Sermon Notes “Transition vs Tradition” 06/13/21

Acts Overview
DATE: 62 A.D. (covers about a 30-year period from A.D. 30 to A.D. 61)
AUTHOR: Luke, the “beloved physician” and ministry partner of Paul AUDIENCE: Written to Theophilus (“friend” or “lover of God”), and the Church
CONTENT: Acts contains 28 chapters and 1,007 words. “Luke uses over seven hundred words not found in any other of the twenty-six New Testament books – he must have been steeped in the Septuagint, because nine-tenths of these words were used in it.” (TTTB, p. 354)
PURPOSE: Provide an historical record of the birth and expansion of the Church
THEME: The presence and power of the Holy Spirit in and through the apostles KEY VERSE(s): Acts 1:8 “…You shall be My witnesses”
KEY WORDS: “witness” (17x); “holy Spirit: (40x); “resurrection” (12x)
MAJOR INTERPRETIVE ISSUE: Determining what things recorded in the transitional Book of Acts that God intends to be “normative” for the church today (e.g. speaking in tongues, “signs and wonders,” etc.)
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: There are three primary factors that are crucial for understanding the spiritual, social and political background of Acts —

  1. The Jewish history of the Old Testament and culture (its “traditions”)
  2. The still-strong influence of Greek culture – That’s why the New Testament
    was written in koine Greek, the world-wide language of the people
  3. The fact of political domination by the Roman Empire had established a 250-year period of relative peace and stability known as the “Pax
    Romana” which was maintained by the awesome military might of Rome
    Basic Outline of Acts 1-12 (Walk Thru The Bible pneumonic device) 1-Sun The Son rises – The resurrection of Christ
    2-Dew The Dew falls – Pentecost the Holy Spirit “falls” upon the Church 3-Knee Peter heals the Lame man in the Temple (also Peter’s 2nd sermon) 4-Door Peter and John arrested – jail “door” slams shut
    5-Dive Ananias and Saphira “dive” into their grave by lying to the Holy Spirit 6-Sticks The 1st deacons appointed to “pick up sticks” for fire to prepare food 7-Heaven Stephen – the 1st Christian martyr – sees vison of Christ in heaven 8-Gate The Ethiopian eunuch opens the “tail-gate” of his chariot for Philip 9-Shine Saul – the persecutor of the Church – sees Christ “shine” on road 10-Hen Peter’s vison of sheet coming down from heaven with animals and birds 11-Leaven Beware the false teaching, or “leaven,” of the judaizers (traditionalists) 12-Shelve Peter–themainfocusin1-11is“shelved”–thefocusisnowonPaul
    Ref: www.pinterest.com/pin/548383692117782128/

Map of Key Geographical Locations in the Book of Acts
Introduction to the Book of Acts
The Foundation and Expansion of the Church
“…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (NASB)
Chart of the Book of Acts – Shows how Acts 1:8 defines the structure of Acts Ref: Talk Thru the New Testament, vol. 1, Wilkinson & Boa, 1981
Key Facts
Historical Period Covered in Acts: About 30 years (A.D. 30—A.D. 61)
Luke wrote more than one fourth of the New Testament (Luke-Acts 27% total verses) Paul’s Three Missionary Journeys Recorded in Acts13:1-21:16
Paul’s final journey to Rome for trial Acts 21:17-28:31
Approximate Distance from Jerusalem to Rome – 2,500 miles (~1,400 miles by sea) Approximate Total Miles Traveled by Paul – About 11,000 miles!
*Source: Talk Thru The Bible, p.355; and Jensen, p.219
Ref: Logos Bible Software, www.Logos.com

