Bible Reading for NOV11: Acts 1-2

The Book of Acts pictures the church’s
history. It starts at Jerusalem and ends at Rome. It
covers a period of transition, with Israel moving off
the scene and the church coming to the forefront. God’s
prophetic program, as outlined in the Old Testament,
gives way to a new program, the mystery of the church.
It was natural that Peter and the other apostles
minister to the twelve tribes of Israel; while Paul
ministered to the body, the church. It was through Paul
that God revealed His new program (see Ephesians 3). The
ministry of Peter is covered in chapters 1-12; while
chapters 13-28 deal with the ministry of Paul.

The Book of Acts was written by Luke, the
beloved physician. It is vitally important that we
understand the basic message of the book, and to do this
we must survey it in a general way. It is clear that
this book traces the setting aside of Israel and the
Kingdom message, following the establishing of the
Gospel of the grace of God. The church actually began at
Pentecost, but was not fully revealed until later,
through the ministry of Paul. Christ had promised to
build His church (Matthew 16:18), and in the Book of
Acts we will see Peter preaching basically to the Jews;
while Paul is preaching the Gospel of grace to the
Gentiles. Jesus’ great promise in chapter 1:8 was one
that gripped the hearts of the disciples and of
Christians today, throughout the world. This was His
last message to His apostles before ascending to heaven.
The teaching in verse 8 clearly reveals God’s plan for
giving the Gospel. Here at Fundamental Baptist Church
our Jerusalem is Ventura; the surrounding cities are our
Judaeas; the country is our Samaria, and the uttermost
parts of the world are the different places where we are
supporting missionaries.

Chapter 2 records the happenings on the day of
Pentecost. The Feast of Pentecost took place fifty days
after the Feast of Firstfruits (the word Pentecost means
fiftieth). This feast is outlined in Leviticus 23:15-21.
Just as the Passover is a picture of the death of Christ
(I Corinthians 5:7) and the Firstfruits is a picture of
the resurrection of Christ (I Corinthians 15:20-23), so
Pentecost pictures the coming of the Holy Spirit (I
Corinthians 12:13).

It is interesting to note the Holy Spirit in the
Book of Acts. In chapter 2:38 Peter tells the Jews,
“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” In chapter 8:14,15
he prayed for the Samaritans, laid hands on them, and
they received the Holy Spirit. In chapter 10 the Holy
Spirit came to the Gentiles when they believed, and
Peter could only stand by in amazement. The teaching of
verses 43-48 is to hear the Word, believe the Word,
receive the Holy Spirit, and then be baptized. It is
very important that we not get any of these out of
order; for when we do, we confuse the simplicity of the
saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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