In one sense
this is a terrible blow to the fundamentalist school of
This school holds that all the books of the Bible were
written by the Holy Spirit
- the nominal authors just held the pen while the Spirit
moved their hands.
If so, why the careful research?
But in another sense Acts can be called the "history of
the Holy Spirit."
For as the Gospels were the biography of Christ, in a sense,
Acts records what the Spirit did through the church. No book of the Bible expounds more clearly the work of the
The study seems,
perhaps, overly long to some. The world is accustomed to
thirteen weeks in the quarterly, and no topic takes more.
A pity, that. Here is a study much longer - and yet it
barely touches upon the most fundamental of things. The
wells of God are deep indeed.
Waiting upon the Lord, as instructed, before Pentecost.
||Ascension - The ascension of Christ -
and the implications thereof.
||Betrayal - An examination of Judas
||Pentecost - Pentecost and the Holy
||First Sermon - Peter's first
sermon, at the start of the church.
||Early Church - The character of the
||In The Name - Peter heals a beggar in
Jesus' name - and winds up defending himself for it.
||Opposition - The apostles encounter
opposition from the authorities; the relationship of
church and state.
|Acts 4:32 - 5:16
||Ananias - How could the loving
God treat a couple of liars like that?
||Providence - God's providence for
||Growing Strong - Growing strong
|Acts 6:8 - 7:60
||Martyrdom - The martyrdom of
Stephen - the blood of martyrs is the seed of the
||Sorcerer - The story of Simon
the Sorcerer, trying to buy the ability to give the gift
of the Holy Spirit.
||Ethiopian Eunuch - Philip and
the Ethiopian eunuch.
||Road to Damascus - The conversion of
Saul on the road to Damascus.
|Acts 9:32 -
||God's Timing - The story of
the centurion, Cornelius, and how Peter was sent to him.
||God Opens Doors - The working of the
Holy Spirit in opening up the church to the non-Jewish
||On Dispute - Peter defends his
contact with the Gentiles before the church; the Gospel
begins its march to the world.
||Encouragement - We meet Barnabas, the
"son of encouragement," and see his effect on Paul.
||Get Out Of Jail Free - Peter is
jailed - and when God lets him out, no one believes it.
||Glory of God - The strange incident
of the death of Herod Agrippa.
||The Missionary - The nature,
character and preparation of the missionary.
||Evidence - The historical and
prophetic evidence for the truth of the Gospel.
||Perils of Imitation - The
perils of performing the Christian's first duty: the
imitation of Christ.
||Testing God - The concept of
testing God in the context of instructions to the first
|Acts 15:35 -
||On Failure - Dealing with failure in
||Hospitality - The hospitality
of Lydia, seller of purple, in Philippi.
||Midnight View - Paul and Silas in
jail, singing in the midnight hour.
||The Incarnation - Paul's first sermon
to the Greeks, revealing the one true God.
||Tentmaker - The origin of the idea of
a tent maker missionary.
|Acts 18:18 -
||Model of Unity - Various roles
in maintaining the unity of the church.
||The Name - An examination of
demon possession and witchcraft.
||Making A Buck -
The encounter with the silversmiths of Ephesus, and how
religion is often used as a money making system.
Paul's farewell advice to the elders at Ephesus.
||Prophecy - The role of prophecy in
the New Testament church.
|Acts 21:17 -
||Primacy of God - How putting
God first in the life of the church cuts through
argument and dissension.
||Testimony - Testimony as a
concept, and as applied to the Christian life.
||Two Years - Paul's trial before
Festus, and his two year confinement.
||God's Ways, Our Ways - The
trial before Festus and Agrippa; Paul's appeal to Rome.
||Storm - Paul
caught in the storm; how the Christian should behave in
times of trial.
||Happy Habit - The happy habit (and
great virtue) of hospitality to guests, including the
||Redemption - Paul's final
imprisonment at Rome; suffering for the faith and how
God redeems it.
These lessons were originally delivered in 1998-1999.