Philip is a great example of this in Acts 8 when he went to Samaria. Every day, the early church grew as more people came to faith in Jesus Christ. So they sent them a trusted leader, Barnabas. Often when we struggle, we are inclined to blame God. In looking at ekklēsia, the Greek word most often translated “church” in Acts, we see churches that are locally self-governed and are supported by energized ministers. We … But too often we get caught up in loving the thought of having lots of money to ourselves. This is recorded in Acts 2:1-6 What an amazing testimony to the power of God. Later, God worked with Philip to get him to the eunuch. Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. It seems that he had sufficient authority to put forth this statement. And are we praying for this boldness as we live as Christians in this world that desperately needs Jesus? They listened and put into practice what they learned. Some have suggested the name “The Acts or Gospel of the Holy Spirit” – Shows what the Holy Spirit did through the early church. Still, there is a little more going on in Acts 2:42 then first meets the eye. This is especially necessary when reading the book of Acts because it portrays the early church rather than the Old Testament people of God. God showed these local ministers new areas where they could speak God’s Word. Then they commended them to the Lord. Acts 12:1: And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Acts 20:28,32: The church included the “about three thousand souls” that were born again on that day. Peter boldly told them how to be saved, and many obeyed. This is an example of what Paul later wrote to the Corinthians. Acts 2:45 even says that they sold their belongings in order to care for those who didn’t have enough! grew according to the plan of God. The book of Acts is a record of the growth of the early church, started by Jesus’s disciples and then expanded by the Apostle Paul. Acts 8:26 says: “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go….” After helping the eunuch, Philip “preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea” (Acts 8:40). The next use of ekklēsia shows the growth of churches around Jerusalem in Galilee and Samaria. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. You see this again and again throughout Acts, as the Christians pray for the apostles, for each other and for the spread of the gospel. Are we devoted to listening, learning and letting what we read and hear change our lives? Acts 2:42,43: You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage Acts 15:3: And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. They were devoted to the apostles’ teaching. The title as we know it comes from the second century and only partially discloses the theme of the document. Now they saw that they could support the need of another local fellowship, just as that local Jerusalem fellowship had helped them. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Such mutual believing and respect shows the outcome of the Jerusalem council. Certain of the church at Jerusalem were under attack. The Book of Acts shows that each local church is to care for its own people with a local leader to supervise and care for them. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. Imagine how the local ministers mentioned in Acts 13:1, as well as the local believers, would have rejoiced at this news. Alternative Title: Acts Acts of the Apostles, abbreviation Acts, fifth book of the New Testament, a valuable history of the early Christian church. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. The early church was devoted to the apostles’ teaching. This is an example of a genuinely energized minister of God who supported the local fellowships as God worked in him to do so. The local churches had peace as they walked in the respect of the Lord and the spiritual encouragement they received. This doesn’t mean we HAVE to go to church every single day. Book of Acts The book of Acts provides a detailed, orderly, eyewitness account of the birth and growth of the early church and the spread of the gospel immediately after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The book of Acts records eyewitness accounts of the early Church from Christ's resurrection until about A.D. 60. After hearing this powerful truth, some asked what they should do. The early church was devoted to the apostles’ … Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. This word literally means to “call out” and refers to called-out born-again believers twenty times in Acts. That means at least 365 new people every year! And Saul was consenting unto his [Stephen’s] death. House-based ministry was so common that throughout the book of Acts, every mention of a local church or church meeting, whether for worship or fellowship, is a reference to a church meeting in a home. Christian churches today differ in their approach to leadership. Christians shared of their abundance to support their own and other local churches, as well as energized ministers. Chapter 2 records the beginning of the Church. And wouldn’t you want to follow a Lord who encouraged this attitude in his followers? And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. What about their tithes? It tells of cities and dates and people that were affected by the Gospel. Thank you Gene Slavit for this wonderful article! By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. Peter let the local leaders in Jerusalem know about his reaching out to the Gentiles. Are we reading the Bible in the same way? The church was actually born on the Day of Pentecostwhen the Holy Spirit came upon believers. the earth” (Acts 1:8). One prominent feature seen in Acts is the operation of energized ministries that are directed by God. (1) B. • To equip one another to imitate the role models of the early church o First, to respond to the gospel with trust and loyalty towards … The leaders at this meeting sent Judas and Silas, local ministers, along to deliver the letter. Or do things like parties, sport and homework come before church, youth group and Bible study? Are we devoted to prayer in this same way? Outreach to the West 8. By devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, the early church understood that they were under a new authority—King Jesus, the new and better prophet than Moses. You see, faithful Jews were to be devoted to Moses’ teaching. That treatise ended on the day of ascension. And great fear [respect] came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. This meeting at Jerusalem shows the clear, two-way communication needed among leaders. He brought financial support provided by the freewill giving of local believers in Macedonia and Achaia (Romans 15:25-28). Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.     and the peoples plot in vain? I enjoyed this simple, straight-forward writing clearly showing how the church (eklesia) was first instituted and And when they had preached the gospel to that city [Derbe], and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch [in Pisidia], In our privatized world, it's hard to imagine what the early church … (2b) D. Jesus had shown Himself alive by many proofs for 40 days. Acts 13:1: While there Paul took Timothy along with him and Silas. Paul next spent time in Ephesus and built strong leadership within the local church there. Mature ministers supported those “younger” in their spiritual walk. Acts 5:11: Great question, Marla. The early church was devoted to prayer. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. The strong example of these local leaders helped to build great respect in the Church. As prophets, Judas and Silas exhorted and confirmed the believers. It seemed proper to the whole church to do this. Peter reached out from his local area of Jerusalem and won others to stand in their local areas. We can learn a lot from this early church. Philip “preached Christ unto them” so that “the people with one accord” believed what he taught, and “there was great joy in that city.” Yet in this very same region where Jesus Christ had witnessed about himself not long before (John 4:40-43), there was now a man named Simon who “used sorcery, and bewitched the people.” The Samaritans thought that Simon was “the great power of God.” His evil spiritual influence made it difficult for the people to receive the fullness of God’s power in their lives. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. Sorry, you have Javascript Disabled! And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. The Gospel According to Luke concludes where Acts begins, namely, with Christ’s Ascension into heaven. Besides linking the Gospel narratives on the one hand and the apostolic letters on the other, it supplies an account of the life of Paul from which we can learn t… It will help to keep the whole of the book before you as you work your way through each section. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. Philip needed the help of apostles (to give understanding about this “new” situation), so Peter and John travelled from the local church at Jerusalem to support a new local church in Samaria. And he [Paul with Silas] went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches. As an energized minister, Paul commended those local leaders to God and to His Word of grace. His conversion to Christianity is recorded in Acts 9. Acts 15:2: Looking at the “churches” in the Book of Acts we see the following: Each believer was to be a bold witness of Jesus Christ and to speak God’s Word. The church is encouraged to continue in God’s grace. The apostles and elders at Jerusalem were the most qualified to handle this situation. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. Acts shows us a strong communication network between leaders. The book of Acts provides a bridge for the writings of the NT. Acts 5:16: Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. Acts 4:32-35 New International Version (NIV) The Believers Share Their Possessions. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Since those who were witnesses to this event, where each heard these things in their own language, God was saying that the message of salvation was not only for the Jew but for the whole world…for all languages and all nation… This was even despite the persecution and alienation they faced for following such a radical faith! The believers who heard of these things had great respect for God and His leaders. Freedom in Christ for Your Life in the Light of God's Word, on The Local Church in the Book of Acts: A Pattern for Today, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), local leader to supervise and care for them. No wonder the Lord could add daily to the church! Here is a great example of one local church helping another local church as God worked in local ministers to keep the believers informed of genuine needs in the church. There is a need to work together as believers in order to communicate with each other as part of the process of getting the right ministries to the right places at the right times. THE BOOK OF ACTS. [1] Whereas the Gospel of Luke focuses on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the Acts of the Apostles builds upon what Jesus did and taught (see Acts 1:1), recounting the story of the young, emerging Church and the … It sets patterns for us of how early men and women first obeyed the gospel and worshiped God under the New Covenant. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost [God], departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. The following outline is intended to be used while studying the book. Each believer was to be a bold witness of Jesus Christ and to speak God’s Word. And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. This was the city where Herod and other religious leaders had stood against Jesus Christ and later the apostles. They shared with this local church about the new local churches they helped set up. Their ministries were energized to teach the Word of God specifically needed at that time. 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