Life in the Book of Acts – Part 2

Last week we began looking through the book of Acts at the characteristics that marked believers and the things they experienced as they followed the Holy Spirit in this new life, then known as “The Way.”

As I have continued in this study in my personal time, it became clear to me that two posts would not be enough to contain it all, so this week we will look at Acts 15-20, and will close out the book next week starting with Paul’s return to Jerusalem, his arrest and the journey to a Roman prison.

As I said last week, not all the things I mention here applied to all believers, and some were not repeated again in scripture. Yet it is still helpful to us to know how our God has moved among His church in the past because though times change, He remains the same.

In Acts 15-20, the Christians:

  • Were still seduced by the law — 15:1
  • Did not always agree on the application of some scriptures — 15:2,5
  • Took joy in the salvation testimony of others — 15:3
  • Submitted to apostolic authority — 15:6-11, 19-21
  • Refused to put heavy burdens on new believers/non-Jewish believers — 15:10-11
  • Believed in salvation by Grace alone — 15:11; 18:27
  • Submitted to scriptural authority — 15:15-18
  • Encouraged one another through human means (writing letters) — 15:31
  • Encouraged one another through supernatural means (prophecy) — 15:32
  • Saw ministries split over personal preferences — 15:39
  • Acted contrary to personal liberties for the sake of other’s consciences — 16:3
  • Were sometimes forbidden by God to share to gospel — 16:6-7
  • Received instruction through visions — 16:9-10; 18:9-10
  • Were committed to prayer — 16:13
  • Observed Sabbath rest — 16:13
  • Baptized new converts with water in Jesus’ name — 16:14-15; 19:5
  • Showed great hospitality — 16:15
  • Were followed around by the demonic — 16:16-18
  • Cast out demons — 16:18
  • Upset human economics — 16:18-20
  • Upset local governments — 16:20-22; 17:6-8
  • Were arrested, beaten, and jailed — 16:22-24
  • Worshipped through their trials — 16:25
  • Utilized the privileges they had in earthly citizenships — 16:36-39
  • Upset the Jewish religious leaders, and were followed around and opposed by them — 17:5,13; 18:12-13; 20;19
  • Did not always face controversy head-on — 17:10; 19:30-31
  • Proclaimed the Gospel from the Old Testament — 17:11-12; 18:5, 28
  • Were provoked to action by viewing the idolatry of others — 17:16-21
  • Utilized local culture (art, poetry, folklore) to proclaim truth — 17:23,28
  • Worked to provide for the continuation of the ministry — 18:3-4
  • Were “occupied with the Word” — 18:5
  • Did not take rejection of the Gospel personally — 18:6
  • Were encouraged by God to press on in the mission — 18:9-11
  • Took on religious vows — 18:18
  • Proclaimed the Gospel in established religious arenas — 17:1-2, 10, 19; 18:19; 19;8
  • Strengthened one another as disciples — 18:23
  • Received baptism in the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands — 19:2-6
  • Preached the Kingdom of God boldly — 19:8
  • Were spoken evil of by non-believers — 19:9
  • Spread the Gospel across Asia — 19:10
  • Performed miracles — 19:11
  • Healed and delivered people from demons through inanimate objects that had only touched the believer — 19:12
  • Were mimicked in attempts at power by non-believers — 19:13
  • Were known by name in the demonic realm (for the threat they posed) — 19:15
  • Confessed their false spirituality (witchcraft) and burned the remnants of it — 19:18-19
  • Turned people from handmade idols — 19:26
  • Threatened national idolatry — 19:27
  • Caused riots in whole cities — 19:28-41
  • Preached long sermons (too long?) — 20:7,9
  • Raised the dead — 20:9-10
  • “Served the Lord with humility and with tears” — 20:19
  • Taught the Gospel publicly — 20:20
  • Taught the Gospel in homes — 20:20
  • Expected affliction — 20:23
  • Declared the whole counsel of God — 20:27
  • Expected wolves to come from within the flock — 20:29-30
  • Tried to live like Jesus — 20:35
  • Prayed together for one another — 20:36

(Click here for Part 3)