The Book Of Acts (Bible Knowledge)

The Book Of Acts (Bible Knowledge)

🙋 The following booklets are NOT textbooks for Bible Knowledge SPM. The set of booklets are to be used as enrichment materials by teachers and students especially for ideas to help connect the text of the Acts of the Apostles to present day and individual contexts.

As such, it can be used as a devotional and reflective guide that helps you think more deeply about the relevance of the issues and topics arising from the Biblical text.

Furthermore, there will be theological issues brought up in the booklets that form the foundation of faith. There will always be differing theological stances for every writer who interprets Scripture, and the present author of these booklets will not be an exception. This author has tried to lean heavily on orthodoxy but if on some theological issue you differ from the approach taken, please show extra grace on your part. The best is that we agree to disagree but maintain the spirit of peace and unity in our common faith.

Our desire and hope is that the contents of these series of booklets on the Acts of the Apostles will give teachers of Bible Knowledge SPM lots of ideas and opportunities to spark discussions and deliberations that will be mutually edifying with their students. God bless your efforts and may your times with the students have a significant impact at the pivotal stage of their young lives

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 1)

The Book of Acts is an action-packed book. It is about the plan of God to reach the whole world with the Gospel of salvation. The Gospel is verified by the historical events of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The single event of the resurrection of Jesus was the decisive game-changer.The despondent and defeated disciples of Jesus were completely turned around when they witnessed with their own eyes the resurrected Jesus.They knew then that Jesus was the real deal who held all authority and power. They were raring to go and tell the whole world. But Jesus gave them very specific instructions to wait for the next big thing that was absolutely essential – the outpouring of the Helper, the Blessed Holy Spirit upon them. Jesus also gave them a strategic plan of witnessing; starting from Jerusalem and eventually moving out to the ends of the world; touching all people including Jews, the mixed race and the Gentiles. As the disciples patiently followed Jesus’ instruction, they prayed and prepared the team that would eventually move out under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Let us join them as we follow the story in the Book of Acts.

The Book of Acts (Chapter 2)

The birth of the Church of Jesus Christ was a definitive moment. The Holy Spirit was poured out upon a small group of 120 or so believers of Jesus Christ. Supernatural signs authenticated this significant event as the Holy Spirit filled and stayed in the believers for the first time since creation. The message of the Gospel was clarified and exemplified as Peter, the designated leader of this small band of Christ disciples, preached by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the first sermon on the day of Pentecost to the same crowd that had rejected Jesus. When about 3000 people responded to the challenge to repent and be baptised, the Church multiplied manifolds in just one day. Now, the infant Church had a nice problem – what to do with these thousands of new converts. The Holy Spirit guided them to form the practices of a new Christian community of love and care. As you study the second chapter of the Book of Acts, you will be inspired to follow the example of these early believers in the Church.

The Book of Acts (Chapter 3)

The coming and outpouring of the Holy Spirit was a big game changer in the world, especially to the infant Church of Jesus Christ. But how did it impact the Church and Christians when He, the Holy Spirit, was first given to them as their Helper? This chapter in the Book of Acts gives us some initial pointers to this question. We see how Peter was moved in the Spirit-filled way to reach out and minister to the lame beggar he had probably seen many times before. The creative miracle that occurred through the leading of the Spirit opened the doors for Peter to preach a second evangelistic sermon to the crowd at the temple. From this chapter, we can learn the approach and attitudes of the Spirit-filled way in Peter’s life, and hopefully we too can begin to practice these in our own lives.

The Books Of Acts (Chapter 4)

Opposition and persecution come hand-in-hand with progress int he Church. This is because the Church is involved in an ongoing spiritual warfare. As such, we should not be surprised when the going gets tough. Peter and John had done a good deed when they were used by God to bring about a tremendous healing. But the insecure and constantly jealous enemies of Jesus were still trying to stop the infant Church. They arrested Peter and John and brought them before the Jewish council to be queried. We can learn much from the way they responded with boldness and faith which neutralised the opposition. Furthermore, the united front that the Church put up and actually lived out before others also had a telling effect on neutralising opposition. Learn now how to do this so that when the time comes for you to face similar situations, you will be ready!

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 5)

There is a fundamental attitude that all Christians need to cultivate in their lives. This basic attitude towards God Almighty was underlined in a very shocking event in the early Church that demonstrated that God was not to be taken for granted, especially in the area of holiness and purity. This basic attitude is the fear of the Lord. Without this fundamental attitude, we cannot find success in our war againsts in that defiles both our body and spirit. It is crucial for successful Christian living. The fear of the Lord also helps us to develop a spirit of perseverance for the name of Jesus that overcomes all persecution and threats. Those who fear the Lord hold God with high esteem and honour. Thus, in this fifth chapter of the book of Acts, we will dig deep into what and how to develop this fear of the Lord in our lives. May the fear of the Lord ripple through our lives, our Churches and our society.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 6)

Whenever we face difficult situations, we will know what we arereally made of. The early Church had already faced some very difficult and challenging situations, especially from external opposition. Nevertheless, their love for one another in the Church was sorely tested when an accusation came up within the Church of partiality towards certain sections of the Church. Internal dissension can make or break a Church. We can learn a lot from the twelve apostles as they dealt with this very delicate situation with wisdom and sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading. We will also study another test that was about to be unfurled on the young Church that was coming of age – persecution by martyrdom. We will be introduced to the first martyr of the Church – Stephen. Such challenging situations are important for us to grasp and learn even now because the Churchtoday still has to grapple with these issues. These tests will revealwhat we, the Church of Jesus Christ, are actually made of.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 7)

Death is inevitable. But, how we face death depends very much on the state of our faith in God at the point of death andthe preparation we have made in our lives for that moment. Stephen was about to face his death. He could have avoided itby keeping quiet and not offending the Jewish Council and his accusers. But he delivered a scathing indictment on the utter hypocrisy of these religious leaders who out of jealousy and self-preservation of their positions had resorted to cold-blooded murder. Stephen, in a skillful way, weaved his indictment of them by relating to the historical narrative of the way God’s chosen people (the Jews), who had consistently rejected God and his laws. As you read to the end of the chapter, you will see how Stephen faced death valiantly at the hands of his killers, demonstrating the mindset of a martyr.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 8)

Missions are usually a cross-cultural experience. That’s why it usually requires people with a pioneering spirit who are willing to cross boundaries to reach the lost for Jesus Christ. The Church in Jerusalem had done well in making a strong and decisive stand for Jesus in the city. It was growing in numbers and strength. Nevertheless, it was in danger of becoming inward-looking, in the sense that it remained primarily Jewish in make-up. God allowed persecution to force believers in Jerusalem to scatter beyond the city to regions in Judea and Samaria. These believers were scattered to scatter the seeds of the gospel toother parts beyond Jerusalem. One person, in particular, named Philip, was used by the Lord to reach people of mixed race (Samaritans) and even Gentiles. Through his example, we can learn how we too should move out of our comfort zone in order to scatter the seeds of the gospel in our Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and even to the ends of the earth.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 9)

There are some people who are ardent enemies of Jesus and the gospel. We might even feel that it is impossible for them to be saved. Well, chapter 9 of the Book of Acts, will change your mind about this. The most violent and aggressive enemy of the early Church was a young man named Saul. He was breathing threats and murder against the disciples of Jesus. But in this chapter we read how this hunter became the hunted, and how this foe became a friend. Saul would become one of the most important figures in biblical Christianity, second only to Jesus himself. His salvation was very important to the fulllment of the mission of Jesus, to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 10)