  1. The Jewish history of the Old Testament and culture (its “traditions”)
  2. The still-strong influence of Greek culture – That’s why the New Testament
    was written in koine Greek, the world-wide language of the people
  3. The fact of political domination by the Roman Empire had established a 250-year period of relative peace and stability known as the “Pax
    Romana” which was maintained by the awesome military might of Rome
    Basic Outline of Acts 1-12 (Walk Thru The Bible pneumonic device) 1-Sun The Son rises – The resurrection of Christ
    2-Dew The Dew falls – Pentecost the Holy Spirit “falls” upon the Church 3-Knee Peter heals the Lame man in the Temple (also Peter’s 2nd sermon) 4-Door Peter and John arrested – jail “door” slams shut
    5-Dive Ananias and Saphira “dive” into their grave by lying to the Holy Spirit 6-Sticks The 1st deacons appointed to “pick up sticks” for fire to prepare food 7-Heaven Stephen – the 1st Christian martyr – sees vison of Christ in heaven 8-Gate The Ethiopian eunuch opens the “tail-gate” of his chariot for Philip 9-Shine Saul – the persecutor of the Church – sees Christ “shine” on road 10-Hen Peter’s vison of sheet coming down from heaven with animals and birds 11-Leaven Beware the false teaching, or “leaven,” of the judaizers (traditionalists) 12-Shelve Peter–themainfocusin1-11is“shelved”–thefocusisnowonPaul
    Ref: www.pinterest.com/pin/548383692117782128/

Acts 1:1-5 “Transition vs. Tradition”
“Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’ And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them…” Acts 15:1-2 (NASB)
Key x-References – The foundation and beginning of the Church of Jesus Christ
Acts 1:6-8 (NASB) *Key verse in context—Disciples’ concern about “the kingdom” “So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the re- motest part of the earth.’ ”“The kingdom” now exists in spiritual form (Jn.18:36; Lk.17:20-21)
Acts 2:41-47 (NASB) *Life in the early (normal?) Church – “wonders and signs”?
“So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common…Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Luke 3:23 (NASB) *The beginning of Jesus’ ministry, continued by His Spirit in Acts “When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph…” *Note: Important for dating events in the N.T.
John 14:16-20 (NASB) *Jesus’ promise of a “Helper” – “I will come” thru the Holy Spirit “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”
John 14:25-26 (NASB) *Important for the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
John 15:26-27 (NASB) *Witnessing – He testifies to us so that we can testify to others! “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
Acts 2:32-33 (NASB) *The fulfillment of Jesus’ instruction (Acts 1:4) and promise
“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”
The Book of Acts Series 6/13/21
The Foundation and Expansion of the Church of Jesus Christ “…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (NASB)
Introduction – The transitional nature of the Book of Acts 1:1-5

  1. A continuation of the Gospel of Luke – what Jesus “began to do and teach” v.1a
    I.
  2. Luke’s historical “letter” addressed to Theophilus = “lover of God” v.1b; Lk. 1:3 3. Gospel ended with the Resurrection & Ascension of Christ vv.2-3; Luke 24:50-53 4. Christ’s instructions relating to the promise of the Holy Spirit vv.4-5
    Christian witness in Jerusalem 1:6-8:3
    A. The Risen Lord 1:1-26
    B. Pentecost – The birthday of the Church 2:1-47
    C. Healing the lame man in the Temple, Peter’s 2nd Sermon 3:1-26 D. The beginning of persecution 4:1-37
    E. Purging from within, more persecution from without 5:1-41
    F. Choosing co-laborers – The first deacons 6:1-7
    G. Stephen, the first martyr 6:8-8:3
    II. Christian witness in Palestine and Syria 8:4-12:25 A. The Christians Scattered 8:4-40
    B. The Conversion of Paul 9:1-31
    C. The Conversion of Gentiles 9:32-11:30
    D. The Christians Persecuted by Herod 12:1-25
    III. Christian witness to the uttermost part of the earth 13:1-28:31
    A. The First Missionary Journey 13:1-14:28
    B. The Council at Jerusalem 15:1-35
    C. The Second Missionary Journey 15:36-18:22 D. The Third Missionary Journey 18:23-21:26 E. The Journey to Rome 21:27-28:27
    Conclusion 28:28-31
    Key Verse(s) – The Luke-Acts Connection – Both written by Luke, the physician
    Acts 1:1 (NASB) * Introduction to the Book of Acts written by Luke – Part 2 Expansion “The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.”
    Luke 1:1-4 (NASB) *Introduction to Luke’s gospel – Part 1 of his historical record
    “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accom- plished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”

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