The Acts

This book was written to Theophilus by Luke as a continuation of the story of "all that Jesus began to do and teach." (Acts 1:1) the Acts shows how Jesus continued after his resurrection and ascension (chapter 1) to take an active interest in the spread of the "gospel" or "good news" by his followers.

The Apostles chosen by Jesus, who had been with him throughout his ministry and had seen him after his resurrection, met first in Jerusalem. Here, during the Jewish Feast of Pentecost (50 days after the Passover), they received the Holy Spirit. This special power from God enabled them to perform miracles and to speak with great authority.

Apostles, like Peter and John, began to preach that Christ was risen and would return to be King. Persecution of the Christians soon began. Peter and John were imprisoned (though God delivered them) and James (John's brother) was killed.

At first, the Apostles and early Christians preached only to the Jews. But Jesus had said, "You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." (1:8) So, following the persecution at the time of Stephen (one of the early Christian teachers who was stoned to death), the Christians were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria (8:1).

Philip preached to non-Jews and Peter too was shown that God's message of salvation was to be taken to the Gentiles (chapter 10).

But the greatest "Apostle to the Gentiles" was to be Saul (Jewish name) who was later called Paul (Greek name). His conversion (chapterS 9) and his missionary journeys (chapters 13-28) form a large section of this book.



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