“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 ESV

The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book in the New Testament. It’s sort of the sequel to the book of Luke. In the Gospels we read how Jesus lived, how He died, how He rose and how He ascended. But Acts tells us what happens next. It’s another narrative that details how the Holy Spirit came upon the church and how the gospel message spreads out from Jerusalem to all of Rome. Here’s a cool video I found showing the advance of the gospel: The Spread of the Gospel.

Acts begins with Jesus’ ascension and the Holy Spirit’s descent. The book continues on to show how the apostles preached Christ to the rest of the world. A pretty straightforward book, we get to see the church expanding from a small group of believers in a house (Acts 2:2) to a large fellowship of believers said to have turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).

Here are a few ways to outline the book of Acts:

1) The primary human actors in this story are Peter and Paul and one way we can split the book is

– chapters 1 to 12 are where the gospel starts in Jerusalem and ends in Antioch with Peter

– chapters 13 to 28 are the gospel goes from Antioch to Rome with Paul

2) Another way to outline the book is by the pivotal point being the latter half of Acts 15 in which the council at Jerusalem discusses the gentiles being converted.

– Part 1 is the period before the clarification of the gentile question at the Jerusalem council (Acts 1-15)

– Part 2 is the period after the clarification of the gentile question at the Jerusalem council (Acts 15-28)

However you decide to split up the book, Acts clearly shows that Jesus is true to His Word: that after He ascends, the Holy Spirit will descend and empower them to work miracles and preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.

 

 

The Gospel Advances (Acts)

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