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Faithlife
Faithlife

LESSON 5

The Church Is Established   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts
As you have already learned, Acts was designed as a sequel to the Gospel of Luke. It is the second part of the history of the beginnings of Christianity which was written by Luke, the close associate and travel companion of Paul the apostle.
Luke was an eyewitness of many of the events he described in the book of Acts. His presence during these events is indicated by his use of the pronoun “we” (see 16:10; 20:6; and 27:3; for example).
of the pronoun “we” (see 16:10; 20:6; and 27:3; for example). Guided and inspired by the Spirit, he used his literary skills and understanding of history to give us a vivid and accurate picture of the first years of the church.
Guided and inspired by the Spirit, he used his literary skills and understanding of history to give us a vivid and accurate picture of the first years of the church.
The Gospel of Luke concludes with the command Jesus gave to His disciples about waiting for the Holy Spirit to come and the account of His ascension (, ).
And behold, I am sending the promise ofMy Father upon you. But remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” 50When Jesus had led them out as far as Bethany, He lifted up His hands and blessed them.…
And behold, I am sending the promise ofMy Father upon you. But remain in the cityuntil you have been clothed with power fromon high.” 50When Jesus had led them out as far as Bethany, He lifted up His hands and blessed them.…
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The book of Acts begins with the same two events (, ) and then describes the activities of the disciples after the ascension.
The book of Acts begins with the same two events (, ) and then describes the activities of the disciples after the ascension.
4And when they were gathered together, He commanded them: “Do not leaveJerusalem, but wait for the gift the Father
promised, which you have heard Me discuss.5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”…
The events described in Acts follow those described in Luke in a natural, logical way. Through the book of Acts, Luke continued to instruct Theophilus in the Christian faith, demonstrating to him the certainty of the things he had been taught (; ).
Therefore, having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
In my first book, O Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach,
Little is known about Luke, the author of the books of Luke and Acts in the Bible. We do know he was a physician and the only Gentile to write any part of the New Testament. Paul’s letter to the Colossians draws a distinction between Luke and other colleagues “of the circumcision,” meaning the Jews (). Luke is the only New Testament writer clearly identifiable as a non-Jew.
Little is known about Luke, the author of the books of Luke and Acts in the Bible. We do know he was a physician and the only Gentile to write any part of the New Testament. Paul’s letter to the Colossians draws a distinction between Luke and other colleagues “of the circumcision,” meaning the Jews (). Luke is the only New Testament writer clearly identifiable as a non-Jew.
Little is known about Luke, the author of the books of Luke and Acts in the Bible. We do know he was a physician and the only Gentile to write any part of the New Testament. Paul’s letter to the Colossians draws a distinction between Luke and other colleagues “of the circumcision,” meaning the Jews (). Luke is the only New Testament writer clearly identifiable as a non-Jew.
Little is known about Luke, the author of the books of Luke and Acts in the Bible. We do know he was a physician and the only Gentile to write any part of the New Testament. Paul’s letter to the Colossians draws a distinction between Luke and other colleagues “of the circumcision,” meaning the Jews (). Luke is the only New Testament writer clearly identifiable as a non-Jew.
Luke was the author of the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Luke does not name himself in either of his books, but Paul mentions him by name in three epistles. Both Luke and Acts are addressed to the same person, Theophilus (; ).
No one knows exactly who Theophilus was, but we know that Luke’s purpose in writing the two companion books was so that Theophilus would know with certainty about the person and work of Jesus Christ (). Perhaps Theophilus had already received the basics of the Christian doctrine but had not as yet been completely grounded in them.
Luke was a close friend of Paul, who referred to him as “the beloved physician” (). Perhaps Luke’s interest in medicine is the reason his gospel gives such a high profile to Jesus’ acts of healing.
It is the link between the Gospels and the Epistles, for the Gospels look forward to the establishment of the church while the Epistles assume that it already exists. Without Acts we would not know how the church began.
It is the link between the Gospels and the Epistles, for the Gospels look forward to the establishment of the church while the Epistles assume that it already exists. Without Acts we would not know how the church began.
Other truths about the Holy Spirit are seen in Acts. Notice, for example, the judgment Ananias and Sapphira received because they lied to the Holy Spirit (). Consider the rebuke the man Simon was given for asking to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit ().
It shows that the church is a supernatural work of God, brought into being, empowered, guided, and sustained by the Spirit of God Himself. There is no other explanation for its success and endurance amidst the severe persecution and opposition which it received.
1. The book of Acts emphasizes the missionary activity of the church.
The message of Christ was preached first in Jerusalem (), then in Judea and Samaria (chs. 8–12), and then throughout the northern Mediterranean region, with Rome as the last place mentioned (chs. 13–28).
In keeping with his historical presentation, Luke recorded the names of various officials of Rome who were associated with the events he described (see , for example, in which Felix, Lysias, Porcius Festus, and King Agrippa are mentioned). Peter is the main leader in chapters 1-12, and Paul in 13-28.
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