Who is the person in your life who has had the greatest influence on you? How did this person influence you? What direction has your life taken as a result?
The book of Acts was written by Luke and describes the acts of Jesus’ followers in the years after his death and resurrection. After Jesus’ death they were a small, frightened group. Jesus resurrection and the power of the Holy Spirit turned them into bold witnesses who were ready to give their lives to tell the whole world about Jesus.
- Theophilus – means “friend of God”; he was possibly a real person or the book may be addressed to anyone who loves God
- Proclaimed – presented; taught
- Excellency – excellent person; a title of great respect
- Holy Spirit – Spirit of God
- Apostles – Jesus’ twelve special followers, originally called disciples
- Baptized – dipped in; water baptism symbolizes cleansing from sins and dying and being raised with Jesus. Being baptized in the Spirit implies a new life and power from God’s Spirit
- Galileans – Jesus’ apostles (they were all from the province of Galilee)
- Two men dressed in white – probably angels, spirits who are God’s servants and messengers
- Luke starts his book like a letter with a note of explanation. Who is Luke writing to? Why is he writing?
- Where does Luke get his information from? What does he want his readers to know?
- How is the first sentence of Acts like the start of Luke?
- What is the subject of each?
- If all we had to read from the Bible was Acts 1:1-11, what would we know about Jesus?
- How does Luke emphasize Jesus really rose from the dead?
- What command does Jesus give his apostles after his resurrection? What promises does he give?
- The Jews believed the Messiah would deliver their country from Roman occupation. Jesus’ resurrection proved to his followers that he was the Messiah. What do you think the apostles were thinking about when they asked him the question in v. 6?
- What was Jesus answer to their question?
- What is a witness? Where will they witness? Who will they witness to? How will they have the power to witness?
- Look at v. 8. If it summarizes the rest of the book of Acts, what do you think the rest of the book will be like? How does that verse describe what Christians do today?
- How does Jesus leave his disciples?
- What promise does Jesus give?
- What would you have thought and felt if you had been a follower seeing Jesus return to heaven?
What is the Holy Spirit’s part in continuing Jesus’ work on earth? Christians believe the Spirit is still living in Christians today. How important is his role? What makes you think so?