Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Acts 8-11


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Acts Chapter Eight

  1. The death of Stephen marked the beginning of the Church’s first great persecution—headed up by the crusader Saul of Tarsus (Acts 8:1-3).
  2. The Lord directed for the persecution to spread the Gospel message in accordance with the Great Commission (Acts 8:4; 11:19).
  3. After having been scattered, the servant-helper Philip (the Evangelist, Acts 21:8) bore tremendous fruit in Samaria (Acts 8:5-13).
  4. The Apostles in Jerusalem dispatched Peter & John to Samaria to bestow the Holy Spirit upon the Samaritan Crossovers (Acts 8:14-25).
  5. Philip’s next work assignment was to an Ethiopian court official (Acts 8:26-40).

Acts Chapter Nine

  1. Chapter 9 describes the Lord’s first personal appearance to Saul of Tarsus, on the Damascus Road.
  2. Saul received permission from the High Priest in Jerusalem to travel to various foreign lands and persecute the Church (in violation of Roman Law) (Acts 9:1-2; 26:11).
  3. On the road to Damascus, the Lord appeared to Paul in the blinding light of His glory (Acts 9:3-9; 22:3-11; 26:9-18).
    1. His companions were blinded and heard the voice, but not the message (Acts 9:7; 22:9).
    2. Saul’s one question for the Lord (Gr: κύριος, Heb: יהוה): identify Yourself by name.
    3. The Lord’s message was more of a commission than an invitation (Acts 22:10; 26:16-18). In later years Paul described this event as the Lord “revealing His Son in me” (Gal. 1:15-16).
    4. Paul was the last-call for the Lord in commissioning His Apostles (1st Cor. 15:8).
  4. Saul was led into Damascus where he fasted and prayed, and received prophetic visions for three days (Acts 9:8-9,12).
  5. Ananias of Damascus is the disciple on hand to minister to Saul and bring him into the fellowship of believers at Damascus Bible Church ✝︎ (Acts 9:10-19).
    ✝︎ Pastor Bob’s nickname for the local church founded in Damascus. They didn’t really call themselves that.
  6. Saul began an evangelistic preaching ministry in Damascus “for several days” proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues (Acts 9:20).
    1. This was quite the shock to his fellow Jews.
    2. At some point, Saul sojourned in Arabia (Gal. 1:17) to receive the mystery revelation of the Church Age from the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:12; 2:2; 1st Cor. 11:23a; Acts 20:35).
  7. Saul came to Damascus in order to persecute the Way, but had to flee Damascus because of Jewish persecution against the Way (Acts 9:22-25).
  8. Saul’s first visit to Jerusalem as an Apostle demonstrated a reluctance on the part of Jerusalem Bible Church✝︎ to accept him.  
    1. Barnabas, however, was a testimony to grace (Acts 9:26-28).
    2. After a short stay, Saul was forced to flee Jerusalem because of a murder plot against him by his fellow Hellenistic Jews (Acts 9:29-30).
    3. A Divine result of Saul’s acceptance of Jesus as the Christ was a blessing to all Judea, Galilee, & Samaria (Acts 9:31).

      ✝︎ Pastor Bob’s nickname for the local church founded in Jerusalem. They didn’t really call themselves that.
  9. Chapter 9 concludes with the ministry of Peter through Lydda, Sharon, and Joppa (Acts 9:32-43).  Peter’s ministry was remarkably imitative of Jesus Christ.
    1. While teaching in Lydda Bible Church✝︎, Peter healed a paralytic named Aeneas (vv.32-35).
    2. While teaching in Joppa Bible Church✝︎, Peter restored physical life to a girl named Tabitha (vv.36-43).

✝︎ Pastor Bob’s nickname for the local churches founded in Lydda and Joppa. They didn’t really call themselves that.  

Acts Chapter Ten

  1. A Centurion named Cornelius was a God-fearing believer, with a believing household (Acts 10:1-2; cf. 11:17).
    1. He and his household will be ushered into the Church through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
    2. Peter will learn and teach how the new Dispensation includes both Jews and Gentiles as stewards of God’s plan and program.
  2. The Lord sovereignly directed Cornelius to seek Peter (Acts 10:3-8), and directed Peter to accept Cornelius’ invitation (Acts 10:9-23a).
  3. Cornelius expected to meet the Christ, but instead met His representative Apostle—Peter (Acts 10:23b-26).
  4. Peter taught a Bible class to the assembled Gentile believers (Acts 10:27-43).
    1. When these Gentile believers accepted the message of the crucified Christ, they were Baptized by the Holy Spirit and ushered into the Dispensation of the Church (Acts 10:44-48).
    2. Thus, Caesarea Bible Church✝︎ was established.

✝︎ Pastor Bob’s nickname for the local church founded in Caesarea. They didn’t really call themselves that. 

Acts Chapter Eleven

  1. When Peter returned to Jerusalem, the Jewish believers in Jerusalem Bible Church there were disapproving of his fellowship with the uncircumcised (Acts 11:1-3).
    1. Persecution was the infant Church’s greatest external threat in Jerusalem.
    2. Legalism was the infant Church’s greatest internal threat in Jerusalem.
  2. Peter reviewed his ministry in Caesarea and encouraged the Jewish believers to rejoice in the grace of this new dispensation (Acts 11:4-18).
  3. Saul’s Jerusalem persecution resulted in believers scattering out from Jerusalem (Acts 11:19).  An amazing local church was planted at that time in the Syrian city of Antioch (Acts 11:20-30).
    1. Evangelists were leading great numbers to Christ in Antioch, and Jerusalem Bible Church realized that Antioch Bible Church✝︎ needed proper leadership (Acts 11:20-21).
    2. The Apostle Barnabas (Acts 14:14; Gal. 2:9; 1st Cor. 9:6) was designated to continue the evangelism, and build them up with solid Apostolic teaching (Acts 11:22-24).
    3. Barnabas needed an assistant for the growing work of service in Antioch.  He sent to Tarsus Bible Church✝︎ and brought Saul to help in the work (Acts 11:25-26).
      1. Saul had been called to Apostolic ministry in Syria, and now worked under Barnabas in a Syrian setting.
      2. The partnership of Barnabas & Saul built up a powerful local church which became the first body of believers to be known as “Christians” (Acts 11:26).
    4. When prophets from Jerusalem Bible Church✝︎ announced a coming famine, the grace-oriented believers of Antioch Bible Church✝︎ sent a love offering (Acts 11:27-30).  This event introduces the Prophet Agabus to the Acts narrative.

✝︎ Pastor Bob’s nickname for the local churches founded in Tarsus, Jerusalem, and Antioch. They didn’t really call themselves that.