BibleProject New Testament Series - Lesson 9

Acts (Part 1) - BibleProject

This lesson on Acts (Part 1) covers the introduction to the book of Acts, including the authorship and date, purpose and themes, and historical and geographical context. The lesson then explores the early church in Jerusalem, including the ascension and Pentecost, the ministry of Peter and John, and the conversion of Saul. Finally, the lesson discusses the gospel going to the Gentiles, including the conversion of Cornelius, the Council of Jerusalem, and the second missionary journey.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject New Testament Series
Lesson 9
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Acts (Part 1) - BibleProject

Lesson Outline for Acts Part 1

I. Introduction to Acts

A. Authorship and Date

B. Purpose and Themes

C. Historical and Geographical Context

II. The Early Church in Jerusalem

A. The Ascension and Pentecost

B. The Ministry of Peter and John

C. The Conversion of Saul

III. The Gospel Goes to the Gentiles

A. The Conversion of Cornelius

B. The Council of Jerusalem

C. The Second Missionary Journey

  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the literary design, purpose, themes, and messages of each book in the New Testament, including the four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, epistles of Paul, general epistles, and the book of Revelation.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Matthew 1-13 through this lesson, including the literary design of the book, the flow of thought in each chapter, and the key themes and events. The lesson highlights the importance of Jesus' role in bringing God's kingdom to earth and inviting his disciples into a new way of life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the Gospel book of Matthew through an overview of the first 13 chapters. You will learn how Matthew presents Jesus as the king who brings God's kingdom to earth, and how his disciples are invited to participate in this new way of life through his death and resurrection. You will also discover the central theme of the kingdom of God in Matthew, its relationship with the Church, and the call to discipleship and obedience.
  • Gain insight into the book of Mark's literary design and flow of thought, as well as Jesus' role as Israel's Messiah, inaugurating God's kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
  • By studying the Gospel of Luke, you will gain knowledge of the authorship, purpose, themes, and literary features of the Gospel, as well as a deep understanding of Luke 1-2, which narrates the miraculous births of John the Baptist and Jesus and provides models of faith and obedience. You will discover how Luke emphasizes the universality of God's love and the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering Jesus and his followers.
  • Luke's Gospel portrays Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises told in the Old Testament, bringing the good news of God's kingdom to the poor, teaching his disciples about prayer, trust, and generosity, continuing his mission to the poor and social outsiders, celebrating God's mercy for the lost and the tragic resistance of Israel's leaders, and ultimately dying on the cross as an embodiment of God's love and mercy.
  • In the Gospel of John, the first half of the book tells stories of Jesus performing miraculous signs that lead to controversy, culminating in the raising of Lazarus and his rejection by Israel's leaders, all of which prepare us to understand Jesus as the Messiah, teacher of Israel, and Son of God who offers a new quality of life through belief in Him.
  • You will gain insights into Jesus' ministry and teachings, including the seven signs of Jesus' public ministry and his private ministry, which include the washing of the disciples' feet, farewell discourse, and high priestly prayer.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insight into the introduction and context of the book of Acts, the early church in Jerusalem, and the gospel going to the Gentiles.
  • You will learn about the book of Acts, covering chapters 13-28, which includes Paul's missionary journeys, the Jerusalem Council, and his journey to Rome, and learn about the debates and decisions made by the apostles and elders, as well as gain insights into Paul's ministry and travels.
  • In Paul's Letter to the Romans, he explains how the gospel reveals God's righteousness, creates a new humanity fulfilling God's promise to Israel, and unifies the church, with chapters one through four laying the foundation for understanding the rest of the letter, which emphasizes that all humanity is hopelessly trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through faith in Jesus.
  • In Paul's letter to the Romans, he explores the idea that all humanity is trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through Jesus' death and resurrection, and that being in the family of Abraham means being a part of a new humanity that God is creating through Jesus and the Spirit, with the purpose of rescuing and renewing all of creation.
  • Explore 1 Corinthians to gain insights into complex problems faced by the church and how Paul responds through the gospel. Learn about unity, sexual integrity, love, worship order, and the resurrection as the foundation of hope in the future. Understand the gospel's application to all aspects of life.
