the story of the early church from the time of Jesus' ascension
to Paul's arrival as a prisoner in Rome.
Early Christian mission
according to Acts
Acts was written
by the author of Luke's gospel.
The outline is indicated by Jesus' command that his disciples bear witness
to him in Jerusalem, and in
all Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth (1:8).
recounts the disciples' witness in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.
After Jesus' ascension, the Holy
Spirit descends upon the disciples at Pentecost. They are able to speak
in other languages, although some bystanders think they are "filled
with new wine." Peter heals
a lame man at the Beautiful Gate in the Temple, but he is arrested for
proclaiming salvation in Jesus Christ. Opposition increases and Stephen
becomes the first Christian martyr. After this the gospel moves
outward when Philip bears witness
in Samaria to the north and to an Ethiopian heading south. Paul's encounter with the risen Christ
and Peter's vision signal the beginning of mission to the Gentile world.
recounts Paul's missionary journeys. Paul embarks on several
missionary journeys. The first is from Antioch to Cyprus and parts
of Asia Minor, where Paul and Barnabas establish Christian congregations
despite opposition. At Lystra Paul heals a lame man and people think that
he is a god. A conference in Jerusalem determines that Gentile converts
to Christianity do not need to follow the Jewish practice of circumcision. Paul
continues founding congregations in Asia Minor and Greece. In Philippi
he is briefly imprisoned after casting out a demon from a slave girl.
In Athens he sees an altar "to an unknown God," and proclaims
that God is made known through Christ. Upon returning to Jerusalem, Paul
is arrested, imprisoned at Caesarea, and appeals his case to the emperor. Although
shipwrecked on the voyage, he arrives in Rome
and continues teaching and preaching while awaiting his hearing.
1:6-8 - Jesus commissions the disciples
- Coming of the Holy Spirit
- Paul's conversion
- Jerusalem conference
- Paul in Rome