Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Acts Bible Study Notes Chapter 1

Acts 1

 -Luke continues his historical narrative into the accounts of the early church to Theophilus and all lovers of God everywhere. He ties the work together in brilliant fashion and brings up an important theological point by verse six where the disciples ask Christ if this is the time when the Kingdom of Israel will be restored. They had been under foreign domination and subjection for many hundreds of years (back to approximately 586 BC). This is the time of the Gentiles, and we are still living in it to a degree. The interesting modern day fact in regards to this is that the modern state of Israel became a sovereign nation once again in 1948. Although, it can be argued that the United Nations and in particular America have had a major voice in how Israel has conducted her affairs. This is the first step in the fulfillment of the literal fulfillment of Israel becoming the eternal Kingdom under Christ Jesus’ rule (2 Samuel 7, Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-6).

-The disciples rightly recognized that some incredible prophetic events were taking place in their time and wondered what would be happening next in God’s timetable. Jesus reminded them that it is not for us humans to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority (Acts 1:7). Then Jesus gives them a contrasting statement that will set their, and the church’s course, for the present age in which we live. He tells them that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them to be witnesses of Him in their locale of Jerusalem spreading out to Judea and Samaria (the local region near them), and even to the furthest and most remote parts of the world. Much could be said about this verse. In fact many sermons could be preached from it, but for the purpose of this work it is suffice to say that this is the clarion call to go and make disciples in His strength (Matthew 28:19-20).

-The ascension takes place now as Jesus goes back to His Heavenly realm from the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem. The promise of His return is given by two angelic men robbed in white standing beside them as they watched Him depart.

-The command for the disciples was to go back to Jerusalem and wait until they were endowed with power from on high by the Holy Spirit. While they were there praying and continually devoting themselves to the work of the Lord, Peter stood up in a role of leadership and summoned them to select another apostle to add to the eleven since Judas had become the apostate. Matthias was selected by prayer and finally the drawing of lots. *Application* This is evidence that sometimes decisions are simply too difficult to make in our own strength and power. They turned the matter over to God who knows all hearts of men (Acts 1:24). Providential devices (such as the lots here or maybe a coin toss in our age) should become the governing guide only after all thinking and prayer based on the Word of God has been done. Don’t be flippant in making decisions, seek God and His answers. This is what the apostles did.

Verse to Memorize: Acts 1:8

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