  • In 2 Corinthians, you will learn about Paul's efforts to reconcile with the Corinthians, address their forgotten generosity, and confront the "super apostles" who undermine his authority, revealing the paradox of the cross and its implications for a transformed life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, context, and content of Galatians, including the false teaching that prompted Paul's letter, his defense of his gospel and authority, the role of the law in God's promise to Abraham, and the importance of living by the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Gain insights into the book of Ephesians, which emphasizes the creation of unified, ethnically diverse communities through devotion to Jesus and each other.
  • This lesson on Philippians will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, themes, literary features, detailed analysis of each chapter, and significance in Christian theology and impact on the church.
  • By studying Colossians, you will gain understanding of the book's authorship, background, and theological themes such as Christology, spiritual maturity, and the new humanity in Christ and how to practically apply the teachings of Colossians to the church and daily life.
  • By studying this lesson on the book of 1 Thessalonians, you will gain understanding of its background, themes, purpose, literary features, and application. You will learn about the historical and cultural relevance of the book and its personal and spiritual significance for us today.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, purpose, and themes of 2 Thessalonians, as well as an in-depth exegesis of the text. The application of the book to historical and cultural contexts, as well as its relevance for today, is also explored.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights into the book of 1 Timothy, including its background, themes, and significance in the New Testament, such as its contribution to understanding church leadership and worship, the historical context of the early church, and its application for modern church life.
  • In 2 Timothy, Paul writes to Timothy from prison, urging him to stay strong in the face of persecution and to confront corrupt teachers who are causing problems in the church in Ephesus.
  • This lesson on the book of Titus provides a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, purpose, structure, themes, and significance, enabling you to appreciate its contributions to the New Testament, its impact on the original audience, and its relevance to the Church today.
  • Gain insights into Paul's letter to Philemon about forgiveness and reconciliation with his runaway slave, challenging assumptions about social justice and inequality, and highlighting Paul's commitment to pastoral care and reconciliation.
  • This lesson on Hebrews covers the authorship, purpose, literary genre, Christology, eschatology, and theology of the book, providing insights into Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, and Perfect Sacrifice, the concept of Rest, Warning Passages, and the Superiority of Christ and the New Covenant, the Importance of Faith and Obedience, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
  • In the Book of James, you will explore the wisdom of Jesus' teachings and the Book of Proverbs, examining themes such as faith and works, the power of words, wealth, poverty, and wisdom, ultimately learning to live according to the "Perfect Torah of Freedom."
  • Through participating in this lesson, you will learn about 1 Peter, including information on its authorship and date, recipients and purpose, theological themes, literary features, and application. The lesson covers the book's historical and cultural context, as well as its contemporary relevance, and provides insights into how it speaks to topics such as suffering and glory, holiness and ethics, and Christology and salvation.
  • You will gain understanding of the book of 2 Peter, including its authorship, date, and literary context, as well as its theological themes, interpretation, and application. By studying 2 Peter, you will learn about false teachers and their destruction, the day of the Lord, the second coming of Christ, the certainty of God's promises, and the importance of godly living in contemporary Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the letters of John, including their historical and cultural context, authorship, purpose, literary features, themes, and messages, as well as their significance in the New Testament.
  • The book of Jude emphasizes the importance of contending for the Christian faith and exposes corrupt teachers, using both biblical and non-biblical Jewish texts as examples, ultimately highlighting that obedience to Jesus is the true indicator of genuine belief.
  • You will gain a deeper understanding of the book of Revelation, including its historical and literary context, authorship, purpose, and genre, as well as its structure, themes, and images. Additionally, you will be introduced to different interpretive approaches and learn how to apply the book to your personal life, the church, and culture.
  • This lesson provides an understanding of the book of Revelation, including its structure, content, symbolism, interpretive approaches, message, and relevance, helping you to gain insight into the nature of God, the victory of Christ, the role of the church, and the end of history.

