Monthly Archives: March 2013

Bible Study Series: The Book of Acts (Week Two Notes)

St_Peter_in_Prison_by_Rembrandt
St. Peter in Prison, 1631 (Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1669)

In week one, we discussed the apostles’ perhaps surprising first steps after Christ’s return and ascension, the beginnning of their persecution by the temple authorities, their creation of the position of deacon, and the martrydom of Stephen.

Acts 8:4-9:43

Now we move on to the story of another deacon, Philip. Philip had taken the bold step of making his ministry among the Samaritans. Talk about a leap of faith! In doing so, he sparks several rather remarkable things. He gets Peter and John to challenge a magician, and defeat him. Then he becomes the divine instrument for converting a court official from a far-off land to the faith – and, in doing so, demonstrates for all that this new experience of Jesus is not just for the Jews but for everybody in the whole world.
Continue reading Bible Study Series: The Book of Acts (Week Two Notes)

Bible Study Series: The Book of Acts (Week One Notes)

14th Century Codex
Acts 1, from a 14th-century Greek manuscript of the New Testament

Sometime between 70 and 100 A.D., the book of Acts was written. The author was Luke, the man who wrote almost one-quarter of the New Testament. It is not just a story of the early church, but a story of the “church” as it was and is today. It deals with issues between Christians and Jews, Christians and pagans, Christians and the government, the problems of prayer, the purpose of preaching and teaching, and many of the other dilemmas that affect the church in our day.

It is the story of a community, formed by God, for without God there would have been no community. It is the same thing with our community here today. We did not form this community, we don’t run this community, and we just live in this community that was formed by God. You will see as we read Acts that the stories are not about somebody else; they are our story. The names might be a bit different, but they are definitely our stories. We keep on telling these stories because they help us make sense out of the life we are trying to live. Continue reading Bible Study Series: The Book of Acts (Week One Notes)