INTRODUCTION TO OUR STUDY ON ACTS
As we approach Pentecost Sunday and celebrate the birth of the church, I thought a Bible study on the book of Acts would be relevant. I found this David Jeremiah study of Acts to be very insightful. — Pastor John
“You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” — Acts 1:8
“The vision was inspiring. The goal was lofty. How could the disciples act on these final words from Jesus and make them a reality? How could they undertake such an ambitious assignment to become the kind of witnesses that Jesus had called them to be? In the Acts of the Apostles, we discover the answer from those who literally wrote the book on the subject—and discover one of the greatest success stories in the Bible. We are inspired by their boldness and marvel at their adventures. Yet we also catch glimpses of their moments of weakness and doubt. We see major setbacks, poor decisions, and petty squabbles...and quickly come to realize these heroes of faith—who spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and laid the groundwork for the church—were very much like us. We also come to realize the same Holy Spirit who guided them dwells within followers of Christ today. And we start to wonder what God might accomplish through our lives if we just gave Him the opportunity.”
— Dr. David Jeremiah
Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:3 connects the author with Theophilus. It is widely accepted that Luke is the author of both books. The Gospel according to Luke is about the life of Christ — the book of Acts recounts the birth and growth of the early church. The book of Acts was written after 70 AD, and was composed from the city of Rome.
We will consider four key themes in the book of Acts. The first is how the apostles focused on evangelism. The second theme is how the apostles experienced personal transformation. The third is how the apostles faced opposition with boldness — they faced two enemies...the Jewish leaders and the Roman Empire. The fourth theme is how the apostles relied on the power of the Holy Spirit. As we study Acts, let us examine how these themes apply to us today.
Luke stresses the importance of the spread of the Gospel, and the efforts to make disciples wherever we go. He shows us how the Holy Spirit guides believers, and gives them wisdom and courage. God doesn’t remove our opposition, but uses trials and obstacles to sharpen our faith and make us more effective instruments for His work. Consider the four themes, and the application to the disciples...and to us today.
PREPARATION FOR NEXT WEEK
Read Acts 1 and 2 in preparation for next week’s Bible study. Questions will be based on the first two chapters of Acts.
— Pastor John