Topics in book of Acts
Spreading of Gospel
- Jerusalem - 5:28 "filled Jerusalem with your teaching".
- 1:15 - bigan with 120 people in chamber;
- 2:41 - 3.000 added on the day of Pentecost;
- 4:4 - 5.000 men (not including women and children);
* then they stopped counting.
- 6:7 - result of spreading of the Gospel in Jerusalem.
- Throughout Judea and Samaria - 8:1 ... all but the apostles dispersed to different places in Judea and Samaria.
- 8:4 - "The scattered went to preach the gospel of the Word";
- 8:5,14,25 - Samaria. "Philip came to the city of Samaria and preached to them Christ"; The 1st witness of miracles is not through the apostles.
- 9:31 - the result of the spread of the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria.
* While the church is 100% Jewish.
- Ends of the earth (that is, to the Gentiles) - beginning.
- 10:1 and further - Peter went to Caesarea in the house of the Roman centurion Cornelius. He preached the Gospel to the Gentiles (not a Jew converted to Judaism); 1-s preaching to the Gentiles. Peter only entered the gates, but did not want to stay there. Peter was asked to report for a strange incident. He only defended himself (I would not have gone if God had not forced).
- 11:19-21 - the establishment of a church consisting of Gentiles in Antioch, which became the center of missionary activity in reaching the ends of the earth;
- 11:20-21 - is the result of the spread of the gospel in pagan regions outside of Jerusalem.
- Edges of the Earth - continuation (missionary travel).
- 13:4 - Cyprus (the house of Barnabas - 4:36);
- 16:6 - Phrygia and Galatia, review of the 1 st missionary journey;
- 16:7 - to Macedonia - an overview of the 2 nd and 3 rd missionary journeys;
- 23:11 - to Rome;
- 28:31 - the outcome of the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth ... and this process continues in our days.
From the Gospels to the Epistles
THE TRANSITION FROM PETER TO PAUL
- This transition is a bridge between the Gospels and the writing of messages.
- "Opening doors" through Peter and entering "through the doors" through Paul.
- Peter occupies an outstanding place at the very beginning, and in chapters 1-12 he describes his activities primarily, with the exception of Stefan's ministry in Jerusalem and the ministry of Philip in Samaria.
- Mt 16:18-19 - Peter gives "the keys to the Kingdom." He had three occasions to open the doors of the Kingdom to the world.
* Pentecost - Jews unconverted to Judaism (Chapter 2).
* Samaria - to people with mixed blood (Chapter 8).
* Cornelius to the Gentiles (Chapter 10).
- Peter appears as a leader at the beginning, establishing the Church in Palestine, then Jacob takes the lead, but Peter opened these doors.
- Paul takes up an outstanding place later and in Ch. 13-28 - Paul's activities are mainly described.
- 13:2,3 - Paul was officially commissioned the work to which he was called at 9:15 (although the doors were still open in the service of Peter, it was in the ministry of Paul through these doors that one could enter).
- Paul acts as the leader in the further spread of the Church from Antioch to Rome.
TRANSITION FROM THE JEWISH TO THE GENTILE CHURCH
- Jerusalem church - 1:14-7:60.
- All Jews, one hundred percent Jewish.
- Problems arose between Greek Jews born outside Palestine who spoke Greek and who were accustomed to Greek customs and culture, and Jewish Jews born in Palestine who spoke Aramaic and adhered to Jewish customs and culture.
- However, all were Jews.
- Judea and Samaria.
- Judea. 8:4 - preached the Word only to Hebrews (11:19).
- Samaria. 8:5,14-15 - People with mixed (Jewish and Gentile) blood claiming to worship the God of Israel.
- . 8 shows that the Samaritans were accepted into the body of believers.
FROM JEWS TO GREEK JEWS, TO THE SAMARIANS, ETC.
The Ethiopian eunuch (8:26-40). Leave the awakening in Samaria and go into the desert.
- Was a Jew: proselyte or converted to Judaism ("went to Jerusalem for worship" v.27).
- Proselyte is not a Jew by race, nationality and religion, converted to Judaism (including circumcision and observance of the law).
- 8:26-40 - shows the acceptance of proselytes into the body of believers.
- Cornelius (Chapter 10). God-fearing gentiles.
- 10:1 - represents Cornelius as the Roman centurion of the Italian regiment.
- 10:2 - "fearing God" - points to a person who is not completely proselyte converted to Judaism (including circumcision and observance of the law), but who believed in the God of Israel and followed the moral teachings of Judaism (not participating in the ceremonial law).
- . 10 gives us many different details regarding the events of the conversion of Cornelius and his family (the vision of Cornelius, the vision of Peter, the servant of Cornelius gave an appreciation of the virtues of Cornelius and the dramatic movement of the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius and his family). (v.22)
- In addition to this, there are very many details about how Peter defended his actions.
- The transition from Jews to Greek Jews, to mixed Jews (Samaritans), before converting to Judaism, to God-fearing pagans and, ultimately, to ...
- One hundred percent Gentiles (11:19-21).
- 11:20 - some began to address the Greeks (not to the Greek Jews, but to the Gentiles).
- This led to the establishment of the Church in Antioch, in which the Gentiles predominated. Very quickly became strong.
* The largest and most active of the early churches, it existed for 500 years;
* The believers first began to be called "Christians" in Antioch (11:26);It was no longer just a Jewish sect.
* Active evangelization of pagan peoples (called the mission) began here (13:4).
- The problem arises: Can pagans become Christians without first becoming Jews?
- . 15 - A meeting was convened in Jerusalem, and the leaders decided that they could allow it. This was a decisive step forward for the Church and the fulfillment of the ancient commandment given to Israel for the attainment of the world by the gospel (Is 49:6; 42:6,7).
- Some of the factors that led to the shift of the center of the church from Jerusalem to Antioch (and, consequently, from the Church, mostly Jewish, to the Church, with the predominance of pagans in it).
- 8:1,4;11:19-21 The persecution and reaction of the Church to persecution;
- 11:27-30 - the famine in Judea during the reign of Claudius; Because of him, people left Jerusalem and spread the gospel.
- 15:19 - the abolition of the requirements of the observance of the Law of Moses for the Gentiles (hence, there are no religious ties with Jerusalem, which allows the church in Antioch to have a leading role).
PROTECTION OF THE GOSPEL
- Before the Jews (48-12) - representing Jesus as the Messiah of Israel. One who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy. He who was rejected by the Hebrews and the One in whom we find salvation.
- .7 - protection of Stephen before the Sanhedrin;
- .13 - the protection of Paul in the synagogue in Antioch.
- Before the Gentiles (25:8-12) - representing Jesus as one God over all other "gods". One Lord over all nations and as One answer to all religious searches.
- .10 - Peter in the house of Cornelius;
- .17 - Paul and Athens;
- The protection of the Gospel before the Jews and Gentiles was carried out with the purpose of bringing salvation to both groups.
- The church had to be confronted with both pagan and Jewish beliefs, the Roman government, Jewish traditions and Greek culture. Such clashes and protection of the Gospel before Jews and Gentiles show how to represent the gospel in order to reach different groups without compromising on its fundamental truths.
PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH LIFE
There are many different principles in the establishment of requirements and order in the Church:
- 24:2-47 - Interaction in communication (prayer, worship);
- 8:1;91,2;12:1-4 - the persecution and reaction of the church to persecution;
* The Gospel spread most of all.
- 13:1-4 - Mission and world evangelism - the beginning of responsible action in relation to the Great Commission (Mat 28:19);
* The beginning of conscious actions to spread the gospel.
- 15:1-35 - power and leadership in a large church assembly - includes all areas, especially conflict resolution.