Summary: This is the tenth study in the book of Acts. This study deal with the spreading of the Gospel
The Spreading of the Gospel by persecution
In this chapter we see the start of the wide spread persecution of the church. Another thing we see is the fulfillment of the command of Jesus to spread the Gospel to the entire world. Sometimes I wonder if God sent this persecution to get all the believers out of the city of Jerusalem. These people were getting comfortable in their church but they had not left, taking the gospel to all the parts of the earth as Christ commanded them to do after they had received the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not know exactly how long the church had been going on at this time but there were enough people to go out and spread the gospel to the world. So maybe God sent this persecution in order to get the Saints out of Jerusalem.
I. The start of the first great Persecution of the church.
A. This happen on the same day that Stephen was killed.
1. The leader of the persecution was a young man by the name of Saul.
NOTE: Saul was a Pharisee. He took the leadership of the group that was threatening his religion, his way of life. He was very zealous for his faith. History tells us that Paul was given authority to lead in this persecution by the Sanhedrin. Saul was a student of the great Israelite teacher Gamaliel. Saul was highly educated in what we know as the Old Testament. He was also schooled in the Greek philosophy of the day. He was a Jew that was a roman citizen. Saul was very zealous for his faith and he was not going to let anything or anyone discredit his religion or blaspheme his God. He did not meet Jesus until later he did not know anything about him. All he knew was that some one claiming that the Messiah had came and the nation of Israel put him to death. Saul was waiting for the Messiah, but he along with the rest of Israel had a misconception of who and what he Messiah was and to do.
2. The scattering of the church.
NOTE: The church went to all the areas of Judea and Samaria, except for the Apostles.
B. The burial of Stephen.
1. By devout men.
2. There was great mourning.
C. The persecution of Saul.
NOTE: Saul went on a rampage against the church he went in the homes of known Christians and dragged people out and took them off to prison.
II. The Fulfillment of the great Commission. 4-25
A. They were preaching the word wherever they went.4
B. The example that Luke gives of Philip, the deacon.
1. We see Philip in Samaria.
a. Proclaiming the Gospel.
b. Casting out Demons.
c. Doing all kinds of Miracles and Signs.
2. The reaction of the City was joy.
3. The introduction of Simon.
a. The occupation of Simon.
b. The admiration of the people of the city toward Simon.
c. The reason for the admiration.
NOTE: Simon was a magician, a sorcerer. He practiced magic acts for money.
4. The conversion of Simon.
a. As a result of the witness of his friends and followers.
b. Simon was saved.
c. Simon was baptized.
d. The growth of Simon.
C. The follow up by the Apostles.
1. Help sent to Samaria by the Apostles.
2. The reason for he help was for them to receive the Holy Spirit.