Section 1: "They’ve just Begun" [1]

Review of Outline of Acts

The text [handout]

  • 1:1 Part 2 of a 2-volume set
  • 1:5 Baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire
    • Luke 3:16; 12:50; Mark 10:38-39
    • Jesus, the pioneer, the forerunner

  • But see Eph 1:19-20 -> the power of Jesus resurrection is already available to us.

  • 1:26 Should we roll dice to determine God’s will?
    • How to apply the book of Acts
      • “There is not the slightest hint that Luke believes he is writing about a special “Apostolic Age” which is coming to an end” —from Witherington commentary
      • We can assume that most of the examples are given us to follow
    • We can assume we are being given a pattern to follow if:
      1. There are positive repeated examples, e.g.
        • prayer, praising God, healing
        • eating together, sharing possessions when needed
        • Peter or Paul’s preaching
        • but not in the case of casting lots to make decisions
        • not in the case of waiting many days in an upper room
      2. The pattern is always the same
        • they witness fearlessly
        • churches are planted
        • Paul keeps returning to churches to strengthen them
        • but sequence of reception of the Spirit does not have a neat pattern
      3. There is clear divine approval
        • Jesus tells Paul he is doing the right thing to go to Rome (contrary to the prophets)
        • Holy Spirit answers their prayer for boldness and more of him
  • 1:26 Was Matthias a mistake?
    • 1 Cor 15:5 —Paul refers to the “12” and he is not one of them
    • James, killed by Herod, was not replaced
    • There were several others, apart from Paul, called apostles.
  • 2:17 Did they have The Holy Spirit in the O.T.?
  • 2:19-20 Has it happened yet?

Peter’s Sermon

  • Structure
    1. Introduction / point of contact (Link to current events)
    2. You crucified Jesus...”
    3. “but God raised him up again”
    4. “and exalted him to a position of power (which explains the miracles)”
    5. “so repent so that your sins will be forgiven and you will receive the promised blessing that Jesus is pouring out.”
  • Joel: what period of time?
  • 2:37 Why did they respond like this to Peter’s preaching?
    • Peter’s gifting was as a Spirit-filled (supernatural) teacher/preacher
  • 2:25 Peter’s argument is from witnesses
    • Witness of Scripture —Joel prophesied the Spirit being poured out
    • Witness of the Spirit —They saw Jesus’ miracles
    • Witness of the Scripture —David prophesied the resurrection
    • Witness of the Spirit —to “what you see and hear” 2:34
  • What gift was Peter given?
    • Why did they respond to his message? -was it his boldness, his passionate preaching style?
    • Peter had the gift of empowered preaching/teaching
    • That meant that when he delivered the truth, the Spirit delivered powerful conviction to the hearts of the hearers

2:42-47 Characteristics of a healthy church

  • What are some characteristics?
    • teaching
    • fellowship
    • breaking bread
    • prayer
    • supernatural power (probably healing)
    • love
    • evangelism
    • giving generously

Other questions:

  • Why did Peter not tell them to wait 40 days for the Spirit to come to them?
  • Did they all receive Peter’s gift?
  • There is usually a development of gifting
  • But a gift can suddenly be given in response to a need

Response time

  • Chapter 1: Pouring out of the Spirit
    • We need the power of the Spirit. How did his coming change things?
    • how hungry are you for more of the Spirit to be poured out?
    • Do you still want more of him if he will lead you into fire?
    • Pray for more power in our lives
  • Chapter 2: Peter & the church
    • What conditions are there in 2:38,39 for receiving the promised blessing of the Holy Spirit?
    • The blessing of the Spirit is not a once-only event in our lives, but continuous and repeated.
    • Let’s particularly pray for Peter’s gift