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Summary: Acts 1 - Jesus tells us the priority of sharing the gospel

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1. I will eat more chocolate. Sorry, Dr. Atkins, It’s un-American to go on a diet that forbids M&M’s.

2. I will see more children’s movies, even though I don’t have kids at home anymore. Kids films rock!

3. I will not vote for another President for four years or refer to states by color.

4. I will enjoy myself more. - shouldn’t be difficult, I’ll be avoiding politics, eating more M&M’s, and watching cartoons.

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you - how about one for the whole church to take on together.

Let’s immerse ourselves this first full year in our new church home in discovering and experimenting what it’s like to be an authentic Christian community. To love God and Bless people - nothing more, nothing less. To learn what stirs the heart of God and follow hard after it. To put aside anything less than the high calling of following Christ. Explore Ministry - Next Step. We started out our time at this mission center unpacking the Sermon on the Mount. Now it is time to look at the impact that lifestyle has on the world.

We will try to maintain a balance between rushing through Acts and going too slow.

Open your Bibles with me now to the Book of Acts - as we begin a journey that will change your life.

Acts - of what? - Apostles? - Holy Spirit? - the Church?

Who wrote it? Tradition tells us it was the physician Luke - some scholars cast doubt on bible authors

Same problems today - e-mails attributed to Paul Harvey, but not written by Paul Harvey, Why lie?

It sounds like something Paul would say, and it lends some credibility to say he wrote it.

Let me ask you - Does it make the content less true? - we are the ones with a furious need to know who wrote each book, even though it was not an issue to the early church.

Here are some things to consider:

1. Acts appeared while there were still eye witnesses living, - yet no serious rebuttals

2. Author wished to remain anonymous because it was all about God - not about him.

3. Tradition set Luke as author, more importantly, that tradition happily includes it in cannon.

So for me - it was written by Luke - and he took special care to get his facts straight. OK by me

Three Decades that Changed the World - by Michael Green

33 - 64 AD. -written ca. 60 - 90 AD Why wait 30 years or more to record the events in Acts?

Bridges

1. Roman Peace - Pax Romana

2. Greek Culture - especially language

3. The Jewish Faith - Romans didn’t know what to do with them, military, worship, Sabbath

Ditches

1. the message was crazy - Stumbling block to the Jew - Messiah hanged on a tree, you can eat pork! No need for circumcision,

What would a 1st century Jew hear?

Samaria! The World! Women in worship!

2. The message was crazy to the Gentiles (non-Jewish) public faith! Amazing fellowship, communion

Acts 1:1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Theophilus - God lover Why weren’t more stories of the first 40 days recorded?

Convincing proofs that He was alive - touch my hand - eat fish - share bread and wine - teaching

1 Cor. 15:3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Acts 1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

Told to wait - if they had not, would a New Testament community spring up?

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