The book of acts tells of the spread of christianity and the adventures of the first christians. According to church tradition dating from the 2nd century, he was the luke named as a companion of the apostle paul in three of the letters. There were institutions developing in some christian churches, but only in. The holy spirit at work in believers flashcards quizlet. The book of acts was penned by the apostle paul and teaches many concepts. Acts was written in greek, presumably by the evangelist luke, whose gospel concludes where acts begins, namely, with christ s ascension into heaven. We shall have more to say about this in coming articles. Let us thank god for the important role played by africans in the bible and early church. Instead, acts points to what god does in this world, both back then and today.
For an example of one church growth writers use of acts, see c. The acts of the apostles, abbreviation acts, fifth book of the new testament, a valuable history of the early christian church. It is to assume that to become a better church we should simply do what the ancients christians did because they had it all correct. Almost every commentator on acts maintains its purpose is to tell the story of the birth and growth of the church. The book of acts has much to say about the message that the church is to preach in the world. The book of acts for a new day robinson, anthony b. The book of acts provides a bridge for the writings of the nt. To prove this point, let us take a quick look at church growth in the book of acts, with a special view to the church in jerusalem. Aug 31, 2015 the very length of stephens speech in acts 7, the longest in a book full of speeches, probably indicates something of the importance luke assigned to this episode in the history of early. Within its pages are found the establishment of the church, the conversion of one of christianitys most ruthless converts, the conversion of the first gentile to the gospel and pauls sermon to the grecians from mars hill. The acts of the apostles often referred to simply as acts, or formally the book of acts, is the fifth book of the new testament. Concerning the date of acts, see the introduction to the gospel according to luke.
The traditional title for the book of acts is the acts of the apostles because of its focus on the ministries of peter and paul and the development of the early church. And maybe we can begin to correct some of the doctrinal problems and division so prevalent in the church of our time by trying to find the church in the book of acts instead of the alien sinner. In acts we see basic principles being applied to specific situations in the context of problems and persecutions. The acts of the apostles, fifth book of the new testament, a valuable history of.
The book of acts records or reports that there was a special event that took. Acts shows what the early church believed and practiced. He was considered one of the african christian martyrs. The book of acts forms a bridge between the gospels and pauls epistles. The book of acts is said to be the centerpiece of the entire bible. Here is a summary and overview of the book of acts. Church growth in the book of acts a church of christ can and will grow spiritually and numerically when it is faithful to the word of god. He also describes the churchs gradual drawing away from jewish traditions. The spread of christianity the six parts of the book of acts. For the moment there was simplicity, gladness and singleness of heart with much praise to god. Luke had no way of knowing how long the church would continue on this earth, but as long as it pursues its course, the book of acts will be one of its major guides. Its hard to imagine reading the acts of the apostles and not coming away with a sense of enthusiasm and eagerness to proclaim the good news. While the birth of the church is found in acts though not in the way most think luke s purpose was far different. As such, it provides us with a valuable account of how the church was able to grow and spread out from jerusalem into the rest of the roman empire.
Metaphysically, john mark represents a combination of zeal and love. This same truth can also be seen in the way that the narrative of acts picks up and then drops various men according to the degree which they are for the moment the instruments of christs power. They had not ventured out as jesus had commanded in acts 1. The diversity of early christianity from jesus to christ the first. What is the account that we get from acts about the early history of the christian church. We might even be successful in converting more sinners by practicing what we used to preach. Hidden africans of the bible and early church cbe international. The good news the message of gods mercy and love, his kingdom, and salvation revealed in jesus. While the definition of what constitutes a sermon and the precise number of them may be open for debate, i put the number at eleven. Its narrative supplies a bridge connecting the life and ministry of jesus to the life of the church and the witness of the earliest believers. It comes directly after the four gospels and before the letters of paul.
In the first few chapters of acts we are told how the early church centered her ministries in the city of jerusalem. The accepted title of the fifth book of the nt, the acts of the apostles, appears to date from the end of. Can you give me some wellknown stories from the acts of the. Kwabena donkor, phd, is an associate director of the biblical research institute, general conference of seventhday adventists, silver spring, maryland, united states. Five reasons the early church grew acts 4 forthright. Acts of the apostles, the second part of the work that begins with the gospel according to luke, is the story of the early church after jesuss.
Acts facts the spread of christianity the six parts of. The book of acts tells us on that day the god of heaven launched the church of christ. These 3000 christians, who took part in the birth of the church, continued in the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer according to acts 2. The acts is an historical book, but it is not mere history. The book begins with the ascension of jesus and goes on through pauls jail time in rome, which opens his ministry to the church at rome. Importance of the book this book alone carries the whole load of inspired history. Book of acts overview insight for living ministries.
