Welcome

Downloads

Roy Millar - Acts Chapters 1 - 15 : The Church on Fire

Acts Chapters 1 - 15 : The Church on Fire

In the first verse Luke informed us that we have happened in on the second volume of his book;

The first part described what Jesus began to do and teach; the second part is, therefore, what He continued to do and teach. This naturally leads to the question, "In what way did He begin to do and teach?". When we check it out in Luke's Gospel (volume 1) we discover that Jesus only began "to do and to teach" after He had been anointed by the Holy Spirit at the river Jordan. This followed immediately after His baptism in water, identifying with those for whom He came to die, 3:21-22. It is clear from Luke's subsequent account that everything Jesus did was in the power of the Holy Spirit, (4:1, 14, 6:12-13, 10:21, 11:20, + references in the other Gospels and the Epistles). He continued to teach the disciples for 40 days after His resurrection, still depending on the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:1-3.

He intended to continue "to do and to teach" after He had physically left the earth. How would He do that? Obviously by the same means - the Holy Spirit, Luke 24:48-49. The disciples were not commanded to go out and witness about Jesus; they were to be His witnesses, Acts 1:8, the Holy Spirit acting and speaking through them in the Name of Jesus

So the Acts of the Apostles records the continuing work of Jesus through His disciples. The same Holy Spirit Who empowered Him will now reside  in His people, the Body of Christ (the Messiah). Acts 28 seems to leave the story "up in the air". Probably this is intentional; the story is still being written through the lives and in the witness of countless believers around the world. So this challenge passes to us, "Do we access the same anointing that they received and does our church life continue the adventure on which they were launched 2000 years ago?" Surely we should not settle for anything less, given the price that Jesus paid so that the Spirit could be poured out from on high, Acts 2:33.

These studies are suitable for individual or group learning. You will find a series of questions and reflections at the end of each set of notes.

// go back

Roy Millar - Session 1 : Introduction and Acts Chapter 1 vs 1 - 11

Session 1 : Introduction and Acts Chapter 1 vs 1 - 11

  The connections with Luke's Gospel: Jesus explained that He would continue His ministry through the disciples. They would be baptized in the same Holy Spirit Who continued to empower Him. This would cause them to become witnesses He had come preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and they would do the same. They must wait for God's time to arrive, just as He had ...

Roy Millar - Session 2 : Acts Chapter 1:12-2:42 - The Spirit comes with power

Session 2 : Acts Chapter 1:12-2:42 - The Spirit comes with power

  Ten days of united prayer.  One outcome of this was the decision to choose a replacement for Judas. Why did they do this? Some people argue that it was a mistake - they should have waited for Paul! Was it just restlessness, filling in time? Peter seems to have sensed that the credibility of the Gospel was at stake - if Jesus was truly the Messiah how could He have chosen ...

Roy Millar - Session 3 : Acts 2:43-4:30 - The power of the Name of Jesus (Part 1)

Session 3 : Acts 2:43-4:30 - The power of the Name of Jesus (Part 1)

The central theme of these chapters is The Name of Jesus. In that Name Peter called down the power of God to heal a lame man. He declared that Name to be the one and only pathway to salvation. On the basis of that Name called the religious authorities to account because of their unbelief. Prayer in that Name brought about a fresh outpouring of ...

Roy Millar - Session 4 : Acts 2:43-4:30 - The power of the Name of Jesus (Part 2)

Session 4 : Acts 2:43-4:30 - The power of the Name of Jesus (Part 2)

Of course not everyone was pleased . Some had a vested interest in preserving the status quo and in maintaining their place within it. They were the same people who had judged that "it would be expedient for one man to die for the nation" and preferred this expediency to the issue of truth. Peter and John fearlessly confronted them with their crime of murdering God incarnate and offered them the possibility of ...

Roy Millar - Session 5 : Acts 4:32 - 5:42 - Corrupt Christians, Courageous witnesses

Session 5 : Acts 4:32 - 5:42 - Corrupt Christians, Courageous witnesses

The early chapters of Acts are arranged in a pattern in of repeated cycles.   a major supernatural event, leading to numerical increase in the church, combined with great unity of fellowship and purpose among the disciples, resulting in powerful witness, often accompanied by supernatural miracles, plus increasing. persecution. Persecution fails to damage the church, but in this chapter we see ...

Roy Millar - Session 6 : Acts 6 - Problems of growth, Recognizing anointed leadership

Session 6 : Acts 6 - Problems of growth, Recognizing anointed leadership

  The early chapters of Acts are arranged in a pattern in of repeated cycles.   a major supernatural event, leading to numerical increase in the church, combined with great unity of fellowship and purpose among the disciples, resulting in powerful witness, often accompanied by supernatural miracles, plus increasing. persecution. Persecution fails to damage the church, but in this chapter ...

Roy Millar - Session 7 : Acts 7 - Stephen's defence and martyrdom

Session 7 : Acts 7 - Stephen's defence and martyrdom

Stephen was the first disciple to stand on trial for his life , and to face the same charges that Jesus faced. All of the charges were related to what Stephen said rather than to what he did. They chose to ignore the miracles as signs pointing to Jesus, and focus on how he cut across issues to do with interpretation of religious belief. There is a modern relevance in Stephen's response to the charges ...