The Church as the people of God was always meant to be inclusive, not exclusive. There is no room for bigotry and divisions in the Kingdom of God. Jesus had made us all one in Him through His vicarious death on the cross for Jews and Gentiles alike. There is only one solution to the problem of sin in this world. There is also only one Saviour and Lord, and He is the only true God. In this momentous chapter, we see how the Spirit built the bridge to the next big thing – the evangelisation of the world. For this to happen, God had to break down the dividing wall of enmity between Jews and Gentiles. The Church was predominantly Jewish at that point in time, and so, the Holy spirit engineered circumstances so that the apostle Peter would meet up with a Gentile Centurion named Cornelius. Their very awkward meeting would eventually authenticate that salvation was also for the Gentiles and that they could be incorporated into the Church of Jesus Christ. This was truly the bridge to the next big thing.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 11)

The time was right. The Holy Spirit wanted the Church to take another big step forward in the plan of world missions. But there were still barriers and prejudices that had to be set aside in the predominantly Jewish Church. Peter, the de facto leader of the Jewish Church, had moved forward in this matter, embracing the Gentiles into the Church. But he had to convince the folks back home in Jerusalem to do the same. Fireworks were expected but you will learn how Peter prepared well to defuse it. At the same time, the Holy Spirit was laying the groundwork for a new HQ for missions in a town called Antioch of Syria. This Gentile Church was planted by ordinary believers who had been scattered by the persecution. However, Barnabas and Saul did play a huge role in establishing the Gentile Church, giving it the DNA that it needed to be a mission-sending Church. Read and study about how the Holy Spirit engineered this process by bringing the former persecutor of the Church, Saul, back into the storyline. As you do so, you will also learn about the most important task before the Church, which is, the making of disciples.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 12)

Bad things do happen to good people. Indeed, bad things do happen even to God’s people. We all struggle with such situations in life. In this chapter of the Book of Acts, you will study how the Church in Jerusalem struggled with this question, when the apostle James was executed by King Herod Agrippa, and the apostle Peter was arrested, awaiting a similar fate. What did the Church do and how did they cope with this dire situation?Furthermore, how do we respond when good things happen to good people? But, we also struggle when good things happen to bad people. We struggle with jealousy when we see people like the evil King Herod in power and prospering. How do we deal with such feelings? In this story, we will see how God dealt with King Herod, and with the help of Scriptures, we will then build a proper perspective on this issue.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 13)

This is an important point in the narrative of missions that has been unfolding according to the Blueprint of Jesus – from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. We are standing at the edge of launching out to the ends of the earth and reaching Jews and Gentiles alike. Everything has been building up to this every moment, and the Holy Spirit has laid the foundations for it to be launched successfully. In this very important chapter, we will receive the pattern for world missions. There is the pattern of sending as exempliied by the Church in Antioch. Then, there is the pattern of sharing the gospel message as exempliied by Paul and his companions. These Spirit-given and Spirit-led patterns will provide for us with the nuts and bolts that are needed to carry out mission work in any place and at any time. Thus, it is important to study these foundational patterns so that we can implement them in our own context. In addition, we will also launch a new reading program for you that willbegin your journey to meaningfully piece together the “New Testament Puzzle”. It will provide a guided tour on reading other parts of the New Testament, apart from your study of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Like a puzzle, if you stick to this plan, you will eventually end up seeing the whole New Testament in a meaningful, clear and cohesive way. Then, you will really appreciate God’s Word and look in wonder at his wonderful, secret plan that he has for his people.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 14)

The task of world missions is always a battle! Every inch is fought with blood, sweat and tears. Every soul is won through time, energy, resources and intense prayer with fasting. As we continue to study Paul and Barnabas’ firstmissionary journey into the region of Galatia in this chapter, we will learn from their example how to do responsible mission work. They not only made converts, but also followed them up as new converts to grow and mature as disciples of Jesus. It was the strategy of starting small, thinking big and building deep. This strategy of spiritual multiplication is very much part of responsible mission work that fulls the Great Commission as entrusted to allof us as followers of Jesus. Paul and Barnabas also established simple and lean Churches with reliable elders and leaders. But there was a price to pay and this missionary team experienced it all during their journey into the region Galatia. We will read about the completion of this first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas. As they returned to their sending Church in Antioch of Syria, we will have a window into the accountable relationship ofthe missionaries and their sending Church. The short passage about this contains so much about the much needed teamwork and mutual accountability that spurs every sending Church on to the work of world missions and how to keep this task of making disciples of all nations a high priority.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 15)