The book begins with the ascension of jesus and goes on through pauls jail time in rome. Is this a model for church life in the twentyfirst century. Activities for kids from the early church in the book of acts. What todays church needs to learn from the book of acts.
The pastor who plants and oversees house churches according to the scripture example will be more successful at the goal the lord has given in the great commission, than the wealthy mega churches of the church growth or purpose driven churches of selfidolatry. The acts of the apostles is the fifth book in the new testament. A large number of priests became obedient to the faith niv they saw no contradiction between christianity and their roles as priests. The acts of the apostles camp hill church of christ. In this book we see the first mention of the dispensation of the holy spirit and jesus command to take his gospel to all the world. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. A study of the acts of the apostles page 5 lesson two the beginning of the church christianity a. In only three decades, a small group of frightened believers in jerusalem transformed. Actus apostolorum, often referred to simply as acts, or formally the book of acts, is the fifth book of the new testament. It shows a clear progression from the gospel according to luke, picking up just where that. Acts are obedience of the disciples to great commission of jesus.
It describes the coming of the holy spirit at pentecost in acts 2, the spread of the gospel outside of jerusalem in acts 8 and to the gentiles in acts 10, how the church made decisions in regards to doctrine acts 15, and more. Ludlow whereas the gospel of luke focuses on the life and ministry of jesus christ, the acts of the apostles builds upon what jesus did and taught see acts 1. If we fail to learn about what real christianity is from the book of acts, we will just keep on playing church, pleasing men, and displeasing god. May, 2011 the acts of the apostles, which is a sequel to lukes gospel, is an actionpacked thriller, to borrow from todays vernacular. The book of acts gives a unique glimpse into the life and practice of the early church. Acts was written by the same author who produced the gospel according to luke, yet there is no hard evidence about exactly who this person was. To be able to do these things god sent his holy spirit to empower the believers in mission. To my knowledge, however, no church growth book with a complete focus on acts has been written. It is the very start of the things we know and teach and stake our very salvation in, the church, the very body of christ made up of believers that find eternal salvation in christ.
Our remarks for this article will come from acts 4. As a second volume to lukes gospel, it joins what jesus began to do and to teach 1. Watch our overview video on the book of acts, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. Acts is the only biblical book that chronicles the history of the church. It completely amazes me how anyone can read the second chapter of the book of acts and firmly say that a person doesnt have to be baptized in order to be saved. According to the book of acts, many people in the early church attended temple worship, met in synagogues to hear the scriptures, and maintained appreciation for many jewish customs. Pastors and church leaders especially need to revisit the book, immerse themselves in it, and not leave until it produces some radical changes in their thinking and practice. The book of acts is the second book written for theophilus by luke, and takes up the story where lukes gospel account finished luke 1. Found as the 5th book in the new testament, the book of acts can best be split into two parts. And the work of god, adding the believing remnant to the church, still went on. This article presents the concept of church growth alongside evangelism mainly in the book of acts. The book of acts reveals the amazing and true success of this method for accomplishing the purpose of god and the salvation of the church of jesus christ.
Acts is the only biblical book that chronicles the history of the church immediately after jesuss ascension. It is a church of very new believers, who exhibit the vital signs of new life in christ. Mark means shining, and john, according to some authorities, means gods gift metaphysical bible dictionary 426. In acts, luke has provided a broad survey of the churchs development from. The book of acts is a key historical record of what the early church believed and practiced. Mission of the church is spread the gospel to the whole nations and makes disciples. A list of sermons in the book of acts leadership resources. Acts shows what the early church believed and practiced united. Church growth statements in the book of acts barnes bible charts 2. The book of acts provides a detailed, orderly, eyewitness account of the birth and growth of the early church and the spread of the gospel immediately after the resurrection of jesus christ. In particular, the four accounts of the life, teaching, death and resurrection of jesus contained in the new testament are the gospels according to matthew, mark, luke and john. Preaching through acts of the apostles rightly called by many the most important book in the bible, the acts of the apostles will make enjoyable and profitable read ing for you this month. There are a number of sermons teachings, messages, and proclamations found in the book of acts.447 868 157 147 1288 321 735 588 777 75 810 237 1520 1455 1575 1030 389 815 1527 142 213 207 175 1048 939 1257 1149 159 1007 1252 1611 194 300 448 410 279 115 581 1229 477 507 298