Slides: Acts 1-2

Slide 1

Acts 1-2 introduces an emphasis on empowerment for cross cultural witness

Acts 1:8 is central:

You will be witnesses... to the ends of the earth once the Spirit comes on you.

(more on this later)

Slide 2

Acts 1-2 recapitulates Lk 24- pivot between Lk and Acts

1.    The Promise of Pentecost (1:4-8)

2.    Preparation for Pentecost (prayer, leadership) (1:12-26)

3.    The Proofs of Pentecost (2:1-4)

4.    The Peoples of Pentecost (2:5-13)

5.    The Prophecy of Pentecost (2:17-21)

6.    The Preaching of Pentecost (2:22-40)

7.    The Purpose of Pentecost (2:41-47)

Slide 3

1      The Promise of Pentecost (1:4-8)

Don’t leave home without it:

“Stay in Jerusalem, wait for what the Father promised.” (1:4)

We cannot succeed in Christ’s mission without Christ’s power

Slide 4

Disciples ask the obvious question (1:6)

Talk about the “kingdom” (1:3)

Talk about the Spirit (1:4-5)

The outpouring of the Spirit was associated with the end-time restoration of Israel

E.g., Isaiah



Slide 5

The Promise of the Future (1:6-7)

The Spirit as an end-time gift (Joel 2: Is 42, 44, 59, 61; Ezek 36, 37, 39; Zech 14)

So the disciples; are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel? (1:6)

Slide 6

Jesus answer

The consummation of the kingdom will come (1:7)

But the Spirit is given now (1:8)

To prepare the world beforehand

The Spirit was associated with the end-time

Thus Jesus’ followers must display the life of the future age

Slide 7

1:8: You will receive power when the Spirit comes….

What Luke means by “power” in the Gospel:

Lk 4:36: with power Jesus casts out demons

Lk 5:17: power was present for healing

Lk 6:19: power was coming from Jesus to heal

Lk 8:46: power came from Jesus to heal

Lk 9:1: Jesus gave the Twelve power over demons

Slide 8

In Acts:

Acts 3:12: not by our own power or holiness was the man healed

Acts 4:7: “By what power, or in what name, was this man healed?

6:8: Stephen, “full of grace and power,” was doing wonders and signs

10:38: Jesus, anointed with the Spirit and power, was healing all who were oppressed by the devil

Slide 9

Power from the SPIRIT

OT often (and early Judaism especially) associated the Spirit with prophetic empowerment

As if to say to the disciples: “The same Spirit who spoke through the prophets will speak through you”

Slide 10

“Witnesses to … the ends of the earth”

The language reflects Isaiah

Lk 24:44-48: this commission is grounded in Scripture (24:44-46)

“Witnesses” for YHWH (Is 43:10; 44:8)

Here, for Jesus

Because of Spirit (e.g., Is 44:3)

“Ends of the earth”: esp. Is 49:6

Quoted in Acts 13:47

Slide 11

The gospel’s spread: summary statements in Acts

2:47: The Lord added to their number daily

6:7: the word of God spread

9:31: the church grew in numbers

12:24: the word continued to increase

16:5: the churches grew daily in numbers

18:20: the word spread and grew

28:31: without hindrance he preached

Slide 12

These reflect the following growth of the church:

2:47: in Jerusalem

6:7: across class boundaries

9:31: in Judea and Galilee

12:24: in Judea

16:5: in southern Asia Minor

19:20: in urban

26:31: in Rome

Slide 13

Better yet, Acts 1:8 (very rough outline for Acts)

Jerusalem: chs. 1-7

Judea, Samaria: chs. 8-9

To the ends of the earth: 10:28

Gentiles (10-11, foreshadowed in ch. 8)

Cyprus, S. Turkey (13-14)

Theological center (15)

Asia, Greece (16- )

En route to Rome via Jerusalem and Caesarea (21-28)

Slide 14

Luke’s Gospel:

Begins and ends with the Temple in Jerusalem

Slide 15

But Acts moves from Jerusalem to Rome

Slide 16

Where are the “ends of the earth”? #1

Slide 17

“Where are the ends of the earth”? (#2)

West: Spain and River Ocean

East: Parthia, India, China

North: Scythia, Germany, Britain

South: Africa south of Egypt

Trade ties as far S. as Tanzania

Nubian kingdom of Meroe (8:27)

Thus does not end with Rome

Important for Luke’s audience

But proleptic, like Acts 8

The mission is open-ended- it continues today

Slide 18

Another biblical allusion in Acts 1:9-11

Elijah ascended to heaven

And left for Elisha a double portion of his spirit

Again: the same Spirit who empowered the prophets

Slide 19

2. Preparation for Pentecost (1:12-26)

Politics: Reestablishing leadership

After scandal

Preparing in faith that God will use them

Prayer before HS (1:14, cf.2:4)

