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The Story Continues Pt. 1

Sep 11, 2016 Sunday AM

Drama, intrigue, politics, riots, shipwrecks, martyrdom, miracles, rescues...and all this in the ancient world in and around cities like Rome, Corinth, Athens, and Jerusalem. This is the "stuff" of Acts. Get ready for a journey that explains our early days as a church and gives us direction for our part in His story.

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Study Notes

View printable sermon notes (PDF) View printable sermon notes (PDF) 

  1. Background Information
    1. Author: Luke, a Gentile physician who travelled with Paul and was able to record much of this material as an eyewitness as the events unfolded.
    2. Title: Because this is the story of the Lord’s work through His people and both are involved, a more fitting title would be, “The Actions of Jesus Christ through His People in the Power of the Holy Spirit.”
    3. Time: The book covers a time span of about 30 years. Because of what we call “internal evidence” most conservative scholars believe the book was written in the first century…not in the second century as some critics have proposed.
    4. Themes: This is a book of action. While we will learn a lot about the Holy Spirit, the Word, the power of Jesus and God’s care, we’ll consider courtroom scenes, voyages, shipwrecks, jail breaks, riots, book burnings, evangelism, discipleship and a “whole lot more.”
    5. Recipient: “Theophilus” referred to in Luke’s first volume as “Most Excellent Theophilus.” This could be a broad term referring to people who love God but is more likely a convert of some influence who would share information with others about the early Christian history.
  2. The Prologue
    1. Introduction: Luke was an introduction of what Jesus began to do and teach, Acts contains what Jesus continued to do and teach through His people by His Spirit.
    2. Ascension: This subtle reminder at the beginning of the book reminds us that Jesus the King is still reigning over all. In fact, it was His place “at the right hand of God” that proved the Father had accepted His work on our behalf.
    3. Instruction: Jesus gave His instructions by the Holy Spirit. This reminder in the prologue “sets us up” for the reminder that the same Spirit is given to the church!
    4. Selection: Acts records some of the actions of some of the apostles that Jesus chose. In His sovereign choice and through sovereign record we have a partial description of what He did through them. (But we have what we need to know!)
    5. Passion: The suffering of Christ is mentioned “in passing.” Again, this brief mention is a forecast of a theme that will come up again and again in this study. Christ the King died for us, took our place, bore the wrath we deserved and did it willingly.
    6. Resurrection: “He presented Himself alive…by many infallible proofs.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the turning point of the character and action of the disciples. They were changed men, men on fire, men of courage, joyously taking the good news to their world.
    7. Continuation: For 40 days after His resurrection Jesus continued teaching about the Kingdom of God. The reality of Christ’s reign would not end with His ascension…it would continue wherever He was/is enthroned as Lord.

Application

Do you see your life as an ongoing part of this story? Are you willing to take your place in this unfolding drama of the King and His Kingdom? The story continues and you can be a part of it. Have you embraced your role?

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