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Acts

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Acts

Introduction

Acts picks up where Luke’s Gospel leaves off, recording the early progress of the gospel as Jesus’ disciples took it from Jerusalem throughout Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the Mediterranean world. The story begins with Christ’s ascension and the events of Pentecost. As Gentiles begin responding to the gospel, the focus shifts to Paul and his missionary journeys. Acts forms a bridge between the four Gospels and the rest of the New Testament, showing how the apostles carried on Christ’s work and providing a historical background for Romans through Revelation. The Acts of the Apostles is the second of two New Testament books written by Luke. Like his Gospel, Acts was a letter to Luke’s friend Theophilus, written sometime in a.d. 62–64.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In the first book, O aTheophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began bto do and teach, until the day when che was taken up, after he dhad given commands ethrough the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. fHe 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 staying1 with them ghe ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for hJohn baptized with water, hbut you will be baptized iwith2 the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The Ascension

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, jwill you at this time krestore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, l“It is not for you to know mtimes or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive npower owhen the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and pyou will be qmy witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and rSamaria, and sto the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, the was lifted up, and ua cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, vtwo wmen stood by them in xwhite robes, 11 and said, y“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, zwill acome in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then bthey 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 cthe upper room, where they were staying, dPeter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon ethe Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these fwith one accord gwere devoting themselves to prayer, together with hthe women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and ihis brothers.3

15 In those days Peter stood up among jthe brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, kthe Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, lwho became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For mhe was numbered among us and was allotted his share in nthis ministry.” 18 (Now this man oacquired a field with pthe reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong4 he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called qin their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

r“ ‘May his camp become desolate,

and let there be no one to dwell in it’;

and

s“ ‘Let another take his office.’

21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during tall the time that the Lord Jesus uwent in and out among us, 22 vbeginning from the baptism of John until the day when whe was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us xa witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called yBarsabbas, who was also called zJustus, and aMatthias. 24 And bthey prayed and said, “You, Lord, cwho know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in dthis ministry and eapostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

When fthe day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like ga mighty rushing wind, and hit filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues ias of fire appeared to them and rested1 on each one of them. And they were all jfilled with the Holy Spirit and began kto speak in other tongues las the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And mat this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And nthey were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking oGalileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and pMedes and qElamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and rproselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And sall were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others tmocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, usince it is only the third hour of the day.2 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

17  v“ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,

wthat I will pour out my Spirit xon all flesh,

and your sons and yyour daughters shall prophesy,

and your young men shall see visions,

and your old men shall dream dreams;

18  even on my male servants and female servants

in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and zthey shall prophesy.

19  And I will show wonders in the heavens above

and signs on the earth below,

blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;

20  athe sun shall be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood,

before bthe day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

21  And it shall come to pass that ceveryone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, da man attested to you by God ewith fmighty works and wonders and signs that gGod did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus,4 hdelivered up according to ithe definite plan and jforeknowledge of God, kyou crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 lGod raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because mit was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him,

n“ ‘I saw the Lord always before me,

for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;

26  therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;

my flesh also will dwell oin hope.

27  For you will not abandon my soul to pHades,

qor let your rHoly One ssee corruption.

28  You have made known to me the paths of life;

you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about tthe patriarch David uthat he both died and vwas buried, and whis tomb is with us to this day. 30 xBeing therefore a prophet, and knowing that yGod had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that zhe was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus aGod raised up, band of that we all are witnesses. 33 cBeing therefore dexalted at the right hand of God, and having received from ethe Father fthe promise of the Holy Spirit, ghe has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For hDavid did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

i“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord,

“Sit at my right hand,

35  until I make your enemies your footstool.” ’

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that jGod has made him kboth Lord and Christ, this Jesus lwhom you crucified.”

37 Now when mthey heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, nwhat shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, o“Repent and pbe baptized every one of you qin the name of Jesus Christ rfor the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive sthe gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For tthe promise is for you and ufor your children and for all vwho are far off, everyone wwhom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, x“Save yourselves from this ycrooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and zthere were added that day about three thousand souls.

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 And athey devoted themselves to the apostles’ bteaching and the cfellowship, to dthe breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe5 came upon every soul, and emany wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and fhad all things in common. 45 And fthey were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, gattending the temple htogether and ibreaking bread in their homes, they received their food jwith glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and khaving favor with all the people. And the Lord ladded to their number mday by day those who nwere being saved.

The Lame Beggar Healed

Now Peter and John were ogoing up to the temple at pthe hour of prayer, qthe

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