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Below you will also find the summary of this book.
Purpose of The Book of Acts:
To stress the geographical inclusiveness of gospel. The book is outlined by the geographical spread of the gospel - “…throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria…”- “…as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch…”- “…throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia…”-“…over to Macedonia…”-“to Rome.” The Purpose of Acts resembles closely the purpose of the gospel of Luke, as it is was written by the same author as a companion volume to that gospel. Just as the gospel of Luke vividly displays the gospel demolishing social barriers, Acts chronicles its demolition of geographical barriers as it spreads throughout the Roman Empire.
Summary of The Book of Acts:
The message and mission of Jesus recorded in Luke and the message and mission of the church recorded in Acts are unified. Both Luke and Acts are addressed to the same man, Theophilus, who was probably some sort of governmental official. His title of “most excellent” is used for governors in other places in Acts (cf. Felix and Festus in 23:26; 24:3; 26:25). Would Theophilus align his life with the Mission of God or would he foolishly try to oppose God’s purpose?
Author and Dates of The Book of Acts:
As mentioned in the summary of Luke, Acts is usually dated around 63 or 64 A.D. because it ends with Paul in prison at Rome. Theoretically, Paul's release from prison would have served Luke's purpose in writing, and would have been included if the book was written after his release around 64 A.D.
Luke was from Antioch, but traveled with Paul all over modern-day Southern Europe and Asia Minor. Like his gospel, this letter is addressed to Theophilus, probably an important Roman official of some sort, which would likely place him in Rome. The fact that the letter ends with Paul under house arrest in Rome, combined with Luke's frequent references to Roman courts finding no fault with him, might have served the purpose of a testimony in Paul's upcoming trial. If not, perhaps it was a more general appeal to Roman authorities arguing that Christians are law-abiding citizens unworthy of the persecution they suffer at Rome's hand.
Outline of The Book of Acts:
Themes of The Book of Acts:
The Unhindered Gospel: Although Acts chronicles Peter, Paul, and many other ministers of the gospel meeting various obstacles on their missions, the spread of the gospel will not be thwarted. Even persecution and incarceration of the apostles only serves to spread the gospel further (6:7; 9:31; 12:24; 16:5-6; 19:20; 28:30).
Leadership: As the church grew and spread, the apostles had to implement a leadership structure to insure a distributed yet unified church government (1:21-26; 6:3).
Fellowship: Another challenge for the growing church in Acts was maintaining relationships. Luke emphasizes the gathering together of believers for worship and fellowship, and the sacrifices made for the needy brothers among them (2:42-47; 4:32-36).
Confronting Culture: As the church moved out into a pagan culture, it was confronted with new ideas and new challenges. The apostles made an effort to understand these foreign cultures and express the gospel of Jesus Christ in a culturally relevant way. At the same time, they vigorously defended God's good news, and attacked ideas and systems that contradicted or confused it (2:1-18; 17:22-23).
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