Reading and Interpreting the Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of the Apostles or the Acts of the Holy Spirit describes the birth and the growth of the early Church. The Church was born on Pentecost Day and the Gospel spread from Jerusalem to Rome, despite oppositions. The Acts of the Holy Spirit is a record of events from AD 30 to AD 63.

Read the Book of Acts

Read the Book of Acts in one or two sittings to catch the movements of the Holy Spirit 2000 years ago. He is still active today. Note the endings of each section con-cerning the Spirit’s movements in Acts 6:7, 9:31, 12:24, 16:5 and 19:20.

Read the sections suggested by Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart.

Descriptions of:
1.  The primitive church in Jerusalem (Acts 1:1-6:7).
2.  The first geographic expansion by Greek-speaking Jewish Christians (Acts 6:8-9:31).
3.  The first geographic expansion to the Gentiles led by Apostle Peter (Acts 9:32-12:24).
4.  The first geographic expansion into the Gentile world led by Apostle Paul (Acts 12:25-16:5).
5.  Further geographic expansion into Europe (Acts 16:6-19:20).
6.  Events leading Paul and the Gospel to Rome, the centre of the Roman Empire (Acts 19:21-28:31).

Study the Book of Acts
Use an inductive Bible study method. Supplement with guidance from Bible study resources for a better under-standing of the social-cultural environment concerning Acts.

Observe how the Holy Spirit initiated and directed the spread of the Gospel at the time of the Early Church. Today, the Spirit continues to guide and direct the Church to be a corporate witness for Christ.

Study the passages within their respective contexts.

Example:
The pouring out of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 is similar to that in Joel 2. In Joel 2, God promised to give the Holy Spirit to all believers. In Acts, He gave the Holy Spirit to all believers, Jews and Gentiles.

The occurrence of tongues is not mentioned in Joel 2. The tongues refer to speaking in other languages that could be understood by Jews visiting Jerusalem from other regions.

Cosmic signs mentioned in Joel 2 also did not happen at Pentecost.

This means that we cannot jump to conclusion that Joel 2 is prophesying about the Pentecost event.

In the record of events in Acts, God authenticated the early Apostles with miracles, signs and wonders (Acts 2:22; Eph 2:20; Heb 2:4). God is the builder of the Church. He builds it on Christ the cornerstone and on the foundation of the early Apostles and NT prophets (1 Pet 2:5). No modern-day apostles and prophets are needed to help build upon the Church’s foundation.

Walk by the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, be filled by the Spirit and be empowered to share the Gospel. Those who call on the Name of Jesus Christ can be saved (Acts 2:21. 4:12).

Obey the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20)

The Holy Spirit will bless and strengthen our local church in 2022 when we obey Him.  Maranatha!

Elder Yoong Yuen Soo