Praxis: A Study in Acts

Praxis - the Greek word for practice and the title for the book of Acts. This sermon series will be a close study on this historical narrative written by Paul’s friend, Luke, who also wrote the gospel of Luke. As members of a local church, it is important for us to acknowledge our origins. How did we get here? Who were the key leaders, and what exactly did they do? As they brought about a seemingly impossible transition, what can we learn from their sacrifice? Join us for Praxis starting September 17 & 18.

Acts 7

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Acts 6:8-14
8 Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people. 9 But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves, as it was called, started to debate with him. They were Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia, and the province of Asia. 10 None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke. 11 So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, “We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God.” 12 This roused the people, the elders, and the teachers of religious law. So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high council.13 The lying witnesses said, “This man is always speaking against the holy Temple and against the law of Moses. 14 We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”

"The Sadducees would react to the Temple accusation, the Pharisees to the one concerning the law, and the accusations regarding God and Moses would likewise enrage both groups. The allegations made against Stephen read like a greatest hits list for Jewish heresies." 

-Steve Ger, Acts: Witnesses to the World

Acts 6:15-7:1
15 At this point everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel’s.1 Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these accusations true?”

Acts 7:2-4
2 This was Stephen’s reply: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran. 3 God told him, ‘Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’ 4 So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live.


Acts 7:9-10a
9 “These patriarchs were jealous of their brother Joseph, and they sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles.

Acts 7:30-33
30 “Forty years later, in the desert near Mount Sinai, an angel appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight. As he went to take a closer look, the voice of the Lord called out to him, 32 ‘I am the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses shook with terror and did not dare to look. 33 “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 

God cannot be bound by our religious expectations.

Because of our religious expectations, we often reject God's spiritual provision if we even recognize it.

Acts 7:25, 39
25 Moses assumed his fellow Israelites would realize that God had sent him to rescue them, but they didn’t. 39 “But our ancestors refused to listen to Moses. They rejected him and wanted to return to Egypt."

Deuteronomy 18:15; 18b-19
15 Moses continued, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him........ I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. 19 I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf."

Acts 7:51-53
51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! 52 Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. 53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”

Questions for Reflection:

We all have expectations of God-- closely or loosely held. Are your closely held expectations of God ruining your relationship with God?

The actual coming of Messiah wrecked Israel's hope for what Messiah would be. Have you rejected God based on an inaccurate understanding of who He is?

Ask the Holy Spirit to keep you alert for the changes/disappointments that come with what God reveals to you about himself and his plans for you.

Israel had great difficulty not only in recognizing their Deliverer but accepting him. 

Have you recognized Jesus? Who is He to you?

Ask the Holy Spirit for a submissive will to all that God discloses to you from His word.

Acts 6 :1-7

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Acts 6:1-7
1 But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. 3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. 4 Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.” 5 Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). 6 These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them. 7 So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.

Acts 6:1
But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.

Practical obstacles call for practical solutions.

Deuteronomy 27:19
‘Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows.’   And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

Acts 6:2
So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. 

Acts 6:3-4
3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility.  4 Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”

Delegation is essential to good leadership and great discipleship.

Acts 6:5 
Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). 

Choose the obstacles you confront and choose them strategically.
 

Acts 6:6-7
6 These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them. 7 So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.


Questions for Reflection:
1. The mission of Christ’s church is to bring glory to God as disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus. Do you see this clearly as God’s all-encompassing purpose for your life? Are you engaged in this mission? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you are, or where you should be.

2. What did you learn today from the early church’s resolution of conflict? With what group did you most easily identify? How might you pray for your own application of this lesson? Pray for CFC to be led by this example of leadership. 

 

Acts 4:34 - 5:14

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Acts 4:32-35
32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. 33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.

Acts 4:36-37
36 For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.

Acts 5:1-2
1 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.

“The genuine charity and zeal of some are copied outwardly by others, not always with a deliberate hypocrisy, but often from a superficial short-lived sympathy.”    Acts, J. A. Alexander; p. 186

Acts 5:3-4
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”

Acts 4:31
After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

Acts 5:5-10
5 As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. 6 Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.” 9 And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.” 10 Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 

Acts 5:11-14
11 Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened. 12 The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. 14 Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women.
 

“It was grace that taught my heart to fear. And grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.”

-What constitutes the “great blessings” in your life? Count them. Name them. Take a moment and say “Thanks be to God!” for those blessings that come to mind.

-Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of any blessings that you have overlooked. From your supply of God’s provisions, what is He calling you to share?

-Has the “fear of the Lord” gripped you from this passage? Where is the Holy Spirit leading you to apply this experience? Do you need to come forward as an exercise of redirecting your fear?

Acts 4:23-31

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Acts 4:1-3
1 While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. 2 These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. 3 They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. 4 But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000.

Acts 4:12
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:23-24a
23 As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. 24 When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: 

When are you most prompted to pray?

Acts 4:24b-26
“O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— 25 you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying,
‘Why were the nations so angry?
    Why did they waste their time with futile plans?
26 The kings of the earth prepared for battle;
the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against his Messiah.’ 
 

Acts 4:27-28
27 “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed.  28 But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. 

Acts 4:29-30
29 And now, O LORD, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 

Acts 4:31 
After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

Acts 3:9-26

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Acts 3:9-12a
9 All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John. 12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd.

Peter's Sermon Notes
Accusation 3:12b-15
Clarification 3:16
Exhortation 3:17-21
Validation    3:22-26
 
Acts 3:12b-15
12 “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? 13 For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. 14 You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!