Conflicts are part of life. Learning to resolve them is important for emotional, mental and spiritual health. In this chapter of the Book of Acts, we will see how the Church navigated a very prickly and potentially dangerous theological conflict regarding the salvation of Gentiles. It was a fundamental issue that required a corporate resolution and agreement. The delegation of the Church in Antioch, led by Paul and Barnabas, was sent to the mother Church in Jerusalem, to resolve the matter and to get a clear decision on how Gentiles were to be initiated into salvation. The way the Church approached and resolved that very important matter is a great case study on how to resolve fundamental issues within the Church. This chapter also contained the story of a contextual and personal conflict between Pau land Barnabas about the composition of their mission team, as they were onthe verge of launching into their second missionary journey. The way this panned out would be rather surprising to us, but it does give us pointers on how personal conicts can be handled by the Church and us.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 16)

The web of money is one of the most deceptive traps in this world. Many lives have been destroyed by it. But money can be used for good or for bad. What is more, money can be used in this world to invest in eternity. Jesus challenged the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees about their love for money and tutored his own disciples so that they would not walk into this web that entraps. The two parables that Jesus told about the shrewd manager and also about the rich man give us the contrast between the proper use of money to win friends for eternity and the improper use of money to satisfy our own lust and appetites. When we learn how to differentiate these two opposing attitudes towards money, we will know how to stay clear of the web of money that entraps us but use money to advance the cause of the Kingdom of God.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 17)

As Jesus got closer and closer to Jerusalem, the urgency of preparing his disciples for what was ahead and beyond became more urgent. Thus, at every opportunity, Jesus taught them about matters of discipleship whether in situations or intentionally through direct teaching. He did this by reminding them of negative and positive aspects of discipleship. In the gospel of Luke chapter 17, Jesus taught about three negatives – temptations that could stumble his disciples horribly in their lives and ministry; unforgiveness,ingratitude and spiritual short-sightedness. We need to understand why these three temptations are so insidious; how it can creep up on us ever sosubtly, and cause terrible damage in our walk with God. Then, make sure w estay alert whenever there are these warning signals ashing on our dashboard of life.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 18)

It is said that our attitudes determine the altitude we rise to. This is denitely true when it comes to discipleship. The attitudes of our hearts matter a great deal, when it comes to our relationship with God. Thus, in the Gospel of Luke chapter 18, we are taught the three attitudes that will strengthen us in ourspiritual walk as disciples of Jesus Christ. These three attitudes are being prayerfully dependent on God, exercising childlike trust in God and using desperate faith to dispel all spiritual darkness in our lives. These are reminders of discipleship, as Jesus rounds the corner for the final stretch towards Jerusalem,where he will fulfill his mission to save the world by dying on the cross for their sins, and rising from the dead in ultimate victory. Catch these three spiritual attitudes, and nurture it constantly in our lives, because it will provide us with the strength we need in our own spiritual journey.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 19)

Jesus was about to enter Jerusalem. For some nine months, he had set his face like a flint for Jerusalem. He zig zagged his way through Galilee, Samaria, Perea and finally Judea, ministering and teaching all the way. At the same time, he was training his disciples, reminding them of past lessons of discipleship that he had taught them, consolidating those lessons. The Gospel of Luke chapter 19, brought him to the town of Jericho. Signs of acceptance and rejection punctuated his journey all the way, and was slowly building to a decisive confrontation. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a colt, we will become more and more aware that he was fullling God’s precise agenda and plan. He was mysteriously fullling the Old Testament prophecies in incredible detail, proving that he was the Messiah spoken of in Scriptures, and sent down from God to save the world. But this was a path where he will have to be rejected by his very own people. Today, Jesus is still accepted or rejected because God gave us free will to do so. Let’s learn to accept Jesus fully in our lives, not partially.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 20)

