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Study Notes and Personal Bible Study Activities for

the Book of Acts

 

Acts 6:1-15 People “full of the Spirit and wisdom” are always useful in the work of Christ’s church.  Would it be good for each of us to seek the Spirit’s increasing influence in our lives?  If we did this, what do you think might happen? 

Acts 7:1-29 Stephen gives a godly history lesson to those who ought to be godly leaders of God’s people.  

Acts 7:30-50 Stephen’s audience is going to get more than a little “uncomfortable” as he proceeds to glorify God while exposing Israel’s characteristic disobedience.  

Acts 7:51-8:13 Stephen courageously presents the honest truth about the culmination of all of Israel’s rebellion against God – its rejection of “the Righteous One”.  What an astounding series of events this unleashed, all used by God for His glory and the extending of His kingdom of grace:  Stephen imitates Christ in his unjust suffering and death; Saul (later to become Paul) consents to Stephen’s death and commences his persecution of Christ’s body; persecution spreads the church instead of suffocating it.

Acts 8:14-40 Watch the church go and grow by the power of God!  Note that He used unlearned ordinary people, making them wise and accomplishing extraordinary things!  

Acts 9:1-25 Wow!  Look at the grace of God in these verses!  See His awesome works!  He never does things in a dull and ordinary way. Look at the grace of God in your life. See His awesome works! 

Acts 9:26-43 Enjoy reading about the boldness of Saul’s preaching and the brightness of Christian love displayed by Tabitha!  Truthful proclamation and loving application are still the identifying characteristics of Christ’s church today.  

Acts 10:1-23a This is the beginning of an intriguing account of Peter and the early church learning about God’s love for all people and the inclusiveness of his kingdom. Note especially verse 15. How does this apply to us today? 

Acts 10:23b-48. The inclusion lesson just seen with the widow of Zerephath continues as Peter goes to a Gentile’s (non- Jewish person’s) house. Who does God accept and on what basis? 

Acts 11:1-30 Ceremonial Law was very important in the Old Testament. Breaking it was a major offense to God and drew his wrath. Why was Peter able to ‘break’ that Law and what legitimate defense did he make that quieted people’s criticism of him and his interacting with Gentiles? The church continues to grow and spread. How did it show love for its fellow members of the body of Christ? 

Acts 12:1-23 Mighty Herod thinks he is in control, “I can kill and persecute whom I please.” God has another assessment of him. 

Acts 12:24-13:15 While God’s mission work was resisted – God, as he always will be, was victorious and more and more people desired to hear the good news

Acts 13:6-41 Paul preaches a sermon about the person of Jesus based on the history of God’s people as recorded in God’s Word – citing specific promises of God and how they were fulfilled in Christ. It is good for us also to have a working knowledge of the Old Testament and New Testament, Bible history, God’s promises and their fulfillment – so we too can give an answer to others when they ask us for the reason we believe as we do and for the hope that we have. 

Acts 13:42-14:7 Note especially Paul’s words in 13:46 (With regard to 13:46 see also Romans 9-11). How am I doing in obedience to God and his Word and messengers? 

Acts 14:8-28 What an amazing turn of events is before us!  What does it tell us the LORD’S people can expect as they live their faith and share their faith today?  (Answer: Tribulation.  Open doors and success from God.)  

Acts 15:1-35 God’s astounding plan of salvation – by grace through faith; not through our works – is contrary to man’s nature.  Here in the early church we see Satan try to destroy this foundation of grace by tempting the church to mingle law with gospel thus destroying grace!  The “law” that the apostles did give to the gentile Christians in verse 20 was not a requirement to earn salvation but a necessary instruction to them since their background of idol worship (which included sexual immorality as a part of worship!) might leave them ignorantly thinking that such things were OK.  

Acts 15:36-16:15 Here we see conflict between two leaders in the church.  (A conflict later resolved, cf II Tim 4:11) We need to continually ask God to preserve the peace among us and thank Him as He does!!  How can you and I imitate the amazing words and actions of Lydia?!  

Acts 16:16-40 God’s grace always turns adversity to blessing for His people.  Enjoy taking the time to meditate upon this truth as it is experienced in the “prison ministry” of the apostles Paul and Silas.  

