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"ACTS OF THE APOSTLES" Chapter Two OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To carefully consider the events surrounding the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost 2) To examine Peter's first gospel sermon, and the evidence presented in it for the resurrection of Jesus Christ 3) To observe the response to the sermon, and what people were told to do in order to be saved 4) To note the establishment and characteristics of the church in Jerusalem SUMMARY Ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven, on the Jewish feast day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is poured out as promised. With the sound of a rushing mighty wind, and with tongues of fire appearing above their heads, those filled with the Holy Spirit begin to speak in other tongues (1-4). Devout Jews visiting from other countries are attracted and amazed as they hear wonderful works of God proclaimed in their own languages (5-13). Peter, standing with the rest of the apostles, explains that what has happened is a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy (Joel 2:28-32), who foretold that God would pour out His Spirit in the last days (14-21). He then preaches Jesus of Nazareth to the crowd, reminding them of His miracles, their involvement in His death, and proclaiming that God raised Him from the dead. As proof for the resurrection, Peter offers three lines of evidence: 1) the prophecy by David, who foretold of the resurrection (Ps 16:8-11); 2) the twelve apostles as witnesses; 3) the Spirit's outpouring itself , indicative of Christ's exaltation and reception of the promise of the Spirit from the Father. In conclusion, Peter pronounces that God has made Jesus, whom they crucified, both Lord and Christ (22-36). Cut to the heart, the people ask the apostles what they should do. Peter commands them to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and gift of the Holy Spirit. With many other words he exhorts them to be saved, and about 3000 souls gladly receive his word and are baptized (37-41). Thus begins the church in Jerusalem, which continues steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and prayers. Signs and wonders are done by the apostles, while the believers display their love and devotion through acts of benevolence and frequent worship. They enjoy the favor of the people, and the Lord adds to the church daily those being saved (42-47). OUTLINE I. THE OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT (1-4) A. ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST (1) 1. A Jewish holiday, also known as the Feast of Weeks and Feast of Harvest, one of three great annual festivals (cf. Lev 23:15-22; Exo 23:14-18; 34:22) 2. Fifty days after the Passover Sabbath, i.e., Sunday 3. They, most likely the apostles (cf. Ac 1:11,26; 2:7,14), were gathered in one place B. WITH AUDIBLE AND VISUAL SIGNS (2-3) 1. A sound from heaven a. As of a rushing mighty wind b. Filling the house where they were sitting 2. Divided tongues a. As of fire b. One upon each one of them C. FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT (4) 1. Speaking with other tongues (known languages, cf. Ac 2:8,11) 2. As the Spirit gave them utterance II. THE REACTION OF THE CROWD (5-13) A. CONFUSED AND AMAZED (5-11) 1. The crowd made up of devout Jews visiting from other nations 2. The effect of what they heard a. Drew the multitude together b. Confused them, for everyone heard them speaking in their own language c. Amazed and marveled them, for those speaking were Galileans d. Yet were hearing languages of the countries of their birth 1) Parthians, Medes, Elamites, dwellers in Mesopotamia 2) Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia 3) Egypt, Libya, Cyrene, Rome 4) Both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs 3. Hearing in their languages the wonderful works of God B. TWO RESPONSES (12-13) 1. One of serious questioning: "Whatever could this mean?" 2. One of mockery: "They are full of new wine." III. THE EXPLANATION BY PETER (14-21) A. THEY WERE NOT DRUNK (14-15) 1. Standing up with the eleven, Peter addresses the crowd 2. It was too early in the day ("third hour", i.e., 9 a.m.) for them to be drunk B. THE FULFILLMENT OF JOEL'S PROPHECY (16-21) 1. The events were those prophesied by Joel (cf. Joel 2:28-32) 2. Which foretold of the outpouring of the Spirit a. In the last days on all flesh b. Leading sons and daughters to prophesy, young men to see visions, and old men to dream dreams c. With signs and wonders in heaven above and earth beneath before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord d. With salvation to those who call upon the name of the Lord IV. THE SERMON BY PETER (22-36) A. PROPOSITION: GOD RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD (22-24) 1. Jesus, a man attested to by miracles, signs and wonders a. Done by God in their midst b. Which they themselves knew 2. Jesus, crucified and put to death a. According to the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God b. Which they did by lawless hands (via the Romans) 3. Jesus, whom God raised from the dead a. Having loosed the pains of death b. For it was not possible that He should be held by it B. EVIDENCE: THREEFOLD TESTIMONY (25-35) 1. The testimony of David a. For David prophesied of Jesus (cf. Ps 16:8-11) b. David could not be speaking of himself 1) For he was dead and buried 2) With his tomb for all to see c. But spoke as a prophet 1) He knew that God had sworn with an oath that one of his descendants would be raised to sit on his throne 2) He therefore spoke of the resurrection of Christ, whose soul was not left in Hades nor did His flesh see corruption 2. The testimony of the apostles a. They were witnesses b. That God raised Jesus 3. The testimony of the Spirit's outpouring a. Jesus poured forth what they saw and heard 1) Having been exalted to the right hand of God 2) Having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit b. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but prophesied of the Lord (Ps 110:1) 1) Who would sit at God's right hand 2) Until His enemies became His footstool (cf. 1Co 15: 25-26) C. CONCLUSION: JESUS IS LORD AND CHRIST (36) 1. All the house of Israel were to "know assuredly" (i.e., believe with all their hearts) 2. That God made Jesus, whom they crucified, both Lord and Christ V. THE CONVERSION OF 3000 SOULS (37-41) A. THE RESPONSE OF THE LISTENERS (37) 1. They were cut to the heart 2. They said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" B. THE REPLY BY PETER (38-39) 1. Two commands a. Repent b. Let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ 2. Two promises a. For the remissions of sins b. You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit 3. The extent of the promise a. To them and their children b. To all who afar off, as many as the Lord will call C. THE RESULTS RECORDED BY LUKE (40-41) 1. After Peter with many other words testified and exhorted them: "Be saved from this perverse generation" 2. Those who gladly receive his word were baptized 3. That day about 3000 were added (cf. Ac 2:47) VI. THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH (42-47) A. THEIR STEADFASTNESS AND REVERENCE (42-43) 1. They continued steadfastly in: a. The apostles' doctrine and fellowship b. The breaking of bread and prayers 2. Fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles B. THEIR CHARITY AND GROWTH (44-47) 1. Those who believed were together and had all things in common a. Those with possessions and goods sold them b. Dividing them among all according to their need 2. They continued daily with one accord in the temple 3. Breaking bread from house to house, eating with gladness and simplicity of heart 4. Praising God and having favor with all the people 5. The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - The outpouring of the Spirit (1-4) - The reaction of the crowd (5-13) - The explanation by Peter (14-21) - The sermon by Peter (22-36) - The conversion of 3000 souls (37-41) - The beginning of the church (42-47) 2) What day had arrived? Who was gathered in one place? (1) - The Day of Pentecost; "they" (most likely the apostles, cf.
