Summary: 'The story continues:' Acts chapter 1 verses 1-11 - sermon by Gordon Curley - sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com)
(1). A New Book (vs 1-2).
(2). A New Experience (vs 3-8).
(3). A New Assurance (vs 9-11).
• Christopher Columbus died in 1506, In Valladolid, Spain, where he passed away,
• If you go, there today you will see a monument commemorating the great discoverer.
• Perhaps the most interesting feature of the memorial,
• Is a statue of a lion destroying one of the Latin words on the memorial.
• The words had been part of Spain’s motto for centuries.
• The words are "Ne Plus Ultra," which means "No More Beyond."
• Before Columbus made his voyages,
• The Spaniards thought they had reached the outer limits of earth.
• Thus, their motto was "Ne Plus Ultra," which means "No More Beyond."
• The word being torn away by the lion is "Ne" or "no,"
• And so, today it reads "Plus Ultra."
• Columbus had proven that there was indeed "more beyond."
• The world could never be understood the same way ever again.
• TRASNSITION: The book of Acts continues the story of Jesus,
• It is a reminder that although Jesus has ascended back to the Father,
• When it comes to Jesus you can never write "Ne Plus Ultra," - "No More Beyond."
• With Jesus there is always, "Plus Ultra."
• The message of the book of Acts is very clear there is “more.”
• And so, the story of Jesus and his Church continue.
• The book of Acts records for us, the first 30–35 years of church history.
(1). A New Book (vs 1-2).
“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.”
• The book of Acts was written by Luke who also wrote the gospel names after him.
• Three things concerning Luke:
FIRST: He was a Gentile (according to most Biblical scholars).
• The word simply means one who is not Jewish:
• The term Gentile, is a translation of the Hebrew ‘goyim’, ‘the nations’,
• Refers to those who are not of the house of Israel.
• Question: Any Israelis (Jewish people) here tonight?
• Answer: Then the term ‘Gentile’ refers to you lot!
• When I first moved down to Hampshire, I had a weekly market stall in Fareham.
• I sold second-hand books, mainly Christian books and Bibles.
• On one occasion I set the market stall up ready for business,
• I also had a mid-morning assembly booked in at Park Gate Junior School.
• Around, about 9.00am John & Christine King come down to the stall,
• They would ‘man it’ look after the stall when I zoomed away to do the assembly.
• When I returned, they said to me?
• “The trader on the next market stall had purchased a Bible”.
• The trader was a man called Harold and he was Jewish.
• Later that day, John & Christine had left, and I was back on the stall,
• Harold looked over at me and said, “I bought one of your books!”
• So, I replied, “good”.
• He then said (tongue-in-cheek), “But I have torn your half out.”
• Meaning the New Testament.
• I can still remember the look on his face when I said,
“What do you mean my half?
The New Testament is a Jewish book written by Jewish men!
There are only two books in the Bible written by a Gentile the rest is Jewish.”
Luke was not Jewish, he was a Gentile (non-Jew, like most of us):
• He is the only Gentile who wrote any part of the Bible.
• The word ‘Bible’ just means ‘books’ & there are 66 in this library.
• 39 in the O.T. & 27 in the N.T.
• Luke wrote two of those books (his Gospel and the book of Acts)
• In fact, Luke penned 28% of the New Testament.
• That means he wrote more material than any other New Testament writer.
SECOND: He was a doctor
• Luke was not one of the twelve disciples.
• He travelled alongside the Apostle Paul on his second missionary journey.
• This meant he would have encountered all the key people of the early Church.
• Luke was a doctor:
• Which probably meant that at one time he had been a slave.
• Most physicians in Roman times, were educated slaves.
• The 4th Century historians Jerome & Eusebius.
• Refer to Luke as being a citizen of and also trained and educated in Antioch. Syria.
• This is where he acquired his excellent writing skills & medical training.