Acts 17:1-34 Paul and Silas continue their faithful service as God’s ambassadors.  Note what they suffered and how they adapted to each circumstance that the LORD permitted to confront their ministry.  

Acts 18:1-22 Note Paul’s continued faithful sharing of the WORD and how the LORD used that Word’s power to accomplish His saving purposes.  May the LORD make us bold like Paul and bless our proclamation of His truth!  

Acts 18:23-19:12 We should not forget that Christ, not Paul, is the central character in the book of Acts.  Notice in this reading how the LORD uses other persons in harmony with His servant Paul to accomplish His gracious purposes.  

Acts 19:13-41 While some abandon their practices in the light of the gospel, others reject the gospel being more interested in money than in eternal truth. 

Acts 20:1-38 Paul’s journey continues and he makes his final goodbye to Ephesus. Note the Ephesians and their feelings for the shepherd God had given them. 

Acts 21:1-16 The forecast for Paul’s future is grim. But something even greater moved him forward. That same name moves us forward to faithfully work with God, despite dire forecasts. 

Acts 21:17-36 When one loves and serves Christ and is hated for his faith, even his/her innocent righteous acts of worship are seen as threats and condemned. This happens not because the one hated is wrong, but the haters are, and their very own actions and ‘zeal’ condemn them. 

Acts 21:37-22:16 Even though Paul was brutalized by his people and had to be protected from them by Roman soldiers, he still deals respectfully with them and calls them ‘brothers and fathers’ as he stands before them to give his defense and retelling of what God had done for him. This is a  good reminder to us as well as we speak to others about the hope that is in us – do it with gentleness and respect

Acts 22:17-23:10 Paul continues his defense, only to be rejected by the Jews for preaching Christ and for telling them the ‘vineyard’ was being taken away from them to go to other tenants (see Matthew 21:33-46).  Note how the Lord used the civil authorities, and also conflicting theological points of view, to protect Paul. 

Acts 23:11-35 God instituted governments (Romans 13) and uses them for his purposes as we see here. 

Acts 24:1-27  Lysias turns Paul’s case over to Felix the governor. Paul seizes the opportunity to speak to Felix about Jesus. What is Felix’s reaction? Have you ever encountered a similar reaction? Why should this not discourage us?

Acts 25:1-12 The lack of justice in Paul’s trial continues under Festus, moving Paul to appeal to Caesar’s court in Rome. Keep an eye on how the Lord uses even injustice to carry out his will and to proclaim his Gospel.

Acts 25:13-27 Festus brings Paul’s case before King Agrippa and Bernice so they may formulate charges to send with Paul to Rome. Festus fails to set Paul free, even though he knows Paul is innocent. Consider the unjust sufferings of the Lord Jesus and the injustice endured by Paul, Jesus’ apostle. What perspective does this give you and me when we endure injustice?

Acts 26:1-32 Listen and watch as Paul stands before King Agrippa and passionately tells his life story and how the Lord Jesus brought him to faith. If not for the false accusations leveled against him, Paul would not have had such an opportunity for proclaiming the Good News in this setting. How does this give you and me confidence and peace of mind?

Acts 27:1-44: This entire chapter is a true adventure, guided by the hand of a gracious and protecting Lord. The account is also full of specific, accurate descriptions of locations, behavior of 1st-Century sailing ships in different kinds of weather, etc. It reminds us that Christianity is never presented in some fairy tale/Aesop’s fable format. Christianity is rooted in history. These are real events that took place in real time.

 Acts 28:1-10 At Malta, Paul amazes the local inhabitants by surviving a snakebite, and they believe he is a god. As he heals many sick people, they will learn that his power comes from the one true God, not from Paul himself. What can you and I take away from Paul’s experience in chapters 27 and 28 when we endure the storms and shipwrecks of life?

 

Acts 28: 11-31 Paul reaches Rome safely and peacefully. There he proclaims the Gospel without hindrance to the Gentiles, thus fulfilling Christ’s promise that the Gospel would be proclaimed to all nations. Someone once said, “Want an exciting, adventurous life? Live the life of a Christian.” What, do you think, is meant by this statement?