Today’s reading is: Acts 1-3
Acts Chapter One
- The Gospel of Luke closed with the Lord instructing His disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they were clothed with power (Lk. 24:41-49), and His ascension to heaven (Lk. 24:50-53).
- The Book of Acts begins with the Lord’s ascension and the events which followed (Acts 1:1-11).
- The Dispensation of the Church is not a stewardship that is tied to prophecy (times or epochs) (Acts 1:7 cf. 1st Thess. 5:1).
- The Dispensation of the Church is a stewardship that is tasked with global witnessing & disciple-making (Acts 1:8; Mt. 28:19; Lk. 24:48).
- Every believer in the Dispensation of the Church is a martyr. μάρτυς martus #3144: witness.
- Every believer in the Dispensation of the Church is admonished not to stand around uselessly, but to be found faithfully serving when the Lord does return (Acts 1:11).
- The Eleven returned to Jerusalem, and began a daily prayer ministry there with the women who financially supported Jesus’ ministry, as well as His earthly family (Acts 1:12-14). This exemplified the first priority for the Church: prayer.
- Peter led a group of approximately 120 of the Lord’s disciples in a prayer meeting to appoint a replacement for Judas Iscariot in The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb (Acts 1:15-26 cf. 2:14; 6:2; Matt. 19:28; Rev. 21:14).
Acts Chapter Two
- The Dispensation of the Church began on the first Day of Pentecost following the crucifixion and resurrection (Acts 2:1-4).
- The Apostles and other believers in the upper room in Jerusalem received the filling of the Holy Spirit.
- The Spirit manifested Himself through them with miraculous linguistic ability for Jewish evangelism.
- The blessing of Tongues on Pentecost provided for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed to the believing Jews who were saved under the Dispensation of Israel (Acts 2:5-41).
- They are “devout men” (εὐλαβής eulabēs #2126 v.5) a term only used of believers.
- Peter explains that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is a prophesied feature of the coming Kingdom (vv.14-21; Joel 2:28-32).
- Peter does not claim that Joel 2 is entirely fulfilled by this Acts 2 event.
- Joel 2 highlights Prophecy, but Acts 2 featured Tongues.
- Joel 2 indicates a world-wide outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but Acts 2 records a limited outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles in the upper room, followed by an outpouring upon 3000 additional souls. Subsequent passages in Acts record the progressive outpourings of the Holy Spirit upon believers ignorant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- The Jewish believers were pierced to the heart, and ushered into the Church as the Gospel of Jesus Christ was made clear (Acts 2:37-41). They are not converts, but crossovers. Their prime imperative is not “believe” but “repent and be baptized.”
- Following Pentecost, Jerusalem Bible Church established a four-fold pattern of activity (Acts 2:42-47).
- Devotion to Apostolic teaching, fellowship, partaking communion, and corporate prayer.
- Observation of Apostolic miracles, establishing the authority for New Testament Scriptures.
- Mutual financial support for one another in the face of immediate national persecution.
- Daily ministering to one another and witnessing to the lost.
Acts Chapter Three
- Chapter three details the first recorded Apostolic miracle (Acts 3:1-11), and Peter’s subsequent sermon (Acts 3:12-26).
- Peter & John performed a miracle similar to that which the Lord had done (cf. Jn. 5:1-9).
- Peter & John denied that the power was theirs, but belonged to the glorified Jesus Christ (Acts 3:13,16).
- Peter & John proclaimed the Gospel to the astonished crowd, making it crystal clear that national acceptance of Christ was the only means for bringing about His return (Acts 3:19; Mt. 23:39).