Resources » The IVP New Testament Commentary Series » Acts » THE JERUSALEM CHURCH: ITS GROWTH (3:1—9:31)
THE JERUSALEM CHURCH: ITS GROWTH (3:1—9:31)
- A Healing Miracle and Its Consequences (3:1—4:31)
- The Healing of a Crippled Beggar (3:1-10)
- Peter's Speech in Solomon's Porch (3:11-26)
- Temple Arrest, Sanhedrin Hearing and Release (4:1-22)
- The Church's Prayer for Boldness (4:23-31)
- The Church's Common Life (4:32—5:11)
- General Description and Positive Example: Barnabas (4:32-37)
- Negative Example: Ananias and Sapphira (5:1-11)
- The Apostles' Healing Ministry and Its Consequences (5:12-42)
- The Hellenistic Jewish Christian Witness (6:1—8:40)
- Appointment of the Seven (6:1-7)
- Stephen's Witness and Arrest (6:8-15)
- Stephen's Speech (7:1-53)
- Stephen's Martyrdom (7:54—8:3)
- Samaria Responds to the Gospel (8:4-25)
- Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (8:26-40)
- Paul's Conversion and Early Ministry (9:1-31)
Communal experiments and religious movements fueled by enthusiasm are often short-lived. Will the faith of Pentecost sustain itself? Will the church's mission mandate be fulfilled? Luke sets out to answer these questions, which lie at the heart of his reason for writing Acts. He hopes to persuade Theophilus and others that the gospel message is true by showing that it was indeed carried "to all nations."
Thus Luke unfolds before us the church's unstoppable advance even in the face of official opposition (3:1—4:31). After a look at the church's internal life (4:32—5:11), he highlights its mission's growing momentum in outreach into "all Judea," even as opposition grows (5:12-42).
Just when prejudice within and death-dealing hostility from without are about to hamper the church's witness, God raises up fearless messengers, Hellenistic Jewish Christians (6:1—8:40). They will complete Jesus' mandate (1:8) in microcosm. And to crown the triumph of the gospel, their chief persecutor, Saul, is converted and begins his ministry (9:1-31).
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