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Studies From The Book of Acts
Acts - Chapter 1
(New American Standard Bible)
1The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2until 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.
3To these He
also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs,
appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things
they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at
this time You are restoring the kingdom to
will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be
My witnesses both in
He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a
cloud received Him out of their sight. 10And as they were
gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white
clothing stood beside them. 11They also said, "Men of
The Upper Room
12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
15At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, 16"Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17"For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry."
18(Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20"For it is written in the book of Psalms,
21"Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us-- 22beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us--one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection."
23So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."
26And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
(All scripture quoted is NASV)
Acts: Chapter 1
Some scholars say that Acts is the second volume of a continued story. In their minds, Luke write the first volume as the story of the eternal life of Jesus (What Jesus began to do and teach) and Acts as the continuation of that account, as the story of the Christian Church (Christ's Church), led and empowered by the Holy Spirit and documenting the actions of the followers of Jesus, the Christ as they work to fulfill his Great Commission.
The simple fact is that the life and work of Christ's church carries Jesus on to the world (continues his work) after the completion of the work his father gave him to do here on earth and his ascension back to his place with the Father.
The work of the church in Christ's physical absence is empowered and strengthened by the Holy Spirit - the one Jesus called the Comforter. In fact that still occurs today, with the power and strength provided by the Holy Spirit coming to those who are about doing the work that Jesus gave us to do.
"Remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20)
Christ's message and all of his actions while here in the physical were about His Father's Kingdom and that is what the power and provision of the Holy Spirit continues in today. This is the thought in Jesus' instructions on how we ought to pray:
"Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven"
We pray for the Kingdom of the Father to come here. What is his kingdom? It is that his will be done here on earth just as it is in heaven.
In the mind of Christ, Power would be needed for this to be accomplished, and so he promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to those who were about doing his work. No one should think that the Holy Spirit only came at Pentecost. Scripture contains many references to God's spirit working within and through His people.
The power Jesus knew those working in Acts would need most, would be the power of Witness, as he indicated in his command Acts 1:8. The Greek word for witness is Martus which is the same word used for Martyr. Jesus knew that witnesses for his kingdom must be ready and prepared to witness, even in the worst of conditions, when doing so might cost them everything. That was why he gave them (And us) the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the time was right, Jesus left. As Luke records in the Ascension, both in the Gospel of Luke, and then again in Acts.
Jesus had appeared to the disciples for a period of forty days. He could not stay forever, and there needed to be a distinct cut off point n his post resurrection presence, and so from the mount of Olives, he left in a way that brought great Joy to the disciples.
The joy in his leaving is the knowledge in his return.
As he left, the disciples knew that he needed to be replaced and so, from those who:
1 - Knew Jesus from the beginning - they did not know about Jesus, they knew him. This is the mark of a faithful (blessed) Christian, even today. More than knowing about Jesus, we know Him.
2 - Followed him to the end. Those who were qualified to be considered as Apostles knew Jesus until the end of his physical presence. We hope to know him until the end of our physical presence.
A successor was selected.
Key events in Chapter 1 of Acts:
1- (Acts 1: 1-2)
- The Reason Luke wrote Acts
- Written to Theophilus -
- This is the second account - what was the first? (Luke 1: 1-4)
- The first account was about all that Jesus began to do and teach. Following this thought, what would the second account be about?
- Who was Theophilus?
2 - (Acts 1: 3-5)
- The resurrected Jesus was with them for 40 days from resurrection until ascension.
- Jesus asks the apostles to remain in
John Baptized with water, but I will baptize you with the Holy Spirit
4 - (Acts 1:6-7)
- The Apostles ask when the kingdom will be restored and Jesus answers
It is not for you to know.
5 - (Acts 1:8)
- Promise of the Holy spirit,
- The Great Commission , which is also recorded in
They will receive Power, from the Holy Spirit to
witness for Jesus in
6 - (Acts 1:9-11)
- The ascension of Jesus Christ
- After Great Commission
- They saw him rise. (Verse 12 says from Mt
- "Why do you watch? As he left you, so will he come, again."
7 - (Acts 1:12-14)
- Apostles return to the Upper Room
- Apostles are listed (11 total because Judas is now gone) This is the last time a list is given.
- They continually devoted themselves to prayer, along with the women, Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers.
8 - (Acts 1:15-26)
- Peter's speech to those in the Upper Room
- Verse 15-20 Judas's death
- Verse 21-26 Selection of Matthias
- Selected from those who were with Jesus from the beginning
- Potential replacements proposed were Joseph, known as Justus, and Matthias.
- They prayed and then cast lots to select Matthias.
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