Acts 1v8-9: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
“The Church exists by mission, just as a fire exists by burning.” – Emil Brunner
On Sunday we start a new series in the Book of Acts.
An incredibly exciting New Testament book, about the work of Jesus continuing through His Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Book of Acts covers a lot of big ideas, like World Evangelisation, the Power of the Spirit, Community Life in the Church, Teaching and Preaching the Gospel, suffering for Jesus, Prayer, and making disciples and planting Churches everywhere.
It is an action packed history book of the early years of the Church, that will inspire us about what the Church is meant to be, and what it looks like for us to follow Jesus in Durban today.
We’d love you to join us in reading through Acts, and letting the Spirit speak to you and lead you while we go through this series together. We really believe that these next few months could be very significant for your life, and our Church.
Below are a few resources to help you to zoom out and get a bit of the big picture of the setting and scope of Acts, to reference over the next few months.
The Setting of Acts:
c. A.D. 30–60
The book of Acts records the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome, fulfilling Jesus’ commission in Acts 1v8.
In chapters 1–7 the Gospel spreads throughout Jerusalem.
In 8–12 the Gospel spreads in Judea and Samaria.
In 13–20 the Gospel spreads to the ends of the earth (in Asia and Greece).
And in chapters 21–28 the Gospel spreads throughout Rome.
Here is a Map of the setting of the Book of Acts:
If you want a more detailed timeline of the events in the book of Acts, this should help:
Outline of the Book of Acts:
- Preparation for Witness (1:1–2:13)
- The Witness in Jerusalem (2:14–5:42)
- Peter preaches at Pentecost (2:14–41)
- The Christian community shares a life in common (2:42–47)
- Peter heals a lame man (3:1–10)
- Peter preaches in the temple square (3:11–26)
- Peter and John witness before the Jewish council (4:1–22)
- The Christian community prays for boldness in witness (4:23–31)
- The community shares together (4:32–5:16)
- The apostles appear before the council (5:17–42)
- The Witness beyond Jerusalem (6:1–12:25)
- Seven chosen to serve the Hellenist widows (6:1–7)
- Stephen bears the ultimate witness (6:8–8:3)
- Philip witnesses beyond Jerusalem (8:4–40)
- The conversion of Saul (9:1–31)
- Peter preaches in the coastal towns (9:32–11:18)
- The Antioch church witnesses to Gentiles (11:19–26)
- The offering for Jerusalem (11:27–30)
- The Jerusalem church is persecuted (12:1–25)
- The Witness in Cyprus and Southern Galatia (13:1–14:28)
- The Antioch church commissions Paul and Barnabas (13:1–3)
- Paul and Barnabas witness on Cyprus (13:4–12)
- Paul preaches in the synagogue of Pisidian Antioch (13:13–41)
- Paul turns to the Gentiles (13:42–52)
- Paul and Barnabas are rejected at Iconium (14:1–7)
- The two missionaries witness in Lystra (14:8–23)
- Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch (14:24–28)
- The Jerusalem Council (15:1–35)
- The Witness in Greece (15:36–18:22)
- Paul and Barnabas differ over Mark (15:36–41)
- Timothy joins Paul and is circumcised (16:1–5)
- Paul is called to Macedonia (16:6–10)
- Paul witnesses in Philippi (16:11–40)
- Paul witnesses in Thessalonica (17:1–9)
- Paul witnesses in Berea (17:10–15)
- Paul witnesses in Athens (17:16–34)
- Paul witnesses in Corinth (18:1–22)
- The Witness in Ephesus (18:23–21:16)
- Priscilla and Aquila instruct Apollos (18:23–28)
- Paul encounters disciples of John (19:1–10)
- Paul encounters false religion at Ephesus (19:11–22)
- Paul experiences violent opposition at Ephesus (19:23–41)
- Paul completes his ministry in Greece (20:1–6)
- Paul travels to Miletus (20:7–16)
- Paul addresses the Ephesian elders at Miletus (20:17–35)
- Paul journeys to Jerusalem (20:36–21:16)
- The Arrest in Jerusalem (21:17–23:35)
- Paul participates in a Nazirite ceremony (21:17–26)
- An angry mob attacks Paul (21:27–39)
- Paul addresses the Jewish crowd (21:40–22:21)
- Paul reveals his Roman citizenship (22:22–29)
- Paul appears before the Sanhedrin (22:30–23:11)
- Zealous Jews plot against Paul (23:12–22)
- Paul is delivered to the governor Felix (23:23–35)
- The Witness in Caesarea (24:1–26:32)
- The Witness in Rome (27:1–28:31)
Thanks to the ESV Study Bible for the Outline, Map and Timeline in this Blog Post.