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INTRODUCTION:

The book that is simply designated “ACTS” in our Bibles is an account of the unleashing of the power of the Kingdom of God made possible by the Death and Resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Without that greatest event in all of history there would be no book of Acts (or any other New Testament book for that matter).

This record of the activities of the early Church covers a period of 20 years (approx.) – from the birth and empowering of the Church to the gospel reaching to the very heart of the Roman Empire.

Someone has suggested that this New Testament book would be more accurately entitled “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”.

The human author of Acts is Dr. Luke who wrote the gospel that bears his name. He refers to that gospel in the first verse of Acts as he introduces this sequel to someone known as “lover of God”

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (1/8 

So Jesus had a master plan. This would be an awkward observation for those who oppose the idea of setting goals and developing mission strategies. Of course, such strategies are only valuable inasmuch as the Holy Spirit is active in their development and implementation. Jesus strategy was to see the gospel penetrate the culture in ever-increasing “impact circles”. First, Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria and finally penetrating to the ends of the earth – at that time delineated by Rome itself.

ACTS: THE JERUSALEM PHASE    Chapters 1 - 7

ACTS: THE JUDEAN/SAMARITAN PHASE  Chapters 8-12

ACTS: THE GENTILE PHASE   Chapters  13-23

ACTS: THE UNIVERSAL PHASE   Chapters 24-28

PREPARATION: I believe you would find it useful to take time to read the last chapter of Luke’s gospel and the first chapter of Acts and see how they form a bridge between those two documents because they were written by the one person and the historical narrative flows more freely from one to the other.

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