Summary of Acts
Introduction: Key word is witnesses.
I. The Subject of the Witness is Christ. (Key points: My witnesses (1:8); 20 times witnesses used in our English Bible; witness applies to the believer 15 times; 60 examples of public and private witness.)
A. Witnesses to the resurrection of Christ.
1. 1:22 – a witness of his resurrection
2. 4:33 – and with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
3. 17:18 — he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection
B. Witnesses to the necessity of repentance toward Christ.
1. Ac 2:38 — And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
2. Ac 3:19 — Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,
3. Ac 8:22 — Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.
4. Ac 11:18 — When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
5. Ac 20:21 — testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
6. Ac 26:20 — but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.
7. Ac 17:30 — The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent
C. Witnesses to the forgiveness of sins in Christ.
1. This is the great privilege of calling all people to repent, in that we offer them full and free forgiveness.
2. Ac 2:38 — And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
4. Ac 10:43 — To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
5. Ac 13:38-39 — Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
6. Ac 26:16-18 — But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
D. Witnesses to the salvation that is in Christ.
1. Ac 4:12 –And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
2. Ac 13:47 — For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.
E. Point: Our task is to speak and live for Christ so that all people will know that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we might be saved.
1. We are not bearing witness to Heritage Bible Church.
2. We are not bearing witness to our brand of Christianity, as if we desire that the nations of the earth would purchase our preferred brand of laundry detergent over and against all other brands of detergent because we have an “extra whitening” patent that they do not.
F. Point: The Subject of our Witness is Christ.
II. The Scope of the Witness is the World.
B. Judea and Samaria
C. End of the earth
1. Geographic locations: Achaia, Alexandria, Andramyttium, Amphipolis, Antioch in Pisidia, Antioch in Syria, Apolloia, Arabia, Asia, Athens, Attalia, Azotus, Berea, Bithynia, Caesarea, Cappodocia, Cenchrea, Chios, Cilicia, Clauda, Cnidus, Corinth, Cos, Crete, Cyprus, Damascus, Derbe, Egypt, Elam, Ephesus, Ethiopia, Fair Havens, Galatia, Gaza, Iconium, Joppa, Lasea, Libya, Lycaonia, Lydda, Lystra, Macedonia, Malta, Mesopotamia, Media, Myra, Mysia, Nazareth, Neapolis, Pamphylia, Paphos, Parthia, Patara, Perga, Philippi, Phoenicia, Phrygia, Pontus, Puteoli, Ptolemais, Rhegium, Rhodes, Rome, Salamis, Samos, Samothracia, Selucia, Sharon, Sidon, Syracuse, Syria, Tarsus, Thessalonica, Thyatira, Troas, Trogyllium, Tyre.
2. Miscellaneous locations: The Temple, Synagogues, Marketplaces, Highways and roads, Jails, Areopagus at Mars Hill, The School of Tyranus, Private homes, The desert.
III. The Power for Witness is the Spirit.
A. Witnesses empowered by the Holy Spirit.
1. 1:8 — But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you
2. Jews in Jerusalem (2:4)
a. Ac 2:4 — And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
b. Ac 2:17-18 — And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
3. Samaritans (8:17)
4. Gentiles in Caesarea and beyond (10:44)
B. Witnesses filled by the Holy Spirit.
1. Ac 2:4 — And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
2. Ac 4:8 — Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,
C. Witnesses guided by the Holy Spirit.
1. Miraculous guidance of Philip to the Ethiopian (8:29).
2. Extraordinary guidance of Peter to Cornelius (11:12).
3. Ordinary guidance of witnesses like Paul and Barnabas (13:4; 16:6 forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia).
D. Witnesses illuminated by the Holy Spirit.
1. Ac 20:23 — except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.
2. Ac 21:11 — And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ”
IV. The Result of the Witness is Growth.
A. The Word spreads
1. Ac 6:7 — And the word of God continued to increase
2. Ac 12:24 — But the word of God increased and multiplied.
3. Ac 13:49 — And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.
4. Ac 19:20 — So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
B. Individuals are converted.
1. Jerusalem: Ac 4:4 — But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
2. Ac 6:7 — And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
3. Antioch: Ac 11:20-21 — But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
4. Antioch Pisidia: Ac 13:48-49 — And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.
5. In Thessalonica: Ac 17:4 — And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.
6. In Corinth: Ac 18:8 — And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.
7. In Jerusalem (AD 57): Ac 21:20 — And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law
C. Churches are established: Jerusalem, Samaria, Antioch Syria, Seleucia, Paphos, Perga, Antioch Pisidia, Iconium, Galatia, Lystra, Derbe, Attalia, Troas, Samothrace, Neopolis, Philippi, Amphipolis, Appalonia, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Cenchreae, Ephesus, Caesarea, Assos, Mitylene, Samos, Miletus, Cos, Rhodes, Patara, Tyre, Ptolemais, Malta, Rome
1. Big Picture view of the New Testament
a. Gospels: Christ prepares for the Church
1. 11 men who become the Apostles
2. 70 disciples
b. Acts: Christ builds the Church.
1. 120 in an upper room to 5,000 at Pentecost
2. We’ve stopped counting by the middle of the book
c. Letters to the Churches: Christ matures the Church
1. Corrects the carnality of Corinth, the legalism of Galatia
2. Exhorts the Hebrews to persevere in trial.
3. Encourages Philippi to maintain the mind of Christ.
d. Letters to the Pastors: Christ shepherds the Church.
1. Timothy: church leadership—proper worship, to qualifications for overseers (elders) and deacons, confronting false teaching and how to treat various individuals within a congregation.
2. Titus: encouragement and wisdom as Titus endured ongoing opposition from the ungodly and from legalists within his congregations.
3. Point: The Letters to the churches help to demystify what we’ve read in Acts.
(a.) If all you had was the book of Acts as a guide for church planting and ministry, wouldn’t you be really disappointed to be stuck in places like this?
(b.) The Letters help us to see that planting, growing, maturing and maintaining churches is really messy, challenging, difficult work!
(c.) If churches planted by the apostles struggled with sins like gossip, immorality, legalism, worldliness and such, then we shouldn’t be stunned and shocked out of our usefulness as we face similar challenges.
e. Apocalypse: Christ assures the Church.
2. If we are faithful to bear witness to Christ over the next 30 years, shouldn’t we expect to see the Word spread? Shouldn’t we expect to see individuals converted? Shouldn’t we expect to see churches established and matured?
3. Let us pursue this Kingdom Mission with Christ as the one subject of our message. And let us carry the one message into all the world assured that the Spirit empowers us and that He will give growth in such a way that Christ will receive all the glory.