The book of Acts follows the four books that describe the
life of Christ as set forth in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Each account of Jesus' life closes with His death on the cross
for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection. When the
gospel began to be preached, it included these facts (see 1
Did Jesus' disciples understand all of these things prior to
their occurrence? Jesus told them what was going to happen (see
Matthew 16:21-23; 17:22-23; 20:17-19). This last reference,
along with John 12:32-33, even demonstrates that He would be
killed by crucifixion. Since Jesus possessed no sin (1 Peter
2:22), He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins (Heb. 2:9,
14-18; 4:14-15; 9:11-12, 24-28).
Salvation having been accomplished, Jesus' work was finished
(John 19:30). What would the apostles do now? Consider what
Jesus told them after His resurrection but before His ascension.
a. Matthew 28:18-20. "Make disciples of all nations...
b. Mark 16:15-16. "Preach the gospel to every creature."
c. Luke 24:46-48. Preach "repentance and remission of
sins" to all nations.
d. John 20:21. "As the Father sent Me, I also send you."
Jesus fulfilled things concerning Him which were written in
the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).
No doubt, the apostles had learned a great deal of information
from Jesus' teaching while He was alive and on this occasion after
His resurrection. But would they be able to remember everything?
And what about the new teachings that had not as yet been
revealed? Jesus had explained how that would be handled on the
night He was betrayed (John 14:25-26; 16:12-13).
As the book of Acts opens, Jesus is about to ascend into heaven.
What follows is the only accurate, historical, Divinely inspired
account of what befell the disciples of Jesus. What did they
preach and teach? How did those who heard them respond to
the gospel? How did those who believed the truth respond to it?
What is this body of believers supposed to do; what
responsibilities do they have?
Brief Outline of Acts
1. Jesus' Final Charge (1)
2. The Day of Pentecost (2)
3. The Church in Jerusalem (3-5)
4. The First Christian Martyr (6-7)
5. The Gospel in Samaria (8)
6. The Conversion of Saul (9, 22, 26)
7. The Gospel Includes Gentiles (10-11)
8. James, Peter, and Herod (12)
9. Paul's Life
a. First Missionary Journey (13-14)
b. Conflict Resolved in Jerusalem (15)
c. Second Missionary Journey (16-18:22)
d. Third Missionary Journey (18:23-21:17)
e. Paul's Arrest and Trials (21:18-26:32)
f. Paul's Journey to Rome (27-28)
KEY VERSES AND PASSAGES
1:8 "'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come
upon you; and you will be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and
in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'"
1:9-11 Jesus ascended into heaven in a cloud and will return the
2:1-4 The Day of Pentecost (baptism in the Holy Spirit).
2:22 "'Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man
attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which
God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also
2:32 "'This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all
2:36 "'Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that
God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both
Lord and Christ.'"
2:37 "Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and
said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, 'Men and
brethren, what shall we do?'"
2:38 "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you
be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
[Don't forget that Matthew 26:28 in the Greek (as well
as the English) has the identical wording-"for the
remission of sins."]
2:41 "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and
the same day about three thousand souls were added to them."
2:42 "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine
and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers."
2:46 "And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and
breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with
gladness and simplicity of heart,"
2:47 "praising God and having favor with all the people. And the
Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."
3:22-23 Jesus is the prophet concerning whom Moses spoke (Deut.
4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other
name under heaven given among men by which we must
4:18 "And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all
nor teach in the name of Jesus."
4:19 "But Peter and John answered and said to them, 'Whether it
is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to
God, you judge.'"
4:20 "'For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and
5:29 "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said: 'We
ought to obey God rather than men.'"
8:1 Christians were scattered by persecution--"except the
8:4 "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere
preaching the Word."
8:35-39 "Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this
Scripture, preached Jesus to him. And as they went down
the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said,
'See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?'"
And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you
may.'" And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God.'" And he commanded the chariot
to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down
into the water, and he baptized him. And when they had
come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught
Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and
he went on his way rejoicing."
9:9, 11 Saul fasted and prayed for three days.
10:47 "'Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized
who have received the Holy Spirit just as we?'"
11:14-18 Peter told them words, by which they would be saved.
The purpose for the Holy Spirit being given to them was
so the Jews would accept their salvation.
11:26 "...And the disciples were first called Christians on
13:7-12 "The Word of God, "the faith," "the right ways of the Lord,"
and "the doctrine of the Lord" are all used interchangeably.
14:23 They "appointed elders in every church."
16:14 The Lord "opened" Lydia's heart.
16:30-31 "And he brought them out and said, 'Sirs, what must I do
to be saved?'" And they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.'"
16:32 "Then they spoke the word of the Lord to himand to all
who were in his house."
16:33 "And he took them the same hour of the night and
washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his
family were baptized."
17:11 "These were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, in
that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and
searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these
things were so."
17:24-26 "God, who made the world and everything in it, seeing He
is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples
made with hands. Nor is he worshipped with men's
hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He gives
to all life breath, and all things. And he has made from
one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face
of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed
times and the boundaries of their habitation."
17:30-31 "And these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now
commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has
appointed a day on which He will judge the world in
righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained."
20:7 "And on the first day of the week, when the disciples
came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the
next day, spoke to them and continued his message
20:26-27 "Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent
of the blood of all men, for I have not shunned to
declare to you all the counsel of God."
20:28 The church was purchased with the blood of Christ;
wolves will draw away disciples after themselves.
20:32 "And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word
of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an
inheritance among all those who are sanctified."
22:16 "'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized,
and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'"
[Remember to link this verse to Revelation 1:5, which
mentions that Jesus washed us from our sins in His own
blood, though the words translated "wash" are not
23:1 ..."'Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience
before God until this day.'"
24:25 "And as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control,
and judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered,
'Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will
call for you.'"
25:11 Paul took advantage of his legal rights and appealed to
26:9-11 Paul's description of how he once persecuted Christians.
26:28 "Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'You almost persuade me to
become a Christian."
*Send comments or questions concerning this survey to Gary Summers.[New Testament Survey Index]