Leader's page and Student's page best viewed left/right side together
Lesson 12 Leader’s notes: Acts 1-2
Work through the first four paragraphs opposite.
More thoughts about Luke’s authorship of Acts.
Remember or review the second paragraph, Lesson 3 page 10.
Luke also accompanied Paul on some of his missionary travels
Ask the ladies to listen for a change of personnel as you (or an able volunteer)
reads Acts 16:6-9 and straight into 10-17. “They” becomes “we”.
See also Acts 20:5-21:18 and 27:1-28:16 – the so-called “we/us” passages. It seems that Luke joins Paul at these times. He sees and hears firsthand what he writes about.
Starting point for the group of believers
Look at the references one at a time, working as one group. If time is an issue, divide into small groups taking two references each.
Ask folk to describe how believers felt in each reference.
A range of emotions – but they were also beginning to think how to go forward.
Lesson 12 Starting points and Pentecost Acts 1-2
Starting point of the author 1:1,2 compare Luke 1:1-4
“During the apostolic age books were not typeset with machinery such as we are accustomed to in this day. Books were written by hand, usually on parchments made out of papyrus. In antiquity, the standard length of a book written in this manner was about 35 feet (10.7 metres) long. The scrolls were then rolled up to be preserved carefully as they were read and passed from church to church”.
“Initially Luke penned two volumes on separate scrolls. His gospel account of Christ, … was carried along with the book of Acts. Very early on, it became the practice of the church to collect the four biographical sketches of Jesus that we call the four Gospels … keeping them together in the church to be read and studied. As a result, the Gospel of Luke was separated from his volume two, the book of Acts.” Adapted from R.C Sproul: Acts commentary.
The authorship of the book of Acts has never been seriously questioned, and is mentioned in the Muratorian Canon around A.D. 170 - ‘Luke author of the third gospel and the Acts of the Apostles’. It has had several names: Acts - Acts of the Apostles - Acts of the Holy Spirit - The History of the Acts of the Holy Spirit.
The date of writing has been a matter of conjecture. However, Luke seems to use Acts 1:8 for his structure – from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria and to the ends of the earth. This makes a writing date between A.D. 62 and A.D. 64 possible. The story covers Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, modern day Turkey and Greece, and Paul has reached the distant capital of the empire, Rome, by the end. There is no mention of Paul’s trial and execution A.D. 65-67, or of Peter’s execution, or of the destruction of Jerusalem A.D.70. This indicates that the book of Acts was probably written before AD.65.
Starting point for the group of believers Acts 1:3-26, Luke 24:36-53
The Ascension was 40 days after the Resurrection.
Pentecost 50 days after the Resurrection.
Think about what all this was like for the believers at the time!
Luke 24:36-43 Acts 1:3-8
Ask three ladies to each read one of the references for the background history to the annual celebration of Pentecost.
Closer to the early Church time it had begun to be used to celebrate the giving of the Law.
It was one of the obligatory feasts for men to attend in Jerusalem. It was a feast of joy and a public holiday.
The ladies in your group may or may not have developed views on’ Pentecost’ in Acts 2.
It is important that we put aside any ideas we may have to look at what scripture says.
By the early 1900s teaching on the Person and role of the Holy Spirit had been sadly neglected. Suddenly it was emphasised to the exclusion of other basic teachings. The emphasis split churches. The Holy Spirit and Pentecost are important for every Christian. Each one of us needs to be working with the indwelling Holy Spirit because He points out our sin and reminds us of Jesus day by day.
Work together through Acts 2:1-4
verse 1 they were together – more likely 120 than 12 see 1:15
verse 2 a sound like a violent wind – where they were sitting
verse 3 seemed like tongues of fire resting on each of them
verse 4 filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues as the Spirit
Add in what you learn from these Old Testament references
These would all be part of the picture of God that these people had
Exodus 13:20-22 God’s presence with them in cloud and fire
Exodus 19:17-19 the giving of the Law – and the presence of God – fire,
smoke, earthquake and noise
Matthew 3:11-12 Jesus will baptise with the Holy Spirit and with fire
speaking of purity and judgment.
verse 5 godly men
verse 6 each heard what was being said in their own heart language
verse 7 amazement
verse 12 amazed and perplexed
Consult the map for verses 9-10. Ladies may find a few places (not all). See pages 3-4.
Work through the sermon Acts 2:22-41
Five main points verses 22, 23, 24, 33 and an appeal verse 38
Response in verse 41
What important changing actions were happening in that first church? Verses 42-47
Apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer, miracles, everything in common, met together publicly. You may come up with different numbers, but how important are these things?
Pentecost Acts 2:1-13
Pentecost – 50 days after the Sabbath of Passover week.
Also known as Feast of Weeks Deuteronomy 16:9-10
Feast of Harvest Exodus 23:16 (first fruits of first harvest
after the Exodus – like USA Thanksgiving or British Harvest Festival).
Day of first fruits Numbers 28:26 in the Feast of Weeks
Try to disregard any personal history you may have about Pentecost – what do we learn by reading Acts 2:1-4?
Now mix in Exodus 13:20-22 God’s presence with them
Exodus 19:17-19 the giving of the Law – sound and sight
Matthew 3:11-12 purity and judgement
For any Jew the things that happened in 2:1-4 spoke clearly of “God”.
Reaction Acts 2:5-13 What do you learn from these verses?
See the maps on pages 3-4 and spot some of the places listed in verses 9-10.
Sermon Acts 2:22-41
Pick out the main points or structure
accredited by God
raised again by God
exalted - Peter uses Psalm 110:1 as he had heard Jesus do in Luke 20:42
‘just over seven weeks ago you crucified Jesus – now God has shown Him
to be the Lord and Christ (Messiah)’
verse 37 response
verse 38 repent and be baptised - forgiveness - gift of Holy Spirit
verse 41 3000 people responded positively
Actions Acts 2:42-47 What important actions were happening in that first church in Jerusalem following Pentecost? Try to find seven key transformational things?