biblestudy: Acts (Part 1)
Acts as a Trial Document
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 19-Jul-88; Sermon #BS-AC01; 91 minutes
In this first installment of a series focusing upon the book of Acts, John Ritenbaugh explores the possibility that this vital document, in addition to its role in continuing and advancing the Gospel or Good News, could well have been assembled as an exculpatory trial document designed to vindicate the Apostle Paul and the early Church, demonstrating that Christianity was not a threat to the Roman Empire as Judaism had asserted. The book of Acts also serves as a conciliatory, unifying tool, endeavoring to heal breaches that had emerged in the church through rumor or gossip. A key theme of Acts (appearing more than 70 times) concerns the particulars of receiving and using God's Holy Spirit. Acts also provides insights on the Commission to the Church, the relationship of Jesus with His physical brothers, significant contributions of women in the Church, and the emerging roles, organizational patterns, and responsibilities of the disciples.
Agrippa Casting of lots Comforter Commission to the church Conciliatory purpose Felix Festus Galios Holy Spirit, power of Luke Peter Receiving of Holy Spirit Judas Matthias Sergius Paulus Shekinah Tertullius Theophilis Trial document Vindication of Apostle Paul Work of the Church Upper Room
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