BP150-09 - Acts (Part 1)

The Book of Acts. It's the second volume of a unified two part work that today we call Luke X. These were written by the same author. Luke, who was a traveling coworker with Paul. This is clear from the book's introduction where Luke says, I produced my first volume. That's the Gospel about all the things that Jesus began to do and to teach. Now, Luke's giving a clue here as to what this book of acts will be about. Volume one was about what Jesus began to do and to teach. Volume two will then be about what Jesus continued to do and teach, which leads to a really interesting point about the book's traditional but not original name. The Acts of the Apostles, while different apostles do appear in most of these stories. The only single character who unifies the whole story from beginning to end is Jesus himself acting directly or through the Spirit. And so the book would more accurately be named The Acts of Jesus and the Spirit. The book's introduction recounts how the risen Jesus spent some 40 days with the disciples teaching them about the Kingdom of God. This connects back to the story of Luke's gospel, where Jesus claimed that He was restoring God's kingdom over the world, beginning with Israel. So He called Israel to live under God's reign by following him. And he was enthroned as king when he gave up his life and then conquered death with his love. And so the Book of Acts begins with the risen King Jesus instructing his disciples about life in this kingdom. So he promises that the Spirit will soon come and immerse them in his personal presence. And this fulfills one of the key hopes from the Old Testament prophets that in the Messianic Kingdom, God's presence, His spirit would come and take up residence among his people in a new temple and transform their hearts. And so Jesus says, When this happens, the Spirit will empower His disciples to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. From here, Jesus is taken up from their site in a cloud. It's an image drawn from the Book of Daniel Chapter seven. It shows how Jesus is now being enthroned as the son of man who was vindicated after his suffering and now shares in God's rule over the world. And so he promises that he will return one day. And so the main themes and the design of the book of Acts flow right out of this opening chapter. This is a story about Jesus leading his people by the Spirit to go out into the world and invite all nations to live under his reign. And so the story will begin with that message spreading in Jerusalem and then into the neighboring regions of Judea and Samaria, full of non-Jewish people. And then from there out to all of the nations into the ends of the earth. This video is just going to focus on the first half of the book. So the Jerusalem focus section begins with Jesus followers waiting until the Feast of Pentecost, when all of these Jewish pilgrims from all over the ancient world were in the city. And the Holy Spirit comes on the disciples as a great wind. And something like flames appear over each person's head. And together they start announcing and telling stories of God's mighty deeds. And they're speaking in all of these languages that they didn't know before. But all the people gathered there understand perfectly. Now, in order to see what Luke's emphasizing in the story, it's crucial to see the Old Testament roots of all of these images. So first, the wind in the fire is a direct allusion to the stories about God's glorious, fiery presence filling the tabernacle and the temple. And it's also connected to the prophetic promises the God would come and live by his spirit in the new temple of the Messianic kingdom. And so here in Acts, God's fiery presence comes to dwell not in a building, but in his people. Luke is saying that the new temple promised by the prophets is Jesus's New Covenant family, the people of Jesus, Which connects to the second thing Luke is trying to say here. So the prophets promised that when God came to dwell in his new temple, He would reunify all the tribes of Israel under the Messianic King, and that the good news of God's reign would go out and be announced to the nations. Luke describes in detail the international multi tribe make up of all of the Israelites who were there at Pentecost and who responded to Peter's message. And so the Apostles keep calling Israelites to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, and thousands upon thousands respond, forming new communities of generosity and worship and celebration. But not everybody is celebrating from here. Luke shows how Jesus's new family quickly faced hostility from the Jerusalem leaders with a really beautiful, symmetrical design. Luke tells a tale of two temples. So God's new temple, the community of Jesus followers, they're gathering every day in the temple courts and from house to house. Now, in between those notices are two stories about Peter and the other apostles healing people in the temple. It's only to get arrested by the temple leaders, followed each time by a speech of Peter claiming that Jesus is the true king of Israel. And at the center of all this is a story about Jesus, his followers donating property and possessions to a common fund to help the poor. Which is really cool, but it seems kind of random for Luke to mention it here until you realize that this was a practice described in the laws of the Torah and was supposed to be happening through the Jerusalem temple and its leaders. So Luke's point here is clear The new Temple of Jesus community is fulfilling the purpose that God always intended for the Jerusalem Temple to be a place where heaven and earth meet, where people encounter God's generosity and healing presence. And this conflict between the two temples that culminates in Acts, chapters six and seven, it's the first wave of persecution. So Jesus followers, they continue to multiply, requiring more leaders. And what of these, Stephen? He's a bold witness for Jesus in Jerusalem, and he ends up getting arrested and he's accused of speaking against and even threatening the temple. And so Stephen here gives a long speech showing how Israel's leaders have always rejected the messengers God sent them, including Jesus and now his disciples. So the Jerusalem leaders are enraged. They murder Stephen and they launch a wave of persecution against Jesus followers that drives most of them from this city. But it has a paradoxical effect. Luke shows how this tragedy actually became the means by which Jesus people are now sent out into Judea and Samaria. Now, in this section, Luke has collected a diverse group of stories that all show how the mostly Jewish Jerusalem based community of Jesus became a multi-ethnic international movement. So first is the mission of Philip into Samaria. It's the land of Israel's hated enemies, and many of them come to follow Jesus. Next, we have the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul. He was the sworn enemy and persecutor of Jesus followers until he personally met the risen Jesus. And he then became a passionate advocate on behalf of Jesus. Next is the story of Peter having a vision about how God doesn't consider non-Jewish people ritually impure or unworthy of joining Jesus's family. And so, Peter, he's led by the Spirit into the house of a Roman soldiers full of non-Jewish people, and they all respond to the good news about Jesus. In fact, the Spirit shows up powerfully upon them, just as He did to the Jewish disciples back in Chapter two. These themes all come together in the founding of the church in Antioch, the largest, most cosmopolitan city in that part of the Roman Empire. And Luke, he tells us that Barnabas, a Jewish leader from the Jerusalem church, went along with Paul to help lead this church community. And so it became the first large, multiethnic church in history. It was where Jesus followers were called Christians for the first time. And it's from here that the first international missionaries were sent out. And so we see Jesus commission coming true. And this takes us into the rest of Luke's story. But for now, that's the first half of the Book of Acts.