The Study of Acts

Courageous Men of the Word is beginning a study of the Book of Acts. In Greek the word translated “Acts” was often used to describe the achievements of great men. Acts does feature the notable figures in the early years of the church, but the book could more properly be called “The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles,” since His sovereign, superintending work was far more significant than that of any man. It was the Spirit’s directing, controlling, and empowering ministry that strengthened the church and caused it to grow in numbers, spiritual power, and influence. Since Luke’s gospel was the first book addressed to Theophilus , it is logical to conclude that Luke is also the author of Acts, although he is not named in either book. Luke was Paul’s close friend, traveling companion, and personal physician.He was a careful researcher,and an accurate historian, displaying an intimate knowledge of Roman laws and customs, as well as the geography of Palestine, Asia Minor, and Italy. In writing Acts, Luke drew on written sources and also no doubt interviewed key figures, such as Peter, John, and others in the Jerusalem church. Paul’s two-year imprisonment at Caesarea gave Luke ample opportunity to interview Philip and his daughters. Theophilus, whose name means “lover of God,” is unknown to history apart from his mention in Luke and Acts. As the first work of church history ever penned, Acts records the initial response to the Great Commission. It provides information on the first 3 decades of the church’s existence,material found nowhere else in the NT. Because Acts is primarily a historical narrative, not a theological treatise like Romans or Hebrews, it contains relatively few interpretive challenges. Those that exist mainly concern the book’s transitional nature and involve the role of signs and wonders. In this study we will explore this historical account, and it is our prayer that through your group discussions you may see God working in your life.

8 Lessons
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