Preaching is frequently used by Paul and his team, as they conduct their missions work. In this chapter, Paul taught a very long lesson as he preached to the believers in Troas. We also have a fully recorded sermon by Paul to leaders from Ephesus – the only recorded sermon by him to Christians in the Book of Acts. We can learn from these accounts precious lessons on how to prepare and deliver sermons, messages or sharing. Pointers are given on how we can equip ourselves to use the didactic method of preaching when we are given the privilege and opportunity to do so. This is the art of preaching. At the same time, we will also learn how to benefit from the listening and reading of God’s Word. This is the art of assimilation. From the sermon delivered by Paul to the leaders from Ephesus, we will tease out principles for effective leadership. All these practical help are packed into this little booklet. You will not want to miss it!

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 21)

One of the hardest things to swallow in Christianity is when ministry goes wrong. In this chapter, we will see how well-meaning friends and companions of Paul, tried to mix the accurate, prophetic word of God with their own wrong application of it. The Spirit had put it in the heart of Paul that he needed to go to Jerusalem, even though imprisonment and trouble awaited him there. When this prophetic warning came several times to Paul as he journeyed to Jerusalem from Corinth, many believers tried to persuade Paul not to continue his journey to Jerusalem. You will find out why this would have beena big mistake if Paul had listened to them. When Paul finally arrived at Jerusalem, we could see and learn how ministry can go so wrong when Christian leaders try to mix God’s ways with man’s ways, ending with a grotesque faith that is neither attractive nor liberating. The reality is ministry does go wrong all the time, especially when the man’s words and ways are magnified at the expense of God’s Word and ways. When man becomes big, ministry is sure to go wrong. That’s why the lessons in this chapter are important for us to learn, so that we do not end up as spiritual monuments and relics.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 22)

Defending our faith is a call for every Christian. In this chapter, we will learn from the apostle Paul how to use personal testimonies to share and defend our faith. He shared his personal testimony before a crowd of angry Jewish people in Jerusalem. We cannot make people believe when we share our personal testimony with others, but it can prepare the way to share the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. There will be a practical guide to help you prepare your own personal testimony, so that when the opportunity comes up, you can deliver your testimony at amoment’s notice. You will also learn the importance of Apologetics, the art and science of defending the Christian faith. This is a vast area of study that we can spend many fruitful hours studying and equipping ourselves. We can fill our hearts and minds with all these wonderful truths, so that when the situation arises, we can allow the Holy Spiritto bring to our remembrance and use it for the right purpose, for the right people, at the right time and with the right attitude. The rest is up to God.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 23)

Paul was again facing opposition from his Jewish brethren. This time he was facing it off with his ex-colleagues, who were the Pharisees in the Jewish Council. As we study this chapter in the Book of Acts, we will learn about the providence of God in the midst of a very difficult ministry. Even the usually highly spirited and driven apostle Paul could grow weary, when he went through such ministerial pressures and disappointments. After an especially difficult exchange with the Council leaders, consisting of Pharisees and Saduccees, Paul really needed a booster. That booster came in a surprising manner. Apart from that, God’s protection of his servant, Paul saw God engineered him being led out of Jerusalem protected by an army of 470 Roman soldiers! God’s ways and methods can be really surprising and unexpected. But that’s just who he is – our good God.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 24)

How we wish that every time we share the gospel with someone, that person would immediately become a Christian. But that is not always the case. Very often we have to walk with a person for a period of time, consistently witnessing to him. Even then, there is no guarantee that the person we witness to, would finally accept the Lord. This was the case for Paul in this chapter of the Book of Acts. In Caesarea Maritima, Paul was under house arrest following the orders of Governor Felix. He had undergone the trial before the Roman governor, who heard the unsubstantiated accusations of the Jewish Council against Paul. Felix procrastinated over his judgement and decision, keeping Paul under house arrest, always giving the impression that a decision was going to be made. Nevertheless, that decision was never made, but from time to time, Paul was brought before Felix to dialogue about the gospel. It was a long witness in the same direction for two years! Thus, in this booklet, we will learn how to share the gospel with the same people for a long periodof time, entrusting the final results in God’s able hands.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 25)