Slide 20

Prayer before HS

A frequent theme in Luke- Acts

Spirit on Jesus “praying” (Lk 3:21-22)

Prayed, filled (Acts 4:31)

Prayed for Samaritans to receive (8:15)

Saul praying (9:11), filled (9:17)

Cornelius praying (10:30), filled (10:44)

Slide 21

3. The Proofs of Pentecost (2:2-4)

Wind (2:2)

Evokes theophany

Ezek 37: End-time Resurrection Life

Fire (2:3)

Evokes theophany

End-time judgment

Tongues (2:4)

Slide 22

Tongues is most significant of the three for Luke

Repeated at initial outpourings in 10:46; 19:6

Provides catalyst

For multicultural audience (2:5-13)

For Peter’s message (2:16-17: “This is what Joel meant”

Relates to Acts’ theme I 1:8:

Inspired speech (prophetic, 2:17-18)

Cross-cultural witness

Slide 23

History of past century or so of discussion

Late nineteenth- century radical evangelicals

Emphasized holiness, missions, and healing

Many sought “baptism in the Spirit”

Many were praying for “missionary tongues”

Background of earliest Pentecostals

Slide 24

Yet (I believe) they were right about the connection

Luke emphasizes the power of the Spirit to speak for God across cultural barriers

Tongues not an arbitrary sign

What greater sign could God give for this than to enable His servants to worship in other people’s languages?

Tongues as “evidence” of this empowerment

Not necessarily of every individual

But of what the experience was about

Slide 25

4. The People of Pentecost (2:5-13)

Diaspora Jews “from every nation under heaven”

Foreshadows mission to nations (1:8)

Just like African “ends of the earth” (8:26-40)

And Rome (28:18-31)

Slide 26

Allusion to Babel

List of nations (2:9-11)

Evokes Bible’s first list (Gen 10)

Followed by God coming down to scatter languages (Gen 11)

Here God scatters languages to bring new cross- cultural unit in the Spirit

Slide 27

Early Pentecostalism again…

Time of outpourings

Welsh revival

Panita Ramabai’s orphanage

Azusa Street

Headed by William Seymour

“The color line was wshed away by the blood” – temporarily

Conflicts with Charles Parham

Seymour’s new emphasis in Acts 2

The Spirit and ethnic reconciliation

Slide 28

5. The Prophecy of Pentecost (2:17-21)

The disciples’ tongues (2:4) fulfilled Joel’s prophecy about prophetic empowerment (2:16-18)

They heard this (2:6) They asked, “What doe this praise in many languages mean?” (2:11-12)

“This fulfills what Joel said” (2:16)

Slide 29

The Prophecy of the Pentecost (2:16-21)

Afterward IN THE LAST DAYS I will pour out My Spirit on all people

Sons and daughters will prophesy

Old men and young men; dream dreams and see visions

 I will pour out my Spirit; AND THEY’LL prophesy

signs, WONDERS in heaven and earth

Whoever calls on the Lord will be saved

Everyone the Lord will call

Slide 30

Empowered as End-Time Prophets for Christ

Peter adapts Joel’s wording

“afterward” becomes “in the last days” (context)

Peter adds a line: “And they shall prophesy”

Joel already has:

Prophecy, visions, dreams

Both genders, all ages, slave and free

And “all flesh” – implications for Gentiles

Slide 31

6. The Preaching of Pentecost (2:22-40)

Peter breaks off Joel’s quote, then picks it up again:

Joel 2:32: “whoever calls on the LORD’s name will be saved…

Acts 2:21: “Whoever calls on the Lord’s name will be saved”

Joel 2:32: “The survivors whom the LORD has called”

Acts 2:39: “as many as the Lord our God has called”

Slide 32

Get Altered not just altered. Repent and be Baptized

Radical for Jewish people (who normally baptized Gentiles) in the name of Jesus (used with passive voice) i.e. calling on His name

Slide 33

The Purpose of Pentecost (2:41-47): The New Community

Effective evangelism (2:41)

Shared worship, meals, and prayer (2:42)

Shared possessions (2:44-45)

Shared worship, meals, and prayer (2:46)

Effective evangelism (2:47)

Slide 34

The Purpose of Pentecost (2:41-47)

Conversions- followed by discipleship

People participated in prayer, “Bible study”

Witness with signs (3:11)

Spirit’s fruit: People parted with possessions, valuing people more than property

The church kept growing

Slide 35

God empowers us with the Spirit

To cross cultural barriers

To worship God

To form one new, multicultural community of worshipers

Committed to Christ and to one another


Last modified: Sunday, April 7, 2019, 2:31 PM