The Book of Acts is a continuation of the story of Jesus. Jesus continues the work He started in the flesh by working through His new body, that of the Christian Church. The term Christian was first given at Antioch and it translates “Christ like.” The apostles were given the Holy Spirit and the power to perform miracles. The word apostle means someone who has seen Jesus.
The Book of Acts can be sub-divided as follows:
1. The gospel of Jesus is preached in Jerusalem. Acts 1.1-6.7
2. The gospel of Jesus is preached in Judea and Samaria. Acts 6.8-12.24
3. The gospel is preached from Rome to the ends of the earth. Acts 12.25-28-31
Luke structured his second book around two apostles. Peter is featured from Acts 1 to Acts 12.24. Paul is the key apostle in the chapters from Acts12.25 through Acts 28.31. This naturally divides the book into two parts. The following verses indicate Luke’s intent to further divide the book into six sections, all of which tell how the word was spread and how churches were planted.
1. “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” (Kings James Version. Acts 6.7) This relates the growth of the church in Jerusalem and the spreading of the good news of Christ.
2. “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”(Acts 9.31) This verse tells of the increases made in Judea, Galilee and Samaria.
3. “But the word of God grew and multiplied.”(Acts 12.24) Indicates continued growth.
4. “And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily” (Acts 16.5) Luke tells us here that churches were being planted throughout the land.
5. “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”(Acts 19.20) Further growth in the word and in the establishment of the church is taking place.
6. “Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”(Acts 28.31) Luke has shown that Paul has preached the word of God, from the ends of the earth to Rome.
Luke has chronicled the Acts of these two apostles in their attempt to carry out the wishes of Jesus. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1.8)
Luke was a meticulous historian and his account contains fifty-six verses that reference the work of the Holy Ghost. Of the twenty-eight verses, Luke names the Holy Ghost in seventeen of them. (MacArthur, John) It will be left to the Bible scholars among you to research and discover which verses are included and which are not.
Luke wrote the Book of Acts, along with the Gospel of...