The Inside Column 1/5

Posted in: The Inside Column- May 01, 2016 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to you.  We invite you to join us after the service for a hot drink and fellowship.

I hope the school holidays have treated you,  your children and grandchildren well over the last two weeks. We are very blessed to live in a great part of the country that has so many things for families to do.

We are working our way through the Book of Acts at the moment and I hope you are been encouraged and challenged. Here is some more background information about it.

The Book of Acts clearly focuses on the beginnings of the church, and two people – the apostles Peter and Paul. It was Paul who possessed the courage to go to the farthest parts of the known world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel spread from Israel, northward to Antioch, and then westward to Asia Minor, Greece, and finally Rome, the heart of the Roman Empire.

The first 12 chapters of the book of Acts deal with Peter, and the remainder of the book, the last 16 chapters is devoted to the apostle Paul. The major areas of history which the author dealt with are:

1    The establishment and progress of the

church at Jerusalem until the dispersion

which arose at the time of Stephen’s death

(Acts 1-7);

2   The preaching of the gospel to the surrounding

area, including its introduction to the Gentiles

(Acts 8-12) ;

3    The preaching tours of Paul and the struggle

to define the church’s position with regard to

the law of Moses (Acts 13:1- 21:16); and

4    Paul’s imprisonment, which began in

Jerusalem and was concluded in Rome

(Acts 21:17-28 :30).

 

Scholars agree that Acts was written around 62 or 63 AD. It is interesting to note that Luke never intimated the event of the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD within the book of Acts. Jerusalem is pictured as a currently thriving center of Judaism, with the temple service and sacrifices being carried out in a normal manner. After 70 AD everything changed and it would have been obvious if Luke had written Acts after 70 AD. Luke concludes Acts with Paul in Rome living in a hired house, and awaiting trial before Caesar (Acts 28:30). This would have been 61 or 62 AD obviously before the great persecution of Christians by Nero and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Jesus commissions His disciples to go into all the world. Acts informs us of the very events of the early Church in carrying out that commission. It tells us of their relationship to one another and to their other co-workers as they dealt with the various problems which faced the young church.

It tells of the introduction of Christianity to the Gentile world and of the struggle for unity between Jew and Gentile.

 

Yours in Christ

 

Philip

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