Ac 1:26; 2:7,14) 3) What audible and visible signs were evidence of the Spirit's outpouring? (2-3) - The sound of a mighty rushing wind filling the house where they were sitting - Divided tongues, as of fire, one sitting upon each of them 4) What did those filled with Spirit begin to do? (4) - To speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance 5) Who was present in Jerusalem at that time? (5) - Devout Jews from every nation 6) What indicates that the "tongues" were known languages of men? (6,11) - Everyone heard them speak in his own language - The people said, "We hear them speaking in our own tongues..." 7) What evidence is that those speaking were only the apostles? (7) - Those speaking were Galileans (which was true of the apostles, whereas many disciples were from other regions besides Galilee) 8) What was the reaction of those who heard? (7,12-13) - They were amazed and marveled, they were perplexed, some even mocked 9) How did Peter and the eleven discount the charge that they were drunk? (14-15) - It was only the third hour of the day (9 a.m.) 10) To what does Peter attribute the events of that day? (16) - That which was spoken by the prophet Joel 11) When would the events described by Joel occur? (17) - In the last days 12) Upon whom would the Spirit be poured out? (17,18) - All flesh - God's menservants and maidservants 13) What did Joel prophesy would be some of the effects of the Spirit's outpouring? (17-18) - Sons and daughters shall prophesy (cf. Ac 21:8-9) - Young men shall see visions and old men shall dream dreams - God's menservants and maidservants shall prophesy (cf. 1Co 11:5) 14) What other events were foretold by Joel? When would they occur? (19-20) - Wonders in heaven and signs in the earth - The sun turned into darkness, and the moon into blood - Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord 15) What reassuring promise was made by Joel? (21) - Whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved 16) How was Jesus attested to by God? (22) - By miracles, wonders, and signs which He did through Him 17) Could the audience deny that Jesus did these signs? (22) - No, for they were done in their midst and they were aware of them 18) Though crucified by lawless hands, according to what was Jesus' death? (23) - God's predetermined purpose and foreknowledge 19) What is the main proposition of Peter's sermon? (24) - God raised Jesus from the dead 20) What first line of evidence did Peter present to prove his proposition? (25-31) - The prophecy of David concerning the resurrection of the Christ 21) How was Peter able to prove that David did not speak of himself? (29,34) - David was dead and buried, the tomb was still there - David did not ascend into the heavens 22) What two prophecies of David did Peter reference? (25-29,34-35) - Psalms 16:8-11; 110:1 23) What second line of evidence did Peter present to prove his proposition? (32) - The apostles were witnesses of the resurrection 24) What third line of evidence did Peter present to prove his proposition? (33-33) - The outpouring of the Spirit, indicative of being exalted to the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit 25) What did Peter want his audience to know assuredly? (36) - That God has made Jesus, whom they crucified, both Lord and Christ 26) How did this impact the audience? What did they ask? (37) - They were cut to the heart; "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 27) What two commands did Peter give them? (38) - Repent and be baptized 28) What two promises did Peter offer them? (38) - Remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit 29) To whom was the promise offered? (39) - To them and their children, and to all who are afar off, as many as God would call 30) What else did Peter say? (40) - With many words he testified, and exhorted them, "Be saved from this perverse generation" 31) What did those who gladly received his word do? How many? (41) - They were baptized; about 3000 32) What did those who were baptized then do? (42) - Continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers 33) Who were doing many wonders and signs? (43) - The apostles 34) What did those who believe do with their possessions? (44-45) - Sold them and shared with one another as anyone had need 35) What did the disciples do during those first days of the early church in Jerusalem? (46-47) - Continued daily in the temple with one accord - Breaking bread from house to house, eating with gladness and simplicity of heart - Praising God and having favor with all the people 36) What did the Lord do during those days? (47) - Added to the church daily those who were being saved