Roy Millar - Session 8 : Acts 8: 1-25 - Persecution and powerful preaching

Session 8 : Acts 8: 1-25 - Persecution and powerful preaching

Stephen's death triggered the greatest persecution so far. Stephen's death seemed to legitimize the fierce persecution of other disciples; in this way the purposes of God were fulfilled. Up to this point the church had been largely confined to the area of Jerusalem. Now they were scattered and went everywhere preaching the word. The first stage of that process was to be Samaria , where Philip proclaimed a Jewish ...

Roy Millar - Session 9 : Acts 8: 26 - 40 - The Gospel spreads to Africa

Session 9 : Acts 8: 26 - 40 - The Gospel spreads to Africa

Samaria is a long way from Ethiopia and was far from Philip's thoughts . The Holy Spirit called him to leave a highly successful situation where many people were receiving Jesus. It didn't make any sense but demonstrates the importance of hearing God and responding with prompt obedience. If he hadn’t left at once he would have missed his appointment, and wondered what it had all been about. There are a couple of very significant "coincidences" ...

Roy Millar - Session 10 : Acts 9: 1-9 - Saul the persecutor is converted

Session 10 : Acts 9: 1-9 - Saul the persecutor is converted

Saul was just as passionate about his mission as Philip had been about his.  The effect of the persecution in Jerusalem had been like pouring petrol on a fire, and Paul was determined to extinguish that fire before it got completely out of, control. He set out on a mission to destroy the church, with the authority of the same leaders who had condemned Stephen to death.  His conversion was dramatic, and the consequences would ...

Roy Millar - Session 11 : Acts:9 10-31 - Apostle to the World

Session 11 : Acts:9 10-31 - Apostle to the World

Ananias had a problem.  God's instruction was in complete contradiction to his own information and opinion. He has heard about Saul the persecutor and was probably anticipating his arrival with some trepidation. Now Ananias is instructed to go and visit him to and lay his hands upon him so that his sight will be restored.  This raises the interesting question of how should we behave when our wisdom conflicts with the wisdom of God? ...

Roy Millar - Session 12 : Acts 9: 32-43 -Two miracles with special significance

Session 12 : Acts 9: 32-43 -Two miracles with special significance

These two miracles prepare us for the critical events in which the door is opened for the Gentiles to come into the church.   Peter is at this stage the unquestioned leader of the Apostles in Jerusalem , having been prominent in the events that have taken place since the ascension of Jesus. If anyone has the credibility to promote the inclusion of gentiles, surely it would be Peter? It is difficult for us at this point in history ...

Roy Millar - Session 13 : Acts Chapters 10:1 - 37 - Jewish Apostle meets Gentile Centurion

Session 13 : Acts Chapters 10:1 - 37 - Jewish Apostle meets Gentile Centurion

The events recorded in Chapters 10 and 11 are like a drama , with a prologue and four scenes. The main actors, Cornelius and Peter, are introduced where they are residing, miles apart, in Caesarea and Joppa.  Once again there is the mysterious interaction between God's sovereignty and human choice. Cornelius was instructed to send for Peter before Peter had had the vision that would permit him to go with a good conscience. ...

Roy Millar - Session 14 : Acts Chapter 10:38 - 11:26 - God declares Gentile believers clean!

Session 14 : Acts Chapter 10:38 - 11:26 - God declares Gentile believers clean!

Peter and Cornelius treated each other with great respect , and Peter was now asked to fulfill Cornelius' vision and communicate what the Lord has commanded him to tell them. Peter does not have a catch-all sermon to use on all occasions.  The form of his message is very different from his approach to fellow Jews . He did not chastise or challenge Cornelius and the others, but centered his message on the Person of ...

Roy Millar - Session 15 : Acts Chapter 11:27 - 13:12 - God delivers and directs

Session 15 : Acts Chapter 11:27 - 13:12 - God delivers and directs

Barnabas and Saul spent a year teaching the young believers in Antioch.  Now we are introduced to another group of people who, like the apostles and teachers, are gifts to the church. These prophets came with their revelation of God's particular purpose for that time , which included a forewarning of food shortages, and this gave a opportunity for a practical solidarity between the young church in Antioch and the mother church in Jerusalem. ...

Roy Millar - Session 16 : Acts Chapter 13:13 - 14:24 - Proclamation and Persecution in Asia

Session 16 : Acts Chapter 13:13 - 14:24 - Proclamation and Persecution in Asia

The next stage demonstrates that the journey itself was not carefully preplanned . It depended on the circumstances they encountered, and on the leading of the Holy Spirit. John Mark, their assistant, returned home, possibly deterred by the unknown terrain. Later this led to a serious disagreement between Paul and Barnabas about taking Mark again. They commenced their mission in Antioch (a different one on the coast of Asia Minor), as usual, in the ...

Roy Millar - Session 17 : Acts Chapter 15:1-16:5 - Gentiles do not need to become Jews

Session 17 : Acts Chapter 15:1-16:5 - Gentiles do not need to become Jews

It is probably no accident that this section is close to the centre of the Acts of the Apostles. It involved a ruling about the very nature of salvation and would determine the whole future of the church. The issue was whether salvation was to be found totally in Jesus or did (Gentile) believers also have to submit to certain laws and rituals in order to be fully accepted by God? Everyone believed that ...

// go back

Site Search

Can't find what you're looking for? Enter it here!