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Brief Introduction of the Book of Acts


Luke’s second volume is known as the book of Acts (see the Invitation to Luke–Acts for more detailed information on the Gospel of Luke). The six parts of the book of Acts each describe a new phase in the expansion of the Messiah-following movement outward from Jerusalem. These sections are all marked by variations on the phrase the word of God continued to spread and flourish:

  1. The church is established in Jerusalem and becomes Greek-speaking, allowing it to spread its message throughout the empire.
  2. The movement expands into the rest of Palestine.
  3. Gentiles are included in the gathering of Jesus-followers alongside Jews.
  4. Messengers are sent west into the Roman province of Asia.
  5. These messengers enter Europe.
  6. The final phase, the movement reaches the capital city of Rome and into the highest levels of society; God’s kingdom is thus announced to all nations.


Acts 1        English Standard Version (ESV)

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The Ascension

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.



  • During Jesus’ last days on earth, He taught His disciples the truth about Himself. His disciples questioned Jesus about His kingdom (v6). And Jesus told them their specific role in what was to happen.
  • Jesus knew that the disciples would feel anxious and be lack of confidence. So, when He instructed His disciples to witness to the world, He told them to wait a few days. The Spirit will come. You will receive power. And then you “will be my witnesses” – in your neighborhood and throughout the world!
  • The term “with one accord” (v14) pictures the church gathered – praying, worshiping, reaching decisions – in a spirit of unity and harmony. This is what we definitely need as each of us tries to fulfill the task Jesus gave for the church.
  • How are you affected when you pray with other believers—especially as you consider your part in God’s mission for the church?
  • Thank God for giving you a task to carry out, and tell Him about the fears and joys you feel as His servant. Thank God for the privilege of praying “with one accord” with other believers in the church.