"ACTS OF THE APOSTLES" Chapter One OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To begin our study of Acts with a review of things taught by Jesus between His resurrection and ascension: the kingdom of God, the Promise of The Father, being baptized by the Spirit 2) To note the role and qualifications of the apostles as witnesses of the resurrection of Christ 3) To see how Luke sets the stage for the great events described in chapter two SUMMARY Luke begins his second book to Theophilus by alluding to the first (the gospel of Luke, Lk 1:1-4). He briefly reviews what occurred during the forty days between the resurrection and ascension of Christ (cf. Lk 24:1-53). Special attention is given to the Promise of the Father regarding the apostles being baptized by the Holy Spirit, who would empower them as witnesses for Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and even to the end of the earth (1-8). The ascension of Jesus is then described (cf. also Lk 24:50-51), along with the promise of His return by two men in white apparel standing by (9-11). Obeying the command of the Lord, the apostles return to Jerusalem, where they wait and continue in prayer along with the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers (12-14). During this time, Peter addresses the (120) disciples regarding Judas who betrayed Jesus. Both the fall and replacement of Judas were foretold by the Spirit through the mouth of David, so Peter proposes guidelines for nominees to take the place of Judas in the apostolic ministry of being a witness of Jesus' resurrection. Two men are selected for consideration, and following prayer for the Lord to show which of the two He has chosen, lots are cast and Matthias is numbered with the eleven apostles (15-26). OUTLINE I. THE PROLOGUE (1-8) A. THE FORMER ACCOUNT TO THEOPHILUS (1-3) 1. Of all that Jesus began to do and teach 2. Until the day in which Jesus was taken up 3. After He had given commandments to the apostles a. To whom He had shown Himself alive, being seen during forty days b. Speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom of God B. THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (4-8) 1. The apostles commanded to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Promise of the Father a. Which they had heard from Him b. For while John baptized with water, they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit shortly 2. The apostles question Jesus concerning the kingdom a. Would He now restore the kingdom to Israel? b. It is not for them to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority 3. When the Spirit has come upon the apostles... a. They shall receive power b. They shall be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth II. THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST (9-11) A. JESUS ASCENDS TO HEAVEN (9) 1. When He had spoken these words, while they watched 2. A cloud received Him out of their sight B. THE PROMISE OF HIS RETURN (10-11) 1. While looking steadfastly as Jesus ascends, two men in white apparel stand by 2. They address the apostles a. "Men of Galilee" b. "Why do you stand gazing up into heaven?" 3. They promise Jesus will return a. "This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven" b. "Will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven" III. THE WAITING IN JERUSALEM (12-14) A. THE APOSTLES RETURN TO JERUSALEM (12) 1. From the mount called Olivet 2. About a Sabbath day's journey B. THEY CONTINUE IN PRAYER (13-14) 1. In an upper room where they were staying 2. The names of the apostles: Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas the son of James 3. They pray with the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers IV. THE SELECTION OF MATTHIAS (15-26) A. THE COUNSEL OF PETER (15-22) 1. To about 120 disciples, of the need to replace Judas a. His betrayal prophesied by the Spirit through David 1) He became a guide to those who arrested Jesus 2) Though he was numbered with the apostles and had a part in their ministry b. His gruesome death described by Luke 1) He purchased a field with the wages of iniquity (Mt27:3-8) 2) He fell headlong, burst open in the middle, entrails gushing out 3) The field is called Akel Dama, Field of Blood c. His end and replacement foretold in the Psalms 1) "Let his dwelling place be desolate, And let no one live in it" (Ps 69:25) 2) "Let another take his office" (Ps 109:8) 2. Stipulating requirements for one to be a witness of His resurrection with the apostles a. Having accompanied the apostles all the time Jesus went in and out among them b. Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day Jesus ascended to heaven B. MATTHIAS NUMBERED WITH THE APOSTLES (23-26) 1. Two are proposed a. Joseph called Barsabas and surnamed Justus b. Matthias 2. Prayer is offered to the Lord, who knows the hearts of all a. To show which of these two He has chosen b. Who would take part in the ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell 3. Lots are cast a. The lot fell on Matthias b. He was numbered with the eleven apostles REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - The Prologue (1-8) - The Ascension Of Christ (9-11) - The Waiting In Jerusalem (12-14) - The Selection Of Matthias (15-26) 2) What is the "former account" Luke has reference to? (1) - The gospel of Luke (Lk 1:1-4) 3) What three things does Luke mention Jesus did before He ascended? (2-3) - Gave commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen - Presented Himself alive by many infallible proofs - Spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom of God 4) How long a period was it between the resurrection and ascension of Christ? (3) - Forty days 5) What command did Jesus leave with His apostles? (4) - Not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father 6) What did this "promise" pertain to? (5) - Being baptized with the Holy Spirit 7) What question did the apostles ask Jesus? How did he respond? (6-7) - Would He at that time restore the kingdom to Israel? - It was not for them to know the times and seasons which the Father has put in His own authority 8) What was promised when the Spirit came upon them? What would they then be? (8) - The apostles would receive power - His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to end of the earth 9) What happened as Jesus ascended to heaven? (9) - A cloud received Him out of their sight 10) As Jesus ascended to heaven, who stood nearby? (10) - Two men in white apparel 11) What did they promise? (11) - Jesus will return in like manner as they saw Him ascend to heaven 12) From where did Jesus ascend to heaven? How far was this from Jerusalem? (12) - Mount Olivet (near Bethany, cf. Lk 24:50) - A Sabbath day's journey (nearly a mile) 13) Where did the apostles stay in Jerusalem? With whom did they pray? (13-14) - An upper room - With the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers (cf. Mt 13:55; Jn 7:5) 14) How many disciples were gathered there in those days? (15) - 120 15) Who stood up to speak? What about? (15-20) - Peter - Replacing Judas who betrayed Jesus and hung himself 16) What happened to the body of Judas? In what field? (18; Mt 27:3-10) - Fell headlong, burst open in the middle, and entrails gushed out (presumably after he hanged himself) - The field purchased with money paid to betray Jesus, known as Akel Dama, the Field of Blood 17) What were the requirements to be considered a replacement for Judas? (21-22) - Had accompanied the apostles all the time the Lord Jesus went in and out among them - From the baptism of John to the day Jesus ascended to heaven 18) What would be a primary role of the replacement? (22) - To be a witness with the apostles of the resurrection of Jesus 19) What two candidates were selected? (23) - Joseph called Barsabas, surnamed Justus - Matthias 20) What procedure was used to determine who would replace Judas? (24-26) - Prayer, and then the casting of lots 21) Who was numbered with the eleven apostles? (26) - Matthias
"ACTS OF THE APOSTLES" Introduction TITLE Commonly called "The Acts Of The Apostles", it is simply titled "Acts" in some of the oldest manuscripts. It might appropriately be called "Some Of The Acts Of Some Of The Apostles" since it does not try to describe all of the acts of all the apostles. Rather, the focus is clearly on some of the acts or deeds of mostly Peter (the key figure in the first half) and Paul (the key figure in the second). It might also be called "The Acts Of The Holy Spirit", as that Person of the Godhead is very much an active participant throughout the book. AUTHOR Though he does not mention himself by name, the author is undoubtedly Luke, physician and frequent traveling companion of the apostle Paul. From 1:1-3, we learn Acts is the second historical account to Theophilus (see below), the first being the gospel universally attributed to Luke (cf. Lk 1:1-4). Luke is described as "the beloved Physician" (Col 4:14), and the vocabulary of both the gospel and Acts shows evidence of a medical mind. Mentioned as a "fellow laborer" (Phm 24) who was with Paul in his last days (2Ti 4:11), Luke often accompanied Paul on his travels beginning with his second journey. By carefully noting the use of "we" and "they" in the book of Acts, we glean that Luke joined Paul at Troas (16:10-11), and remained at Philippi (17:1) until Paul later picked him up on his way to Troas (20:1-6). The book ends with Luke accompanying Paul to his imprisonment in Rome (28:16). It is evident Luke was very careful to provide a historically accurate account in the both the gospel and Acts (cf. Lk 1:1-4,5; 2:1-3; 3:1-2). Sir William Ramsay, archaeologist who started his career to prove Luke to be in error, offered this testimony as a result of his