Introduction to Acts

1: Goal for the course: To hear what Holy Spirit has to say to us through what he has written

  1. Why study the Bible if we have the Holy Spirit?
    • The Spirit speaks in a different kind of way through the Scriptures as compared with dreams, visions and prophecies
      • Final authority
      • Clarity
      • Not just applicable to individuals, but universal
      • but not as intimate or personal
    • Of course he can and does use the Scriptures to give us a personal word
  2. Why study Acts in particular?
    • Luke gives us a “model” for the church
    • This model is not optional
    • If we are longing for the blessings and power of the early church, we need to study Acts seriously
  3. Acts is an incredibly well crafted book
    • Luke has not just sat down and scribbled it out
    • His Gospel and Acts were his life’s work
    • The Spirit helped him choose every word
  4. The need for Teaching and Response

2: How Acts hangs together

  • Structure of the book [handout]
  • The story of Acts
    • Acts is all about Missions, driven by the Holy Spirit
    Section 1: They’ve just Begun [1]
    Section 2: They start to Do [3]
    Section 3: They’re forced to flee [6:8]
    Section 4: God Opens Doors [9:32]
    Section 5: A Missions drive [13]
    Section 6: Extended Trips [16:6]
    Section 7: To Rome, then heaven [19:21]
  • Assignments [handout]
  • All course material will be available at
    • Recommended book: The Acts of the Apostles, Ben Witherington (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998)