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Why is this chapter called great?
The Christian church is one of the largest and oldest of all human institutions. It has spread throughout the world and through the last 2,000 years has been the inspiration for much art, music, culture and politics. How did it all begin?
This chapter in the book of Acts tells the story of how the loose collection of followers of Jesus began to increase their numbers and how they decided that Jesus had a message not just for Jews but for the entire world.
A key verse
"… and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved." (Verse 47, CEV)
Not every religion has made getting converts such a central part of its message as has Christianity. From the beginning, telling people about Jesus and asking them to join the movement is something Christians do.
There was something very attractive about the early followers of Jesus. What they said and how they lived really appealed to people. As you read this chapter, you can try to see why that was.
Acts Chapter 2
Verses 1 to 13: The Arrival of the Holy Spirit. The ministry that Jesus began in Israel will continue and spread throughout the world.
Verses 14 to 42: Proclaiming the Message to the World.
Verses 42 to 47: Life inside the Church. Christians will relate to each other differently than people outside the community.
If you liked this chapter
About the book called "The Acts of the Apostles"
Outline of the book. It is convenient to think of the book having four section:
Chapters 1 to 8: Mission to Jews in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. The story of Peter, Stephen and Philip.
Chapters 9 to 14: The Mission to Gentiles in the Eastern Mediterranean. The story of Peter and Paul.
Chapter 15: The debate over the mission to the Gentiles.
Chapters 16 to 22: The Universal Mission. Paul travels to Rome.
When is this happening?
4 BC Jesus is born.
The geography of the early church
The story of Jesus centered in and around ancient Palestine. Territories such as Galilee, Judea, the Dead Sea were the scene for his ministry. He was crucified in Jerusalem. At this time, this area was ruled by the Roman Empire.
In the book of Acts, the story starts in Jerusalem (chapters 1-8), but gradually the focus shifts to Israel and surrounding territories (chapters 9-12), then to modern Turkey and Greece (chapters 13-21) and on to Rome (chapters 22-28).
While Acts only provides hints of it, the message of Jesus also spread outside the Roman Empire. Both the Ethiopian church and churches in modern Syria and Iraq are as old as any churches in "the west" (the Roman Empire).
In this chapter we’ve seen a number of ways that the group of disciples around Jesus started to form themselves into an organization with a purpose and habits. The Holy Spirit came to provide inspiration to them, they started telling people about Jesus, they took in new members who had not been with Jesus and they started a life together caring for each other.
Here are some questions that you might want to think about: