In this message I am seeking to give a 30,000 foot overview of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. This New Testament book records the process of God bringing to Himself a newly constituted people of God. By the power of the Holy Spirit the first Christians are a model for growing the people of God.
We believe that the book of Acts is both history and biography. It is intended to show us how the Spirit animated the early church and how the church today is to be Spirit empowered.
One of the Bible’s themes is found in Genesis 12:2-3.
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
A challenge exists for the young Church. In the Old Covenant the people of God were those born into a Jewish family, keepers of the law, and circumcised. In the New Covenant the people of God are those born of the Spirit.
The Old Covenant was for Israel. The New Covenant is for the New Israel.
Acts is the news report of how the Holy Spirit empowered the early church to become the New Israel or the new people of God. 1 Peter 2:9-10
The structure of Acts is outlined in the verse Acts 1:8.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Acts features the ministry of two apostles.
- Acts 1:1 – 12:24 The Apostle Peter
- Acts 12:25 – 28:31 The Apostle Paul
There are three primary segments to the structure of Acts.
- Acts 1:1-6:7 – Jesus’ witnesses spread his gospel in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jews.
- Acts 6:8-12:24 – Jesus’ witnesses spread his gospel throughout Judea and Samaria.
- Acts 12:25-28:31 – Jesus’ witnesses carry his gospel to the ends of the earth, to Rome, the capital of the Gentiles.