research: "Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense...in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians." In fact, Luke provides the only record of the first thirty years of the early church. RECIPIENT Both the gospel and Acts were written to one man: Theophilus (Lk 1:3; Ac 1:1), whose name means "God lover". Ramsay suggests the use of "most excellent" (Lk 1:3) was a title like "Your Excellency" (cf. 23:26; 26:25) and that Theophilus was a government official of high rank. It is not used in Acts (1:1), and one intriguing possibility is that he became a believer in between receiving the gospel and Acts. Some have entertained the possibility that Theophilus was a Roman official in charge of administering Paul's case before Caesar, and that the gospel and Acts were written to help him understand the facts of Jesus Christ and Paul's role in the history of the church. TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING The book ends abruptly with Paul under house arrest awaiting trial in Rome (28:16,30-31). This may indicate that the book was written before Paul's trial and eventual release. The dates for Paul's first imprisonment in Rome are 60-62 A.D. If the book was just before or after Paul's release, then it was likely written around 63 A.D. from Rome. PURPOSE OF THE BOOK As indicated previously, the original purpose of both the gospel and Acts may have been to assist Theophilus in some official capacity in learning about Jesus and His apostles. Yet the inspiration and preservation of the book would indicate an important future role in the providence of God. Based on its content, I would offer the following purpose of this book: * To record the establishment and early growth of the church Other reasons could be given for why this book was written. The detail given to conversions and the involvement of the Holy Spirit would certainly suggest the book is designed to reveal: * Examples of conversions to the gospel of Christ * The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the apostles and the early church The value of Acts is also seen in that it provides the historical framework for the epistles found in the New Testament. From Romans to Revelation, names, places, and events are mentioned upon which light is shown by the historical account of Acts. Without Acts, the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John would be left without a satisfying answer to the question, "What happened next?" THEME OF THE BOOK The book begins in Jerusalem and ends at Rome. It describes the establishment and growth of the Lord's church throughout the Mediterranean world through the work of the apostles and other Christians under the direction of the Holy Spirit. We read their sermons and see the conversions which resulted as they carried out the Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-16). We learn how local churches were established, and much of their work, worship and organization. But mostly we see the faith and efforts of those charged to be witnesses of the Lord and of His resurrection from the dead. An appropriate theme of this book might therefore be: "WITNESSES FOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST" KEY VERSE: Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." OUTLINE I. THEIR WITNESS IN JERUSALEM (1:1-8:3) A. PREPARATION (1:1-26) 1. Introduction to the book (1:1-3) 2. The promise of the Spirit (1:4-8) 3. The ascension of Jesus (1:9-11) 4. The waiting for the Spirit (1:12-14) 5. The selection of Matthias (1:16-26) B. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHURCH (2:1-47) 1. The outpouring of the Spirit (2:1-4) 2. The reaction of the crowd (2:5-13) 3. The explanation by Peter (2:14-21) 4. The first gospel sermon by Peter (2:22-36) 5. The conversion of 3000 souls (2:37-41) 6. The beginning of the church (2:42-47) C. THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM (3:1-8:3) 1. The healing of the lame man; Peter's second sermon (3:1-26) 2. The first persecution against the church; the liberality of the church (4:1-37) 3. The first trouble within; increasing persecution without (5:1-43) 4. The disturbance within resolved; intensifying persecution without (6:1-15) 6. The address and martyrdom of Stephen (7:1-60) 7. The persecution involving Saul against the church (8:1-3) II. THEIR WITNESS IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA (8:4-12:25) A. THE PREACHING BY PHILIP (8:4-40) 1. The conversion of the Samaritans (8:4-25) 2. The conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch (8:26-40) B. THE CONVERSION OF SAUL OF TARSUS (9:1-31) 1. The appearance of the Lord on the road to Damascus (9:1-8) 2. The baptism of Saul by Ananias (9:9-19) 3. The initial ministry and persecution of Saul (9:20-31) C. THE MIRACLES OF PETER (9:32-43) 