Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 1:1-3
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 1:1
v1 (continued): It’s likely Luke wrote the Book of Acts during the two years he and Paul spent in Rome while Paul was under arrest waiting for a hearing before Caesar (AD 60, 61). Paul was permitted to stay in his own rented quarters, accompanied by a soldier who was guarding him (Ac 28:16, 30, 31), and was allowed to teach and preach “with all openness, unhindered” (Ac 28:31). During those years Paul wrote Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians and Philippians, and Luke wrote Acts and possibly the Gospel of Luke. But it’s also possible he wrote his gospel during Paul’s earlier imprisonment in Caesara (Ac 24:27). Both men turned what might have been wasted time into a season of research and writing that left an immeasurable gift to the Church (Eph 5:16).

Monday: Acts 1:1, 2
vs1-2: Luke tells Theophilus that his gospel was designed to record the things Jesus did and taught during His ministry, starting at its very beginning, which for Luke extended back to events before Jesus’ conception, and continuing to the day He ascended into heaven (Lk 24:50-53). He reminds Theophilus that before Jesus ascended, He commanded the eleven apostles whom He had personally chosen (Ac 1:13, 26), to wait in Jerusalem “until you are clothed with power from on high” (Lk 24:49). After that power arrived, they were to proclaim the gospel “to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Lk 24:47).

Tuesday: Acts 1:3
v3: Luke tells Theophilus that before the ascension, the resurrected Jesus appeared to His disciples on numerous occasions over a period of forty days. Eleven such appearances are recorded or mentioned in the New Testament, and there may have been many more. He says Jesus “presented Himself alive in many convincing signs.” One delightful example of such “signs” was the occasion when Jesus took a piece of broiled fish and ate it in front of His disciples to prove to them His resurrected body was real (Lk 24:41-43). Luke also records that He showed them “His hands and feet,” meaning, of course, the scars there (Luke 24:40). John tells us He invited Thomas to touch the scar in His side where the spear entered (Jn 20:27), and describes a morning beside the Sea of Galilee when He cooked breakfast for them (Jn 21:9-14).

Wednesday: Acts 1:3
v3 (continued): Luke’s point in saying this to Theophilus is to assure him that there is a sound, historical basis for his faith. The declaration that Jesus rose from the dead was no myth or unconfirmed rumor. Many people saw Him during that 40-day period—honest, reliable people, some of whom touched Him and even ate meals with Him. His appearances were not momentary visions, brought on by a state of religious ecstasy. People, going about their daily activities, who weren’t expecting to see Him alive, encountered Him. There were times of prolonged conversation with multiple witnesses present. In other words, Theophilus could be confident that his faith was founded on something that really happened. He was no fool for putting his faith in Christ.

Thursday: Acts 1:3
v3 (continued): During these appearances, Luke says Jesus spoke about “things concerning the Kingdom of God.” By the phrase “Kingdom of God” he meant God’s plan of salvation, particularly as it had now been revealed by the coming of Jesus. When we review the passages in the gospels which record some of what Jesus said during this forty-day period, we discover He focused on three topics: First, He explained how He fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament (Lk 24:44-47); second, He prepared them to receive the promised Baptism with the Holy Spirit (Lk 24:49; Ac 1:4, 5); and third, He gave them their assignment to be His witnesses and to make disciples in Israel, Samaria and all the Gentile nations (Mt 28:19, 20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:47; 1:8).

Friday: Acts 1:3
v3 (continued): From Adam and Eve onward God has been at work saving people out of this dying world so that they would become citizens of His eternal kingdom. He has a plan, and is faithfully at work accomplishing that plan in ever generation. The death and resurrection of His Son is the central event in that plan. The gift of the Holy Spirit is also part of that plan, and was meant to inaugurate a season of accelerated harvest. And there are major events in that plan which have not yet happened, such as the return of Jesus to earth, and the resurrection of the righteous who will assist Him to rule this rebellious planet for a thousand years. And finally, His plan will reach its ultimate goal when He resurrects the entire universe to create an eternal home, a “kingdom,” for His Son and His adopted children.

Saturday: Acts 1:3
v3 (continued): So the term “Kingdom of God” encompasses all these events, because all are part of His great plan to “bring many sons to glory” (Heb 2:10). But when Luke uses the term he particularly means the Person of Jesus Christ as the promised Savior. To speak about the “Kingdom of God” in the early church was to declare Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies and promises, and to call all who hear this message to believe. What has been a mystery for centuries had now been revealed. Now everyone could understand the truth, “that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name…” (Lk 24:46). And all who respond in faith become citizens of the “Kingdom of God.” 

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