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The Book of Acts

We are happy to announce that we are beginning a study of the book of Acts, which should extend through June, 1999.  Sunday, January 3, 1999, will be our first study, which will present material about the background of Acts, links with the Gospel of Luke, themes of Acts, and an Outline (actually, two outlines) of the book.  We will be posting materials here probably each week, so keep checking back for the latest additions.


Outline(s) of the Book of Acts

Introduction of the Book of Acts

The Book of Acts is much more than a history of the Church or the first century apostles. It is a history of the power of the Gospel changing lives of individuals, towns, cities, regions, and an empire. At times the focus is on individuals miraculously transformed into champions of Christ; at times it is on the conflict between powerful, corrupt enemies of the gospel and those who are empowered by the Spirit to face them. At times the setting is a lonely desert road; at times it is a Roman prison; and, at times in a palace. Groups of people move out and speak for Christ; individuals take the gospel to remote areas; churches send chosen messengers throughout the known world. The Gospel, in the hands of Spirit-empowered believers, faces kings, ambassadors, magicians, demons, poverty-stricken seekers, and tender-hearted gentiles, and in every case claims victory for Christ. These are the Acts of the Holy Spirit, the effects of which the resurrection of Jesus is the cause, a description of how "God is in us, reconciling the world unto Himself."

As a believer, you’re already a part of the story. Join us as we re-live the exciting and sometimes frightening first days of this new creation in Christ called the Church.

Outline(s) of Acts

Analytical Outline

I. The Power of the Gospel Revealed (1:1-2:47)

A. Through the Link with Luke’s Gospel (1:1-14)
    1. Jesus’ Instructions (1:1-8)
    2. Jesus’ Ascension (1:9-11)
    3. The Return to Jerusalem (1:12-14)
B. Through the Link with Prayer (1:14)
C. Through the Link with Scripture (1:15-26)
D. Through the Fulfilled Promise of the Father (2:1-13)
    1. The Signs (2:1-4)
    2. The Proclamation (2:5-11)
    3. The Response (2:12-13)
E. Through Effective Proclamation (2:14-47)
    1. The Proclamation (2:14-36)
    2. The Response (2:37-47)

II. The Work of the Gospel Examined (3:1-6:7)

A. The Work’s Effect in the World (3:1-4:22)
    1. The Work is Jesus’ Work (Functionally) (3:1-4:4)
    2. Perplexity at the New Medium (4:5-22)
B. The Work’s Effect in the New Community (4:23-6:7)
    1. In Unity (4:23-35)
    2. In Sin (4:36-5:16)
    3. In Persecution (5:17-42)
    4. In Need (6:1-7)

III. Resistance to the Gospel Described (6:8-12:24)

A. The Aim of Persecution (6:8-7:60)
B. The Zealousness of Persecution (8:1-3)
C. The Results of Persecution (8:4-12:24)
    1. The Spread of the Gospel (8:4-40)
    2. The Conversion of Saul (9:1-31)
        a. His radical change in behavior
        b. His destiny to carry the gospel to the ends of the known world
    3. The Ministry to the Gentiles (9:32-11:18)
    4. The Gentile Ministry to Judea (11:27-30)
    5. The Cost of Discipleship (12:1-23)
    6. Summary (12:24)

IV. The Proclamation of the Gospel Extended (12:25-28:31)

A. The First Extended Outreach (12:25-14:28)
    1. The Selection (12:25-13:3)
    2. The Journey (13:4-14:28)
B. The Question of Gentile Inclusion (15:1-35)
    1. The Occasion (15:1-5)
    2. The Debate (15:6-18)
    3. The Answer (15:19-21)
    4. The Result (15:22-35)
C. The Second Extended Outreach (15:36-18:21)
    1. The Problem (15:36-38)
    2. The Peaceful Solution (15:39-40)
    3. The Program (15:41-18:21)
D. The Third Extended Outreach (18:22-21:16)
E. The Fourth Extended Outreach (21:17-28:31)
    1. The Occasion for the Journey (21:17-26:32)
        a. Paul’s Rescue/Arrest (21:17-36)
        b. Paul’s Defenses (21:37-25:5)
        c. Paul’s Appeal to Caesar (25:6-26:32)
    2. The Journey to Rome (27:1-28:16)
    3. In Rome (28:16-31)

Ecclesiastical-Theological Outline

I. The Birth of the Church (1,2)

II. Early Growth of the Church (3,4)

III. Identity of the Church (4,5)

IV. The Work of the Church (6-28)

A. Ministry within the Body (6)
B. Ministry to the World (6-28)
    1. Environments for Ministry
    2. Targets of Ministry
    3. Instruments of Ministry
    4. Implications of Ministry



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