Witnesses of the Messiah: On the Acts of the Apostles 1-15 (Kingdom Series)

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Top Searches love St. Michael Luke marie St. Peter baptism confession saint jude marriage st. How is Acts a fulfillment of this prophesy about a restored Israel and a message for the nations? Read John What changed between that event and what we see here in Acts ? Despite their fears and failings, why do you think God still trusts the apostles to be the leaders of His Church? In verse 20, St.

Saul becomes Paul

From what you know about an office, why is this significant? Answer: Offices are passed on from one person to another. Allow the group to discuss. Note to the Leader: Your group may have an expert understanding of papal and episcopal succession, or this might be their first time looking at this issue. This question can serve as a good gauge for where they are in their understanding.

The quote by St. Clement is particularly helpful in conveying how this process relates to our bishops today. Why do you think St. Luke puts this section at the beginning of the Gospel? Why do you think that someone might believe that evangelization within a Church structure might reduce the effectiveness of evangelization?

Share Tweet. Who Wrote the Acts of the Apostles? Acts Despite not directly referencing himself, St. Major Themes in Acts 1 Ends of the Earth Jesus gives His disciple a clear goal: Preach the message of the kingdom to the ends of the earth. Passing of Authority Acts Acts is a great example of how authority passes on within the Church. Peter himself, gives us a historical account of how authority passed from the apostles in the early Church in the year 96 AD: Through countryside and city [the apostles] preached, and they appointed their earliest converts, testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers Clement, Letter to the Corinthians , With this passing of authority at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, St.

Application to Your Life Acts has no definitive conclusion.

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Exploration: Questions and Answers 1. Read Luke Who is the author of the Acts of the Apostles? Answer: St. Both the Gospel of Luke and Acts are addressed to Theophilus. Answer: Jesus continues to work and teach through the apostles and the Church. It describes the growth of the church and the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem to important cities of the Roman Empire, and then Rome itself.

Luke was one of the few writers to explain why he wrote his works, and this helps us to know what his purposes were. Knowing his aims makes us better able to understand Acts. What Luke wrote was not made up out of his own imagination nor based on his personal opinion. This means we can have confidence that what Luke wrote in his Gospel and Acts was correct.

However, he felt free to omit information that did not support his purpose.


Many texts from the Hebrew Bible indicate that the eschatological age would be characterized by the Spirit of God on all his people Joel , which Peter quotes in the next chapter, but also Isa , , I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. When it got any longer it got too bulky to carry around. The nation would later reject Jesus when He failed to meet their expectations of a political Messiah, who would deliver them from the Romans. During the 40 days between His resurrection and ascension to heaven, Jesus appeared again and again to His disciples.

Luke-Acts was written as a two-part work. Luke uses the same Greek word to refer to the Roman governors Felix and Festus ; ; However, the title was also used as a form of polite address, as a courtesy. It was not uncommon for writers to dedicate their books to distinguished persons.

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We have the example of the Jewish historian Josephus A. It would help us to know some things about Theophilus in order to better grasp what Acts is about. We might want to know some of the following: What was the relationship of Theophilus to the church? Was Theophilus new in the faith, or was he interested in becoming a Christian? Did Theophilus live in Rome or in some other city?

The Twelve and the Seventy Apostles | Meridian Magazine

Bruce painted the following fairly reasonable portrait of Theophilus:. It is quite probable that Theophilus was a representative member of the intelligent middle-class public at Rome whom Luke wished to win over to a less prejudiced and more favorable opinion of Christianity than that which was current among them…. We would like to know who Theophilus was and the specific questions in his mind. We can infer some things about Theophilus, as the above shows, but unfortunately only in a general way.

Judging by the content of Acts, Luke wrote to give Theophilus a reliable account of the beginning and growth of Christianity around the Empire. However, Luke probably had a much wider readership in view than just Theophilus. The fact that both the Gospel and Acts have survived indicates that the two volumes were copied, widely distributed in the churches, and publicly read. Yet, clearly he expected that his defense of the Jewish religion would be widely circulated.

Luke must have also expected that his two-volume work would be used to instruct Christians throughout the Roman Empire about the growth of the church. What was Luke trying to get across to his readers in Acts? In short, Luke is saying that Jesus is alive, and his life and work proceed in the church — and in greater power. This is the story of Acts. The objective would have been to confirm the faith of Theophilus in the work of Christ. Commentators have put forth many proposals.

Almost certainly, Luke had more than one purpose in writing.

Acting on Conviction

By a careful study of the contents of Luke-Acts, we can fix fairly well what information Luke wanted to convey to his readers. This will become clear as we make our way through the book. For the moment, we can briefly look at some broad strokes Luke painted for us in Acts:. By the time Luke wrote conservative estimates vary between a. Christians may have been accused of being bad citizens, whose beliefs worked against the best interests of the state.

A Part of the Whole

Perhaps they were even accused of being enemies of the Empire. We know that Christians were often accused of anti-government behavior by the Jews, most of whom had rejected the gospel. When Luke wrote, Christians were being spoken against as both government subversives and perverters of the Jewish religion.

Studies in the Book of Acts

Editorial Reviews. Review. His book furnishes us with an excellent introduction to the rich Witnesses of the Messiah: On the Acts of the Apostles ( Kingdom Series) - Kindle edition by Stephen Pimentel. Download it once and read it on. After the Resurrection, the apostles asked, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts ) Witnesses of the Messiah will guide you through.

A recent convert or one interested in becoming a disciple — such as Theophilus — would have been challenged by such questions. He needed to know the truth about such accusations, to have the record set straight. In fact, all recent converts or interested parties may have wondered why Christians were so despised. Acts may have even served the church as an apologetic document that set the record straight about the major accusations it faced. He is the one who guides the growth of the church and directs the spread of the gospel across the Roman Empire. The resurrection was the hope of Israel, something that Peter and Paul stressed in their sermons to the Jews.

And, of course, it is also the hope of the church.

Miracles of Jesus: From Healing the Sick to Turning Water Into Wine

For these reasons, the resurrection of Jesus, and his exaltation, take center stage in Acts. This occurred within the seven weeks between Passover, when Jesus was crucified, and Pentecost, when the Spirit came with power.

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The number 40 recalls the 40 days during which Moses received instruction on Mount Sinai. But here it is Jesus who gives the instructions, this time from the Mount of Olives Moses had been given the first covenant for ancient Israel to have. Now, the apostles are given the program for the renewal of Israel — to preach the gospel of salvation to the world and to teach disciples.

Both aims are to be accomplished through the Holy Spirit. During the 40 days of appearances, the apostles saw a Jesus who was alive, but who had been dead. They were left with an unshakable faith in Jesus as one who could deliver the goods of salvation, so to speak. He was their Savior, and the Savior of the world. Of this they were fully and irrevocably convinced. Luke was more interested in showing that the work of the church was empowered by the living Christ through the Holy Spirit. Its missionary work was not a human-directed movement.

It was based on a divine commission, and divinely empowered. The kingdom message now had a different thrust, a different emphasis. The witnesses preached Jesus as the resurrected and living Savior , The apostles and evangelists continued to preach the revitalized theme of the kingdom.