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by Frederick Brotherton Meyer
Outline of the Acts
“Ye Shall Be My Witnesses”
I. The Church in Jerusalem,Acts 1:1-26; Acts 1:1-26 ; Acts 2:1-47 ; Acts 3:1-26 ; Acts 4:1-37 ; Acts 5:1-42 ; Acts 6:1-15 ; Acts 7:1-60 ; Acts 8:1-3
The Ascension; Day of Pentecost; Peter and John Imprisoned; Ananias and Sapphira; Martyrdom, of Stephen
II. The Church in Judea and Samaria, Acts 8:4-11:18
Preaching of Philip; Simon Magus; the Ethiopian Eunuch; Conversion of Saul; Peter’s Visit to Cornelius
III. The Church in Antioch, Acts 11:19-13:3
The Disciples First Called Christians; the Work of Barnabas; Peter’s Release from Prison; Death of Herod
IV. Paul’s Three Missionary Journeys, Acts 13:4-21:16
(1) With Barnabas, from Antioch through Asia Minor and Return
(2) With Silas, through Asia Minor to Greece, Returning to Antioch by way of Jerusalem
(3) Assisted by a Number of Disciples, through Asia Minor and Greece
V. Paul in Jerusalem, Acts 21:17-26:32
Paul’s Speech to the People; Paul before the Sanhedrin; Sent to Caesarea; before Felix; before Festus and Agrippa
VI. Paul Sent to Rome, Acts 27:1-28:31
The authorship, by the Evangelist Luke, is established by a comparison of the address of his Gospel, Luke 1:3 , with Acts 1:1 . Luke was eminently qualified for his task by his long and intimate association with the Apostle Paul. The place and hour of the commencement of their happy fellowship are fixed by the change in the pronoun in Acts 16:10 from “they” to “we” and “us.” Luke stayed with Paul to the end, 2 Timothy 4:11 . During the long periods of Paul’s imprisonment, his faithful friend and physician would have had ample opportunity for writing both the Gospel and this book.
The Acts is clearly a continuation of the life and ministry of the Redeemer. As the Gospel tells what He “began” to do and teach, so this treatise “continues” the story. There He wrought in a mortal body on earth; here in the body of His glory from heaven. The book is also a commentary on Acts 1:2 . We are not specifically informed what the commandments were which our Lord enjoined upon the Apostles, but are left to infer them from the ordering of the Church unfolded in these pages.
The division of the narrative is indicated in the enumeration of the widening concentric circles of Acts 1:8 . Jerusalem, Acts 1:1-26 ; Acts 2:1-47 ; Acts 3:1-26 ; Acts 4:1-37 ; Acts 5:1-42 ; Acts 6:1-15 ; Acts 7:1-60 ; Judea and Samaria, Acts 8:1-12 ; the uttermost parts of the earth, Acts 8:18 , and onward to the end of the book, which has no formal termination, because the Acts of the Holy Spirit by the Church have continued throughout the Christian centuries and are not yet finished. There are some illustrious chapters still to be added by the pen of the angel scribes, before the divine program is finished.
e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of Acts in the printed edition
Review Questions on the Acts
( a ) Who are the two main characters of the book? What chapters are allotted to each?
( b ) What three cities mark progressive stages in the preaching of the gospel?
( c ) How many missionary journeys did Paul make? Give an account of each.
( d ) By whom was the Acts written? How is this established?
( e ) How was the writer qualified for his task?
( f ) Of what is the book a continuation?
Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments.
