Summary: Fifth in a Series going through the New Testament
THE BOOKS OF ACTS AND ROMANS -- Sermon 5
Introduction: In the first four lessons we dealt with the four gospels. The four gospels are the foundation for all of the New Testament. In this lesson we will continue our survey of the New Testament as we see the sending forth of the gospel message in the Acts through the early Church. In the latter part of this lesson we will complete a survey of Romans, a book displaying the righteousness of God.
A. Writer: There is no doubt that Luke, the writer of the third gospel, is the writer. The book of Acts, like the
Gospel of Luke, is dedicated to Theophilus, a Roman political leader.
B. Date: A.D. 63
C. Purpose: To set forth a continuous work of the Lord Jesus Christ as He directs it through the person and power
of the Holy Spirit.
D. Key Verse: Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be
witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
E. Four words summarize the book of Acts: 1. Power 2. Preaching 3. Persecution 4. Progress
F. Those Four things will still work in the day we are living in.
II. OUTLINE - Acts 5:31-37 - When you look at the book of Acts you have to be impressed with the Church. That is the theme of this book. How Jesus Christ continued his work through the Church. The book of Acts is the best history available on the early Church. The early Church should be studied and followed to help today’s churches grow and go for God’s glory. Let’s look at some things about the early church.
A. THE RESULTS OF THE EARLY CHURCH
1. One hundred and twenty initial members.
2. The first baptism of the Early Church--Acts 2:41-- “...there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
a. There have been questions by some about the 3,000 that were baptized in one day.
b. It has been stated as impossible to baptize that many in one day because of a lack of water. This is an argument that is centuries old.
c. If you complete a study of the water supplies in and around Jerusalem you will find five pools or bodies of water.
1. The Pool of Bethesda - 360 ft. long by 130 ft. wide and 75 ft. deep at its maximum. It has five large porches surrounding it with room for multitudes to wait.
2. The Pool of Siloam - 53 ft. long by 18 ft. wide and 19 ft. deep at its maximum. It was built by King Hezekiah in 700 B.C. It is a conduit, and artificial pool, known as the lower pool.
3. The Upper Pool - 316 ft. long by 218 ft. wide and 18 ft. deep at its maximum. It is connected to the spring at Gihon, where Saul was anointed King.
4. The Pool of Hezekiah (different from #2) - 240 ft. long by 144 ft. wide was still partially filled with water in 1840.
5. The Pool of Gihon - 592 ft. long by 260 ft. wide and 40 ft. deep at its maximum.
d. All were constructed with sides which gradually sloped inward and downward, allowing safe and easy descent into the water at any required depth.
e. It should also be noted that Pentecost was in the spring time, after the rainy season, and the pools were more than likely filled to the brim. Psalm 84:6 tells us that the rain fills the pools. In the context of the 84th Psalm it is speaking of the City of Jerusalem.
f. The question is could 3,000 be baptized in one day?
1. If all 12 apostles were baptizing simultaneously (easily possible), there would have been no problem as to time.
2. Each Apostle would have 250 converts each to immerse.
3. If Each Baptism took one minute, the Baptismal service would last for 4 hours and 10 minutes.
g. There were both ample supplies of water and time to baptize 3,000 people in one day.
3. Daily additions--Acts 2-- “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
4. Acts 4:4--The congregation totaled “about five thousand men.”
word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly...”
6. Acts 5:28-- “...behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine...”
7. Noted scholars have estimated that the first church grew to at least 25,000 and some estimates of 50,000 to
100,000 in just a few months.
8. Within 30 years time they had gone beyond Jerusalem to Judaea, Samaria, Asia, Greece, and Rome.