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Where are we?
  1. I. The Preparation for the Christian Mission
  2. They were devoted to prayer
  3. Acts of the Apostles - Early Church History
  4. The Acts of the Apostles

While the exact nature of this charge is unclear, it was clearly enough to move the assembly into action. Paul and Silas are arrested, flogged, and imprisoned. This provides the context for the miraculous prison break, during which a sudden and violent earthquake shakes free the prison gates and chains.

In its wake, the awed jailer asks Paul to baptize him and his household Acts According to the book of Acts, Paul and his associates founded the church in Phillipi when Lydia and her household were baptized.

I. The Preparation for the Christian Mission

Does Acts tell of the founding of one Christian community in Philippi, or two? Philippi was a Roman colony in northeastern Greece where Paul founded his first Christian congregation in Europe. Despite living in a male-dominated society, the early church at Philippi seems to have accepted women in prominent leadership roles.

The island-filled sea between Greece and Turkey, which opens to the Mediterranean sea on the south. A term from late Antiquity, it refers to the western-most part of Asia, bordered by the Black, the Mediterranean, and Agean Seas, in what is now modern-day Turkey. Supernatural, spiritual beings that appear in the traditions of many cultures.

In the Hebew Bible, demons are often fallen angels; the New Testament makes mention of demon possession, where a demon inhabits a human body. An outpost or territory of the ancient Roman Empire that was annexed but not yet an official imperial province. An alternate spelling for "tel" meaning a mound or hill-shaped site containing several occupational layers one on top of the other over milennia. The Conversion of Lydia 11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis,12and from there to Philippi, which is During this period the Christian faith was transmitted by word of mouth Romans The Levant, the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, served as the cradle of Christianity.

The Acts of the Apostles describe the emergence of Christianity beginning with the mission in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and spreading throughout Asia and the Mediterranean world. Luke portrays the actions of the Apostles and disciples, focusing primarily on Peter , upon whom Jesus created his Church, and Paul , who was converted when he Saul saw the risen Christ.

They were devoted to prayer

Acts describes Peter's early leadership and ministry, such as his four powerful speeches in Jerusalem Acts , the healings of Aeneas and Tabitha Acts 9 , his mission to the Gentile Cornelius and return to Jerusalem Acts , and his presiding at the Council of Jerusalem Acts Mark the Evangelist joined St.

Following his conversion Acts , Saul first preached in Damascus, Syria, traveled to Arabia, and then returned to Damascus where he stayed for three years Galatians Barnabas returned to Cyprus Acts and founded the Church of Cyprus. During Paul's second missionary journey Acts , the Spirit of Jesus redirected Paul, Silas, Luke, and Timothy to Philippi in Macedonia, a journey which was the first recorded introduction of Christianity into Europe!

Paul returned to Ephesus in Asia Minor on his third missionary journey, where he spent a total of three years Acts , but also revisited Macedonia and Greece in Europe, traveling as far as Dalmatia or "Illyricum" Romans The Acts of the Apostles concludes with Paul's Mediterranean voyage on his fourth missionary journey to Malta and Rome as a prisoner in chains. The Apostles, heeding the message of Jesus Christ to Go therefore and make disciples of all nations Matthew , traveled East and West during the Apostolic Age to all parts of the known world to proclaim Christianity.

Andrew is known as the Father of the Byzantine Churches. James , the son of Zebedee and brother of John, is believed to have preached in Spain; he is the only Apostle to have his martyrdom recorded in the Bible Acts John , the son of Zebedee and the brother of James, was the "one Jesus loved. Christ on the Cross entrusted his mother Mary to John John , who took her with him to Ephesus; he was later exiled to the island of Patmos Revelation James , son of Alphaeus, stayed in Jerusalem and is believed to be the writer of the Letter of James in the Bible.

But when he put his hand in the Lord's side, he reacted with a beautiful profession of faith: "My Lord and My God" John Thomas traveled through Chaldea and Persia all the way to India! He is recognized as the Father of the St. Thomas Christian Churches. And I say also unto thee, that 'thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians. Acts of the Apostles How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?

Acts of the Apostles - Early Church History

Do this in remembrance of me. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians In order to fulfill Christ's commission to make disciples of all nations, some Apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit committed the message of salvation to the written Word.

It is believed that the first Christian Letters were composed by St. Paul in the mid-first century AD. Apostolic writings were considered Scripture in the early Church.

First History Of The Church - Saint Luke - Acts Of The Apostles - Community Life

Second Peter refers to Paul's writings as Scripture. Since no original manuscript by the author of a biblical book has yet been discovered, we cannot truly say when Apostolic writings were actually composed. An important observation is that not one Christian writer recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Matthew , Mark , and Luke recount the prediction of the destruction of the Temple.

It is noted that Acts ended abruptly with St. Paul under house arrest around 62 AD, with no mention of his trial or his subsequent activities. Furthermore, Luke did not mention the Roman persecution of Christians or the martyrdom of Peter and Paul in the mids, the leading figures in Acts.

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Mention of Apostolic writings began to appear with the approach of the second century. The Apostolic Fathers were the next generation of Church leaders who received the Faith directly from the Apostles. Ignatius of Antioch wrote seven Letters circa AD on the road to martyrdom in Rome and was one of the first to distinguish between the writings of the prophets and the Gospel; he often referred to the sayings of Matthew. A disciple of the Apostle John, St.

  1. Acts Shows What the Early Church Believed and Practiced!
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  6. Justin Martyr placed the memoirs of the Apostles on equal footing with the writings of the Prophets in AD. Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

    Gospel of John So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life - for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us - what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

    We are writing this so that our joy may be complete. First Letter of John Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God. The heart of Christian tradition and the Christian way of life is Jesus Christ.

    But it was the powerful witness of Christian martyrdom that led to continued expansion of the faith. The fish became a symbol of the Christian faith, adorning the catacombs and early Christian Churches. In a time when professing the Christian faith was an invitation to death, the fish became a secret code to introduce one Christian to another. One Christian would draw a curve representing half of the symbol, and the other one would complete the cryptic symbol by drawing the second curve see image. Something really remarkable about the early church is how committed they were to serving and supporting one another.

    This kind of remarkable generosity should be evident in our churches. But too often we get caught up in loving the thought of having lots of money to ourselves. Could we be more generous to those around us, so no one is in need? The early church met not just on Sundays, or on Friday night, or for a mid-week Bible study.

    The Acts of the Apostles

    They were committed to meeting together every day, to encourage one another, learn together and worship the Lord. But these believers clearly placed an extremely high priority on fellowship. Do we place the same value on meeting together? Or do things like parties, sport and homework come before church, youth group and Bible study? The believers in the early church were so thankful for everything Jesus had done for them, that they praised God fervently.

    This was even despite the persecution and alienation they faced for following such a radical faith! Often when we struggle, we are inclined to blame God. Perhaps we should be praising him more for all the good things he gives us — and for simply who he is? After all, no matter what is going on in our lives, God still created us and Jesus still died for us. Every day, the early church grew as more people came to faith in Jesus Christ.


    This verse indicates that God was behind this rapid growth, but God uses people to carry out his will, and I can bet that those who observed the Christian community saw something really attractive and appealing there. Comparing our churches to the early church in Acts can be a helpful way to check if our priorities are right. Bible, prayer, generosity, fellowship and evangelism should characterize our Christian communities. Do they characterize your church?