1. What other name might be applied to the book of Acts?
2. How was Matthias added to the company of the Apostles?
3. What signs attended the descent of the Holy Spirit?
4. What prophecy did Peter declare to be fulfilled by the gift of the Spirit?
5. How did Peter show thatPsalms 16:1-11; Psalms 16:1-11 referred to Christ rather than to David?
6. What was the result of Peter’s Pentecostal sermon?
7. What miracle of healing did Peter perform at the Gate Beautiful?
8. How did Peter make this miracle an occasion for preaching Christ?
9. Why were the Sadducees especially opposed to the preaching of the Apostles?
10. What did the Jewish leaders observe concerning the Apostles?
11. What was the prayer of the Apostles after they had been charged to keep silence?
12. What was the sin of Ananias and Sapphira?
13. Why were the Apostles imprisoned? How were they delivered?
14. What was the counsel of Gamaliel concerning the Apostles?
15. What led to the appointment of the first deacons?
16. What led to Stephen’s arrest? How did he begin his defense?
17. What did Stephen relate about Moses’ early life?
18. What had Moses declared concerning a prophet who was to come? In what respects was Jesus like Moses?
19. How did Stephen meet death?
20. Who was present at the martyrdom of Stephen? What was the result of the persecution that followed?
21. How was the real character of Simon Magus revealed?
22. How was the Ethiopian eunuch converted?
23. How was Saul’s course stayed on the Damascus road?
24. What part did Ananias of Tarsus have in bringing Saul into the full light of the Christian faith?
25. How did Saul escape from the Jews who sought to kill him?
26. What notable miracle was performed at Joppa?
27. How was Peter prepared for his visit to the home of Cornelius?
28. How had Cornelius been prepared to receive Peter?
29. What was the result of Peter’s ministry in this Gentile household?
30. How did Peter defend his course before the other Apostles?
31. What was the beginning of Christian work in Antioch? Why was Barnabas sent to Antioch?
32. What led to the imprisonment of Peter? How was he delivered from prison?
33. Where did Peter go when he was released? What was remarkable about the death of Herod?
Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments.
34. How did the foreign missionary work of the Church begin? What work did Paul and Silas do in Cyprus?
35. Why did Paul begin his address in Antioch by rehearsing the Old Testament history?
36. What things did he declare concerning Jesus Christ?
37. What was Paul’s experience on the following Sabbath?
38. What miracle was performed at Lystra?
39. How were the people disposed toward Paul and Barnabas at first? What led the people to turn against them?
40. What controversy arose concerning the ritual of the Law? How did Peter reply to the Judaizers?
41. What was the counsel of James?
42. What was the message that was sent to the church at Antioch? What contention arose between Paul and Barnabas? What was the result?
43. Whom did Paul choose at Lystra as his helper? What vision and call came to Paul in the night?
44. Who was the first convert to Christianity in Europe? Why were Paul and Silas cast into prison?
45. How was the jailer converted? What rights did Paul and Silas claim as Roman citizens?
46. What was the experience of Paul and Silas at Thessalonica?
47. How was Paul received at Athens?
48. What message did Paul deliver on Mars’ Hill? What was the result?
49. How long did Paul labor in Corinth?
50. What course did Paul follow on leaving Ephesus? What is said of the ministry of Apollos in Ephesus?
51. What special miracles were wrought by the hand of Paul on his return to Ephesus?
52. How was the genuineness of the conversion of the Ephesians attested? How did Demetrius seek to oppose the work of the Apostles?
53. How did the town clerk control the excited mob?
54. What things occurred during Paul’s stay at Troas?
55. What was Paul’s farewell message to the elders at Ephesus?
56. Why did Paul’s departure cause special grief?
57. What was Paul’s course from Miletus to Caesarea? How did Agabus indicate Paul’s future sufferings?
58. Why did Paul consent to purify himself, after the manner of the Jewish law, at Jerusalem?
59. Why was Paul taken from the Temple by violence? How was he rescued from the fury of the mob?
60. What was Paul’s message to the people as he stood on the castle stairs?
61. At what point did the multitude refuse to listen further? How was Paul advantaged by his Roman citizenship?
62. How did Paul cause the Pharisees and Sadducees to oppose each other?
63. How did Paul’s nephew save the Apostle’s life?
64. Where was Paul sent by Claudius Lysias?
65. In the trial before Felix what charges were brought against Paul? How did the Apostle answer?
66. Why did Felix keep Paul in custody for two years?
67. Who followed Felix as governor? How did his action lead Paul to appeal to Caesar?
68. Why was Paul asked to state his case before Agrippa?
69. What did the Apostle state to be the ground for his accusation?
70. How had Paul been obedient to the heavenly vision?
71. What was Agrippa’s verdict concerning Paul?
72. By whom was Paul accompanied on the voyage to Rome?
73. How did Paul encourage his fellow-travelers in the midst of the storm?
74. Why did Paul insist that all should remain in the ship?
75. How did they finally escape to the land?
76. What work was accomplished by Paul among the people of Malta?
77. How did Paul at length arrive in Rome?
78. In what work was he engaged during his stay in the capital?
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17