1. The healing of Aeneas (9:32-35) 2. The raising of Dorcas from the dead (9:36-43) D. THE CONVERSION OF CORNELIUS (10:1-11:18) 1. The account recorded by Luke (10:1-48) 2. The account retold by Peter (11:1-18) E. THE MINISTRIES OF BARNABAS, SAUL AND PETER (11:19-12:25) 1. The work of Barnabas and Saul in Antioch (11:19-26) 2. The work of Barnabas and Saul in Judea (11:27-30; 12:25) 3. The persecution by Herod; James beheaded, Peter arrested (12:1-4) 4. The release of Peter from prison by an angel; Herod's death (12:5-24) III. THEIR WITNESS TO THE END OF THE EARTH (13:1-28:30-31) A. THE FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY OF PAUL (13:1-14:28) 1. The departure from Antioch of Syria (13:1-3) 2. The ministry on the island of Cyprus (13:4-12) 3. The preaching in Antioch of Pisidia (13:13-52) 4. The work and persecution in Iconium, Lystra and Derbe (14:1-20) 5. The confirmation of churches and appointment of elders (14:21-23) 6. The return trip to Antioch (14:24-28) B. THE ISSUE OF CIRCUMCISION AND THE LAW (15:1-35) 1. The problem surfaces in Antioch (15:1-3) 2. The problem resolved in Jerusalem (15:4-29) 3. The letter delivered to Antioch (15:30-35) C. THE SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY OF PAUL (15:36-18:22) 1. The separation of Paul and Barnabas (15:36-41) 2. The addition of Timothy to Paul and Silas (16:1-5) 3. The call to come to Macedonia (16:6-10) 4. The conversion of Lydia in Philippi (16:11-15) 5. The conversion of the Philippian jailor (16:16-40) 6. The proclamation of Christ in Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens (17:1-34) 7. The year and a half at Corinth (18:1-17) 8. The quick trip back to Antioch (18:18-22) D. THE THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY OF PAUL (18:23-21:17) 1. The strengthening of disciples in Galatia and Phrygia (18:23) 2. The conversion of Apollos by Aquila and Priscilla (18:24-28) 3. The three years at Ephesus, ending with a riot (19:1-41) 4. The trip through Macedonia, three months in Greece, and return through Macedonia (20:1-5) 5. The breaking of bread and miracle at Troas; heading toward Jerusalem (20:7-16) 6. The meeting with the Ephesian elders at Miletus (20:17-38) 7. The warnings on the way to Jerusalem; brief stays in Tyre and Caesarea (21:1-14) 8. The arrival in Jerusalem (21:15-17) E. THE ARREST OF PAUL AND JOURNEY TO ROME (21:18-28:31) 1. The counsel of James and elders of the church in Jerusalem (21:18-25) 2. The arrest of Paul in the temple (21:26-40) 3. The defense by Paul to the Jewish mob (22:1-30) 4. The defense by Paul before the Sanhedrin council (23:1-10) 5. The plot against Paul and deliverance to Felix (23:11-35) 6. The trial before Felix; procrastination by Felix (24:1-27) 7. The appearance before Festus and appeal to Caesar (25:1-12) 8. The defense before Festus and King Agrippa (25:13-26:32) 9. The journey to Rome; shipwreck along the way (27:1-28:16) 10. The explanation of Paul to the leaders of the Jews in Rome (28:17-29) 11. The waiting in Rome for two years, yet preaching and teaching (28:30-31) REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE INTRODUCTION 1) Who is the author of the book of Acts? What was his profession? - Luke - Physician 2) To whom was this book written? What other book is addressed to this person? - Theophilus (Ac 1:1) - The gospel of Luke (Lk 1:3) 3) What might indicate that this person was an official of high rank? - Being addressed as "most excellent" (Lk 1:3) 4) When was this book likely written? From where? What may be indicative of this? - 63 A.D.; Rome - It is when and where the book abruptly ends (Ac 28:30-31) 5) What is proposed as the primary purpose of the book of Acts? - To record the establishment and early growth of the church 6) Based on content, what else does the book appear designed to reveal? - Examples of conversions to the gospel of Christ - The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the apostles and the early church 7) What is offered as the theme of the book of Acts? - Witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ 8) What is the key verse? - "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." - Ac 1:8 9) What are the main divisions of the book as suggested by the key verse and the outline in the introduction? - Their witness in Jerusalem (1:1-8:3) - Their witness in Judea and Samaria (8:4-12:25) - Their witness to the end of the earth (13:1-28:31)
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain (Surah 47:4, emp. added).Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers. The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil) (Surah 2:190-194, emp. added).Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel his people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can (Surah 2:216-217, emp. added).
