Hyles-Anderson College by Bill Boyd
THE BOOK OF ACTS
Introduction: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the four Gospels. If you went from
John to Romans, I Corinthians, etc., you probably would wonder – “Where did this
church come from and how did get here?”
Acts – answers the question: “How did the church get here?”
Question – When did the church start? Some say in Acts – the day of Pentecost?
Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock
I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
There is no church yet. This is the first mention of the church in the New Testament.
Matthew 18:15-17, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell
him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained
thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that
in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he
shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the
church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
This was the 2 nd mention of the church. The 3 rd mention of the church is found in:
Acts 2:47, “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord
added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
The Book of Acts: is Jesus saying, “Here’s how to do what I did!” He started the church
in Jerusalem and trained 12 to do the work that He did!
Question – What is “The Church?” It’s the local called out assembly – NOT a universal
organization composed of all believers in all denominations!
Versus that say we are all of one body are in – I Corinthians. 12:12-31. God is speaking
to a LOCAL New Testament church located in the city of Corinth – not to an invisible,
Those that teach the “universal theory” do not: teach the Bible, practise separation,
probably don’t use the KJV, preach a “love” gospel, have very little, if any, convictions
and standards, NEVER win a soul to Jesus, and are probably are associated with a liberal
Acts – is located in between the Gospels and the Epistles – this is also the logical order for
the book. Acts is the “CLUTCH BOOK” of the Bible. Just as driving a manual
transmission car, you must push in the clutch before shifting gears. God is shifting from
the kingdom age to the church age – which is done through soul winning and church
Theme – “Winning the Lost!” (How to Build the Church = Soul Winning)
Outline – #1 – #7 – Witnessing in Jerusalem and Judea. Main Character = Peter.
8 – #12 – Witnessing in Samaria. Main Character = Philip.
13 – #28 – Witnessing in the uttermost parts of the world. MC = Paul.
Luke – is the author of Acts – Luke 1:3, 4.
Acts – is the continuation of Jesus’ ministry in Luke.
Luke – picks up where he left off from his previous writing.
Luke 24:49, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye
in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
In the book of Acts – Luke backs up a little and then goes again.
Acts 1:2, “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy
Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.”
- Here we have the first mention of the Holy Ghost in Acts – this sets the pattern for the
rest of the book!
- Jesus being led of the Spirit gave the apostles commandments!
- He chooses the apostles, not men – as we will see later.
Acts 1:3, “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion (after His
sufferings, crucifixion) by many infallible proofs, (Jesus said, “…handle Me and see… have ye any fish –
He did eat! He was seen for 40 days, by 500…) being seen of them forty days, and speaking of
the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”
- Any lawyer could win the case proving His resurrection – there is so much evidence!
- As a truck driver shifts gears from first to second, they must first push in the clutch!
- The shift is from the kingdom (Gospels) to the church (Epistles) and Acts is the
clutch book! The majority of church doctrine comes from the Epistles (no tongues…)
- You must shift from your religious / deeper lifer position to church building = SW!
Matthew 10:5-8, “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying,
Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye
not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach,
saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers,
raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”
Matthew 3:2, “And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
THE BOOK OF ACTS
- How we got from the kingdom to the church!
- From the message of the kingdom to the message of the church which is grace!
Acts 1:6, “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying,
Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
- This is the last question asked of Jesus while He was on the earth.
- This is the key question to understanding the book of Acts!
- The disciples were still looking for the Kingdom to be set up. They were not looking
for the church to be built.
Acts 1:7, “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the
seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power?”
THE KINGDOM WAS POSTPONED!
Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Until the Kingdom was set up (instead of setting it up now) this what I want you to do
(while waiting for the kingdom to come).
ILL: The Gospels tell of Jesus coming and offering Himself and the kingdom to Israel.
They rejected Him and the result of their rejection is to be set aside until the church is
built, and the result was a postponed kingdom.
ILL: Since they acted up – they will have to wait!
Instead of setting up the kingdom right now, here’s what I want you to do = Acts 1:8.
Here is the outline of what Jesus wanted done until He comes and sets up the kingdom!
I. Chapters 1-7 – the main character is Peter – in Jerusalem.
II. Chapters 8-12 – the main character is Philip – in Samaria.
III. Chapters 13-28 – Main character is Paul – in Antioch.
The book of Acts starts in Jerusalem and ends in Rome.
THEME – “Soul Winning!” 1:8 = outline the church and individuals doing God’s work!
Acts 1:9-11, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was
taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked
stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white
apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into
heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come
in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
THEY WERE LOOKING FOR THE RETURN OF CHRIST!
Acts 1:14, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with
the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”
THIS IS NOT WHY THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME – HE CAME BECAUSE HE WAS PROMISED OF THE FATHER!
Acts 1:15-17, “And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and
said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men
and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost
by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them
that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this
JESUS ASCENDED AND 10 DAYS LATER WAS THE DAY OF PENTECOST (50).
- On the day of Pentecost the church had already been started – Matthew 16:18, 18:17.
These were the 120 in the Upper room on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit had
already been given – John 20:22. The disciples had been instructed to wait for the Holy
Spirit’s power to be given them – and He would instruct them on how to carry out the
Great Commission and give them the needed power to carry out the work!
HOWEVER – They did not wait – “Impetuous Peter” jumped the gun and they held an
- In :2 – Jesus chose the apostles – not Peter and the casting of lots!
- In : 26 – Matthias is numbered with the 11 – not with the 12! This is the last mention of
Matthias! Jesus did not accept the election!
- The work of the church is to win souls! If the church does not win souls = they are not
a New Testament church! The Great Commission – Matthew 28:19, 20, Mark 16:15,
16, Luke 26: 48, John 20:21, Acts 1:8.
- The work of Christians is to win souls
- Soul winning is not a gift – it is a command given by God to every individual believer.
MISTAKES OF THE APOSTLES:
- Acts 1:6,7, “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him,
saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he
said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the
Father hath put in his own power?”
TOO MUCH CONCERN ABOUT THE KINGDOM – NOT ENOUGH CONCERN
ABOUT THE SOULS OF MEN AND CARRYING OUT THE GREAT COMMISSION.
Jerusalem – home = our town, next-door neighbors…
Judaea – neighboring cities, states.
Samaria – next-door neighbor – race wise = Canada, South America, Mexico.
Uttermost – foreign nations.
- Acts 1:10, 11, “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up,
behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of
Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up
from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into
THEIR CONTINUAL LOOK FOR THE SECOND COMING – it is not enough to live
right, look for Jesus, live in the clouds, etc. These are called “Deeper Lifers” – they study
the types and try to figure out why Noah’s Ark was 450 feet long, etc.
- THEY WERE TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE
BEEN TAKING CARE OF SOUL WINNING. The popular saying is, “We never did it
that way before – this is how we have always done it,” etc.
The mistakes of Acts 1 are the mistakes of our day – why? It is easier to look for the
Kingdom than for sinners. It is easier to look up than to look out. It is easier to do
church work than to carry out the great commission.