To have corporate responsibility means that the sins of our nation are our sins.

 
Acts 3:16
“Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.
 
Acts 3:17-21
17 “Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. 18 But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things. 19 Now repent of your sins and turn to Godso that your sins may be wiped away. 20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. 21 For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.

The Results of Repentance
"sins wiped away" (Forgiveness)
"times of refreshment/ return of Jesus" (Messianic Kingdom)
"the restoration of all things" (Summary Statement)  
 
Acts 3:22-26
22 Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.’ 23 Then Moses said, ‘Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God’s people.’
24 Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. 25 You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, ‘Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.’ 
26 When God raised up his servant, Jesus, he sent him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.”

What is God waiting for?

Luke 13:34-35
34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. 35 And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’

Acts 2:42-3:10

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Acts 2:42-47
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.  43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

Acts 3:1-2
1 Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. 2 As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. 

3 Pillars of Jewish Faith
The Torah
Temple Worship
Charity

Acts 3:3
When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.

Acts 3:4-6
4 Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 
6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

3 Possible Miracles
His financial need could be met
His health could be restored
His eternal destiny could be secured

God cares about our immediate and felt needs, but His provision does not stop there.

Acts 3:7-8
7 Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. 8 He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.

Acts 3:9-10
9 All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded!

Can we learn a spiritual lesson from this physical encounter?

Isaiah 35:15-6
5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
    and unplug the ears of the deaf.
6 The lame will leap like a deer,
    and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
 

2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun

Acts 2:36-47

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Acts 2:36-41
36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” 41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.

Call new believers to devotion!

Acts 2:42
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

Matthew 28:20
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Don't forget the "with-ness" in your witness!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Acts 2:43
A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 

Acts 2:44-47
44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

The Praxis of the 3000
Growing in knowledge of God’s salvation
Growing in authenticity with other believers
Growing in your vocabulary and conversation with God
Growing more contagious in your faith in Jesus.

 

Acts 2:22-41 (Family Worship Weekend)

 — Reid Schultheis

Message Notes

Acts 1:8 (NLT)
8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

God is sovereign over His plan of salvation, and He is sovereign over our lives too. 

Acts 2:22-24
22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.”  

Acts 2:32 (NLT)
 “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.”

Acts 2:33-36
33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. 34 For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
    “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
35 until I humble your enemies,
    making them a footstool under your feet.”’
36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”

Acts 2:37 (NLT)
Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

John 16:7-8 (NLT)
7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.

Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

Acts 2:38-39 (NLT)
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”

Repentance = Renouncing, Turning, and Sorrow

Acts 2:40-41 (NLT)
40 With many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!” 41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added.

Acts 1:12-26

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

When faith starts to fade, watch the apostles.

Acts 1:12-14
12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. 13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

Be constant and confident in your communion with God and others.

Acts 1:15-17
15 During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. 16 “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. 17 Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”

Acts 1:20
Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’

Psalm 69:25  "Let their homes become desolate and their tents deserted."

Psalm 109:8  "Let his years be few; let someone else take his position."

Be confident in the Scriptures and constant in your study of them.

Acts 1:21
21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— 22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.

The faith of a believer is to be sustained with active waiting and listening.

 

Acts 1:6-8

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Acts 1:1-8
1 In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.  4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:6-7
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.

Acts 1:3
3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is political and geographical.

Luke 1:31-33 
(The angel said to Mary:)
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

The Kingdom of God is tangible and eventual.

Luke 22:15-17
15 Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

Luke 11:2
Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon.

The promise of “Kingdom come” supports the mission of Jesus now.

Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The Scope of Apostolic Mission
Jerusalem  (1:1-8:4)
Judea and Samaria (8:5-9:43)
“Ends of the earth” (10:1-28:31)

Isaiah 49:6
He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.
    I will make you a light to the Gentiles,
    and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."

Acts 1:1-5

 — Dale Beaver

Message Notes

Acts 1:1-5
1 In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. 4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The longer we read and study the Bible, the easier it is to assume that everyone knows or agrees with what we have come to see and understand. We can skip over "unimportant things" and lose the opportunity to experience the historical settingtheological background and apologetic nature of a book like Acts. In short, we lose a rational and reinforcing power to our faith that what we read really happened.

Acts 1:1-3a
1 In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive.

How can we know that Luke wrote a gospel and Acts?

Luke 1:1-4
1 Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. 2 They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. 3 Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.

The Gospel of Luke and Acts are two volumes, each about the length of a standard scroll and ordered in a similar way. In Luke's gospel, Jesus works among Jewish people as the Messiah, moves toward Jerusalem where he suffers, is crucified and resurrected. In Acts, the apostles work among the nations as witnesses to the Messiah as the church grows. The church moves from Jerusalem to Rome where it suffers and endures persecution but expands even as many believers die.

Luke 2:30-32
30 I have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared for all people. 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

Evidence of Luke as Author
Papyrus 75: AD 175-200
Muratonian Fragment: AD 170-180
Irenaeus: AD 130-202
Clement: AD 150-215
"a co-worker" of Paul   Philemon 24
"the beloved doctor"    Colossians 4:14

When did Luke write these volumes?

Acts 28:30-31
30 For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him, 31 boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him.

Significant Historical Events
Roman Fire/Neronian Persecution    AD 64
Jewish Temple Destruction     AD 70

In light of the tone of these final verses in Acts, Luke must have written before AD 64. Since Paul lived in this relative peace in Rome for "two years," we can estimate that Luke-Acts were written near AD 60.

Acts 1:3b-5
3b And (Jesus) talked to (the apostles) about the Kingdom of God. 4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”