Freedom from obligation (is proclaimed) from Allah and His messenger toward those of the idolaters with whom ye made a treaty: Travel freely in the land four months, and know that ye cannot escape Allah and that Allah will confound the disbelievers (in His guidance). And a proclamation from Allah and His messenger to all men on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah is free from obligation to the idolaters, and (so is) His messenger. So, if ye repent, it will be better for you; but if ye are averse, then know that ye cannot escape Allah. Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve. Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfill their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him). Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (Surah 9:1-5, emp. added).
And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah.... If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them.... And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not.... O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty stedfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred stedfast they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence.... It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise. Had it not been for an ordinance of Allah which had gone before, an awful doom had come upon you on account of what ye took. Now enjoy what ye have won, as lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (Surah8:39,57,59-60,65,67-69, emp. added; cf. 33:26).
vv. 67-69 were revealed when the Prophet had decided to spare the lives of the prisoners taken at Badr and hold them to ransom, against the wish of Omar, who would have executed them for their past crimes. The Prophet took the verses as a reproof, and they are generally understood to mean that no quarter ought to have been given in that first battle (p. 144, emp. added).
And when ye go forth in the land, it is no sin for you to curtail (your) worship if ye fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you. And when thou (O Muhammad) art among them and arrangest (their) worship for them, let only a party of them stand with thee (to worship) and let them take their arms. Then when they have performed their prostrations let them fall to the rear and let another party come that hath not worshipped and let them worship with thee, andlet them take their precaution and their arms. Those who disbelieve long for you to neglect your arms and your baggage that they may attack you once for all. It is no sin for you to lay aside your arms, if rain impedeth you or ye are sick. But take your precaution. Lo! Allah prepareth for the disbelievers shameful punishment. When ye have performed the act of worship, remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining. And when ye are in safety, observe proper worship. Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers. Relent not in pursuit of the enemy (Surah 4:101-104, emp. added; cf. 73:20).
[L]ove your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? (Matthew 5:44-46).But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:27-36).
At the time when this surah (Surah 2—DM) was revealed at Al-Madinah, the Prophet’s own tribe, the pagan Qureysh at Mecca, were preparing to attack the Muslims in their place of refuge. Cruel persecution was the lot of Muslims who had stayed in Meccan territory or who journeyed thither, and Muslims were being prevented from performing the pilgrimage. The possible necessity of fighting had been foreseen in the terms of the oath, taken at Al-Aqabah by the Muslims of Yathrib before the Flight, to defend the Prophet as they would their own wives and children, and the first commandment to fight was revealed to the Prophet before his flight from Mecca; but there was no actual fighting by the Muslims until the battle of Badr. Many of them were reluctant, having before been subject to a rule of strict non-violence. It was with difficulty that they could accept the idea of fighting even in self-defence [sic].... (Pickthall, p. 33, emp. added).
The spread of Islam occurred in waves. In less than a century after the establishment of the first Islamic society in Medina by the Prophet, Arab armies had conquered a land stretching from the Indus River to France and brought with them Islam, which, contrary to popular Western conceptions, was not, however, forced on the people by the sword (2003, p. 17, emp. added).
The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.... And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses,scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony—They indeed are evildoers (Surah 24:2,4, emp. added).
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrathon him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor (Romans 13:1-7, NKJV, emp. added).
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:19-21,NKJV, emp. added).
Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks.... Andthose who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. He will guide them and improve their state, and bring them in unto the Garden [Paradise—DM] which He hath made known to them (Surah 47:4-6, emp. added).O ye who believe! Be not as those who disbelieved and said of their brethren who went abroad in the land or were fighting in the field: If they had been (here) with us they would not have died or been killed.... And what though ye be slain in Allah’s way or die therein? Surely pardon from Allah and mercy are better than all that they amass. Whatthough ye be slain or die, when unto Allah ye are gathered?.... So those who...fought and were slain, verily I shall remit their evil deeds from them and verily I shall bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow—a reward from Allah (Surah 3:156-158,195, emp. added).