Paul found himself in what seemed like a repeat of what he experienced two years ago, as he stood before the new governor, Festus. He saw the same accusers and heard the same accusations against him. The only difference then was that there was a new governor, but he too appeared to be eager to placate the Jewish leaders. This betrayed that Festus had the weakness of fearing man. After experiencing the disappointment with Felix, the procrastinating former governor, Paul was reluctant to play along with the new governor. He decided that it was time to move on, and so, he fearlessly used his Roman rights and appealed to the Emperor, to counter being sent to Jerusalem, where he knew he would not get a fair trial. The new governor was in the predicament of finding credible charges that would actually stick, since he then had to send Paul to Rome to face trial before the Emperor. A few days later King Agrippa and his sister Bernice came to pay him a courtesy call. The new governor was glad to have them as a sounding board, since he thought they were familiar with the Jewish beliefs and customs. But Agrippa came from a long line of perverted kings, and he was not any better. From this account, we will learn from Paul how to stand fearless of man and death.

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 26)

The gospel is no respecter of persons. It is meant for every sinner, whether the common people, or the nobles and royalties. Every person stands on level ground before God, when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all stand in need of salvation. Paul was about to be sent to Rome for trial before Caesar. While waiting, God opened the door for him to give his defence before King Agrippa and his sister Bernice, together with all the prominent people of the city of Caesarea. The new Governor of the province of Judea hosted that occasion. The king and his entourage entered the hall with great show and pomp. But little did he know that Paul was going to turn the tables on him, and put him on trial. Paul knew that he had only one shot at the king, and he took it fearlessly, forcefullyand frankly. We can learn much from this fiery and fearless watchman o fthe gospel, as he stood alone in the court, and proclaimed the matchless message of the gospel of the risen Christ!

The Book Of Acts (Chapter 27)

There will always be storms in our lives. It is unavoidable! The important question is, “How do we navigate the storms of life with God, so that we come through every storm victorious and stronger?”. In this second last chapter of the Book of Acts, we will learn how to do this, as Paul demonstrated how he stood firmly with God in the midst of a perfect storm in the sea. Instead of looking at the effects of the violent winds of the storm that struck fear in the hearts of man, Paul harnessed the power of the win of the Holy spirit to neutralised the storm. We need to know the blessed Holy Spirit who has been given to us as the Helper, of the same kind as Jesus. If we know how to life F.I.T in the spirit, we can chart our lives with God, so that we end fthe voyage of our lives strongly and purposefully. In this chapter, let us learn how to do this, so that we can not only be anchored in God, but also put up the sail to catch the wind of the Spirit as we serve alongside God in his mission field. an by God’s grace, we will!

The Books Of Acts (Chapter 28)

We have finally come to the final chapter in the Book of Acts. The indomitable apostle Paul had longed to visit Rome. For him, Rome symbolised the end of the earth. So, he was desiring to fulfil the Blueprint of Missions given by the Lord Jesus Christ at the beginning of the Book of Acts. In fact, the whole Book of Acts can be summarised as “From Jerusalem to Rom (the Ends of the Earth)”. Thus, it was fitting that Dr. Luke ended his narrative with Paul entering Rome, doing what he had been called to do – preaching the gospel to Gentiles, kings and Jews. As he closed that narrative, it was intentional to not have a definite closure, because the mission of Jesus Christ goes on. We are now carrying the light of the gospel, as we run our Race throughout this life. We need to do so with clear conviction and vision. In this final bookelet, we will explore how to do this in greater detail. We will also delve into the exciting Book of Revelation, to get a clear understanding of the hope of the Second Coming of Jesus and the new world order. We will consolidate this with a review of the whole Book of Acts, as we move forward from this point, with a sure hope that in the end, God wins! Thus, the mission goes on, as we are called to run and finish our Race well. And by the grace of God, we shall!