“You Will Be My Witnesses”
A Survey of the Book of Acts
Part 1
Title of the Book
The title “Acts” or “Acts of the Apostles” refers to
some of the acts of some of the Apostles as they carry
out the great commission to preach the gospel to
all the world (Acts 1:2,25-26; 2:37,42-43; 4:33,3537; 5:2,12,18,40; 6:6; 8:1,14,18; etc.).
The Apostle Peter is the focus of Acts 1-12, with
Jerusalem as his center, and the Jews as his primary
audience. This section of Acts closes with Peter in
The Apostle Paul is the focus of Acts 13-28, with
Antioch as his center, and the Gentiles as his
primary audience. This section of Acts closes with
Paul in prison.
Author of the Book
Luke, the physician (Col. 4:14), wrote the book of
Luke and the book of Acts (note the medical
terminology used in both books: Lk. 4:35; 9:38;
18:25; Acts 9:18-19; 28:8).
Luke was a travelling companion of Paul (note the
“we” sections in Acts 16:10-17; 20:5 – 21:18; 27:1 –
28:16) and Luke was with Paul during his Roman
imprisonment (Acts 28:30-31; Col. 4:14; Phile. 24).
Luke was a researcher and chronicler of events
(Luke 1:1-4). He wrote with accuracy (note his use
of Roman words: “proconsul”, Acts 13:7-8,12;
18:12; 19:38; “rulers” or “politarches”, Acts 17:6,8;
and “Asiarchs”, Acts 19:31).
Audience and Purpose
Luke wrote to “Theophilus” (Acts 1:1; Lk. 1:1-4).
First, the book of Acts is the historical record of
the continued work of Jesus Christ from heaven
(Mt. 28:20; Acts 2:34-36).
Second, the book of Acts shows the fulfillment of
the Lord’s plan to build his church (Mt. 16:18).
Third, the book of Acts also serves as an historical
link between the Gospels (the Lord’s church in
planning) and the Epistles (the Lord’s church in
Audience and Purpose
Fourth, the book of Acts gives the background
to several of Paul’s epistles (Galatians, Acts 1314; Philippians, Acts 16; 1-2 Thessalonians, Acts
17; 1-2 Corinthians, Acts 18; Ephesians and
1-2 Timothy, Acts 19-20).
Date of the Book
Approximately 30 years are covered in the book of
Acts. Acts 1-7 covers a period of 2 years (A.D. 3335). Acts 8-12 covers a period of 13 years (A.D. 3548). Acts 13-28 covers a period of 15 years
(A.D. 48-63).
Luke probably wrote the book of Acts toward the
end of Paul’s Roman imprisonment or right after it
(Acts 28:30-31), c. A.D. 63.
Theme of the Book
The theme of the book of Acts centers on the
Apostles carrying out the great commission of
Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to the entire
world (Mt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15-16; Lk. 24:47-49; Jn.
The Apostles would be “witnesses”
(give testimony) of Jesus Christ (his life, death,
burial, resurrection, and ascension) through the
power of the Holy Spirit to all the world starting in
Jerusalem (Acts 1:8,22; 2:32; 3:15; 4:33; 5:32;
10:39,41; 13:31; 14:3; 22:15; 23:11; 26:16; see also
Luke 24:47).
Theme of the Book
As the Apostles carry out the Lord’s commission
and “witness” to the entire world, souls are
converted to Christ through the preaching of the
gospel and the Lord’s church is established in
Jerusalem (Acts 2). The Lord’s church will grow and
expand in the rest of the book of Acts.
Acts in six words: “Beginning and Spread of the
Outline of the Book
“You Will Be My Witnesses” (Acts 1:8)
1. Witness (the gospel preached) in Jerusalem
(Acts 1-7).
2. Witness (the gospel preached) in All Judea and
Samaria (Acts 8-12).
3. Witness (the gospel preached) to the Uttermost
Part of the Earth (Acts 13-28).
“You Will Be My Witnesses” - Acts 1:8
( Theme of the Book of Acts )
“To the Uttermost
Part of the Earth”
( Acts 13-28 )
“In Judea and
( Acts 8-12 )
“In Jerusalem”
( Acts 1-7 )
The Lord’s Church Is A Model
A converted church (Acts 2:14-41).
A persecuted church (4:1ff; 5;17ff; 6:8ff; 8:1ff; 12:1ff).
A worshipping church (Acts 2:42,46-47).
A rejoicing church (2:46; 5:41).
A learning church (Acts 2:42; 5:42).
An organized church (6:1-6; 11:30; 15:2; 21:18).
A united church (2:44-46; 4:24,32).
An evangelistic church (5:41-42; 8:4,14; 11:22).
A praying church (2:42; 4:24; 6:6; 12:5).
A growing church (2:41,47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:1,7; 12:24).
The Lord’s Church Is A Model
A benevolent church (2:45; 4:32-37; 6:1-6).
 A disciplined church (5:1-11).
 A working / active church (see all the references
The Lord’s Church Is A Model
A Model of Conversion
The Jerusalem visitors (Acts 2:37-41).
The Samaritans (Acts 8: 5-13).
The Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40).
Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-19; 22:16).
Cornelius (Acts 10:1-48).
Lydia and the jailor at Philippi (Acts 16:14-34).
The Corinthians (Acts 18:5-8).
The Ephesians (Acts 19:1-7).
The Lord’s Church Is Opposed
Opposition from Without
Jewish religious leaders (Acts 4-5).
 Jewish zealots (Acts 7-8).
 Jewish authorities (Acts 12:1ff).
Opposition from Within
Hypocrisy of members (Acts 5:1-11).
 Murmuring of members (Acts 6:1).
The Lord’s Church Is Growing
The church will grow when the seed of the gospel is
planted in the soil of men’s hearts (Acts 2:47; 4:4;
Lk. 8:4-15).
The church will grow when discipline is exercised
(Acts 5:11-14; 2 Thess. 3:6).
The church will grow when it is persecuted
(Acts 4:4,31; 5:41-42; 8:1-5; 11:19; 12:24; 2 Tim. 3:12).
The church will grow when it stays busy working
(Acts 6:1-7; 8:2,4; Eph. 4:11-16).
The Lord’s Church Is Growing
The church will grow when it is at peace, fearing the
Lord, and walking by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31;
1 Thess. 5:13; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2:17; Gal. 5:22-26).
Acts For Today
The Lord’s church established in the book of Acts
becomes a pattern and model for all today who
seek to be members of a New Testament church.
Faithful members of the Lord’s church will
continue to work and grow even in the face of
opposition (Acts 4:4,23-31; 5:11,14,41-42; 6:3-4;
8:4; 12:24).
The Lord’s church will grow today but it will take
the right attitudes and right actions of all the
Acts For Today
Have I been converted to the Lord just like the
Christians in the book of Acts?
Am I a member of a church that is patterned and
modeled after the New Testament church in the
book of Acts?
Am I a courageous Christian who will face
opposition in the right way and remain faithful to
the Lord just like I read about in the book of Acts?
Am I an active Christian member of a local church
that is growing just like the growing church in the
book of Acts?