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”

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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)

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