda or Mohammed or Confucius)

So, Luke, at the start of Acts - gives a brief synopsis of his gospel letter:

- re-iterates some of the foundational things:

- v3- He suffered (strong word: passion)

- v3- He’s alive, risen- proven and factual- and the disciples were won over by the evidence

- v3- He gave further instructions about the KOG. Rule of God

- so, not surprising they asked, also, ‘is this the end of it all, Jesus. Do Israel get their thrones?’

- things don’t change, eh?!

- Without the HS’s power we’re all gonna

- Misunderstand… date hunt… see things carnally.. be disappointed with- the wait… how it actually works out

- V5 that the HS will be the key next step

- And actually THEY will bring in the KOG in a spiritual way (and as of that point the date and event watching and analysis ceases)

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