Wednesday January 3, 2007
Get into the River
We are going to be in the Book of Acts
The Book of Acts provides a bridge for the rest of the Books of the New Testament.
It teaches what Jesus “began to do and teach”
As told in the 4 Gospels,
He continued to do and teach through the apostles’ preaching.
And the establishment of the church.
Geographically the story spans the lands between Jerusalem,
where the church began,
and Rome, the political center of the empire.
Historically it recounts the first 30 years of the church.
The Book of Acts is also a bridge that ties the church in its beginning,
all the way down to this age.
The Book of Acts may be studied to gain an understanding of the principles that ought to govern the church of today.
The Theme and Purpose of Acts
The theme of Acts is best summarized in Acts 1:8 (read)
The power of the Holy Spirit came to earth,
and it came upon the people.
The power of the Holy Spirit is still on the earth today.
And the Holy Spirit is on God’s people today.
The main purposes of the Book of Acts are:
1. To present a history.
The significance of Acts as a historical account of Christian origins.
It tells of:
the founding of the church,
the spread of the gospel,
the beginnings of congregations,
and evangelistic efforts in the apostolic pattern.
One unique aspect of Christianity is its firm historical foundation.
The life and teachings of Jesus Christ are established in the 4 Gospels.
The Book of Acts provides a coordinated account of the beginnings of the church.
2. To give a defense.
We finds in Acts,
Record of Christian defenses made of both Jews and Gentiles.
Underlying purpose of conversion.
Shows how the early church coped with pagan and Jewish thought.
Shows how the early church coped with the Roman government and Hellenistic society. Hellenistic: Jewish believers wanted to require Gentile believers to become Jews as a prerequisite to becoming Christian.
3. To provide a guide.
Luke had no way of knowing how long the church would continue.
As long as we pursue,
the Book of Acts will be one of our major guides.
In Acts we see basic principles being applied to specific situations in the context of problems and persecutions.
The same principles continue to be applicable until Christ returns.
4. To depict the triumph of Christianity in the face of bitter persecution.
The success of the church in carrying the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome,
and planting local churches across the Roman empire,
demonstrated that Christianity was not a mere work of man.
God was in it!
Turn to Acts 5:35-39, (read)
The Characteristics of Acts
1. Accurate historical detail
Every page in Acts abounds with sharp, precise details of history.
Acts covers a period of about 30 years.
Acts reaches across the lands of Jerusalem to Rome.
Hostile criticism has not succeeded in disproving the detailed accuracy of Luke’s writing.
2. Literary excellence
Not only does Luke have a large vocabulary compared with other New Testament writers.
But he also uses these words in literary styles that fit the cultural settings of the events he was recording.
At times he employs good, classical Greek.
At other times the Palestinian Aramaic of the first century shows through his expressions.
This is an indication of Luke’s careful practice of using language appropriate to the time and place being described.
3. Dramatic description
Luke’s use of details brings the action to life.
The Book of Acts is vivid and fast-moving throughout.
4. Objective account
Luke’s careful arrangement of material need not distract from the accuracy of his record.
He demonstrates the objectivity of his account by recording the failures as well as the successes,
The bad as well as the good, in the early church.
Even than there was divisions in the church.
Luke weaves together different interests and emphases as he relates the beginnings and expansion of the church.
His book revolves around,
1. Key people: Peter and Paul
2. Important topics and events:
The role of the Holy Spirit
Pioneer missionary outreach to new fields
Growth of the church
And life in the Christian community
3. Significant problems:
Conflict between Jews and Gentiles
Persecution of the church by some Jewish elements
Trials before Jews and Romans
Confrontations with Gentiles
And hardships in the ministry
4. 5 Geographical advances:
1. Started in Jerusalem going to:
3. Paul’s 1st Missionary Journey started at Antioch
4. Paul’s 2nd and 3rd Missionary Journey covered:
5. Paul’s trip to Rome covered
You are wondering what this has to do with us
What it has to do with Anchor of Hope.
It has everything to do with us
It has everything to do with Anchor of Hope.
We are part of that church that started 2000 years ago.
We are part of that church that God planted here in Dillingham.
The Book of Acts is going to lead and teach us how to live and serve God here in Dillingham.
The Book of Acts is going to lead and teach us how to use this building Anchor of Hope for the Glory of God.
This is a new year,
This is a new beginning
We are going to experience some amazing things this year.
ONLY IF YOU WANT TOO
If you want to experience amazing things and if you are expecting God to do great things through this body of believers, please line up here in front.