Step 10: Exploring the New Testament
The Acts of the Apostles
A sequel to the Gospel of Luke, the Book of Acts portrays the birth and growth of the Christian Church. Acts also is a theological work that builds a strong case for the validity of Christ's claims and promises.
Luke's record of the coming of the Holy Spirit shows that the church did not start or grow by its own initiative, but as the power of the Holy Spirit empowered the early Christians.
The Book of Acts also describes the opposition and persecution that the Christians suffered at the hands of both Jews and Gentiles. This opposition, however, became a catalyst for the spread of Christianity.
Acts is considered the connecting link between the life of Christ and the life of the Church, and is a glimpse into the Christian world that gave birth to the Epistles.
Empowerment of the Holy Spirit
The Book of Acts begins by referring to the material presented in the Gospels as "all that Jesus began to do and to teach" (Acts 1:1). It tells of the works that the resurrected and ascended Christ continued to do through the Holy Spirit poured out on His disciples at Pentecost. Acts 1:8 has often been considered the key verse of this book. Survey the book and answer these questions.
Acts. What chapters tell of the witness of the disciples at Jerusalem? In Samaria? To the ends of the earth?
The following are some of the major messages that Peter gave as he witnessed for Christ: Acts 2:14-36; 3:11-26; 10:34-43. What was the most important point about the life of Christ that Peter was trying to get across?
Read Acts 10. What significance does Peter's experience with Cornelius have for the church?
Of all the Apostles, Paul stands out most predominantly in Acts and other books of the New Testament. What kind of man was Paul before He was converted? (Acts 8:1-3; 9:2; 22:1-5; 26:4-12)
When Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, what did He tell Paul he was to do? (Acts 9:4-6)
To whom did Paul seek to minister first at Cyrus, Antioch, and at Iconium? (Acts 13:4-52; 14:1-7) To whom did Paul preach after this first group rejected the Gospel?
In preaching to the Jews, Paul was able to make a point of contact with them by referring to the Old Testament scriptures. What was the point of contact Paul used in speaking to the pagan gentiles at Lystra (Acts 14:8-18)?
What did Paul do to establish his converts in the faith (Acts 14:21-23)? Romans 15:20 tells us one more thing about Paul's evangelism strategy. What is it?
The Holy Spirit
According to these scriptures, what are some of the ways in which the Holy Spirit empowered the early church?
Acts 1:8; 4:31; 2:4-8; 10:46; 19:6; 7:54-60; 10:19-20; 13:2-4; 11:28; 21:10-13
How did the Holy Spirit work through Paul as he ministered at the following places:
Cyprus (Acts 13:4-12), Iconium (Acts 13:52-14:3)
What is the most important thing you now try to tell others about Christ? How does that compare with what Peter and Paul preached?
What can you learn from Paul to help in your discipling of others?
What are some of the ways in which the Holy Spirit is currently empowering you?
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.