Acts - History of Missions

  •  The book of Acts is a history book of the church and is the chief source for the facts concerning Christianity in the first century after Christ.
  • Although Luke is nowhere named within the book, it is agreed by most Bible scholars that Luke, “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14), was the author.
  • The general theme is getting the Gospel into all the world through the power of the Holy Spirit, beginning in Jerusalem and from there spreading into Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost part of the world (1:8).
  • The book covers the period of time from the resurrection of Christ to Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome, which would be approximately thirty-three years.
  • This has been charted in the book The Acts of the Apostles by Barclay as follows:
  1. The church in Jerusalem (1:1-6:7).
  2. From Jerusalem to Palestine (6:8-9:31).
  3. From Palestine to Antioch (9:32-12:24).
  4. From Antioch to Asia (12:25-16:5).
  5. From Asia to Europe (16:6-19:20).
  6. From Europe to Rome (19:21-28:31).
  • Acts furnishes us the principles for revival and missionary work. We need to go to the epistles, and not the book of Acts, for our doctrine.
  • It should be noted that the Bible is arranged with the life of Jesus on one side of Acts and the letters of the apostles on the other.

Acts can be outlined as follows:

     1.   Gospel taken primarily to the Jews (chapters 1-12).

           a. Peter is the chief character.

           b. Jerusalem is the central city.

     2.   Gospel preached to the Gentiles (chapters 13-28).

           a. Paul is the principal character.

           b. Antioch is the main city.