ACTS

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Author : The unanimous opinion of the early church attributes the authorship (of the book of Acts) to Luke the physician and companion of Paul. Luke was a physician, thought to have been a Gentile, possibly from Antioch

Date of Writing : 62-70 AD. Acts covers about the first 30 years of church history. Acts is a continuance of Luke. The book of Luke & Acts both are written to Theophilus.

Let us learn some things about having great faith from three people mentioned in the book of Acts.

1. Faith in the midst of opposition - STEPHEN

Acts 6:5
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

Stephen was a man full of Faith and of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 6:8-15
8 Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.
9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)--Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen,
10 but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.
11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God."
12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.
13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law.
14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us."
15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.


He was full of God's grace and power and did amazing things. However he was opposed and persecuted . When opposed he did not become angry and upset. His face was like the face of an angel.

Acts 7:54-56, 59-60
54 When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.
55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
56 "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.


In the midst of trouble Stephen kept his eyes on Jesus and was willing to forgive his enemies.

Lets be faithful till the end like Stephen no matter what we have to face in the day ahead.

2. Faith to bear great fruit - PHILLIP

Acts 6:5
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

Phillip went to a city in Samaria to proclaim the Christ there. He was like a one man mission team! Vs 14 Says that the Apostles heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God. This entire community got to know about Jesus through Philip.

Acts 8:26-27
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza."
27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,

38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.


Philip then helped the Ethiopian eunuch who was an important official like a finance minister to get baptised vs 38.

Acts 21:8
Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven.

Phillip eventually became an Evangelist. His daughters were known to be spiritual.

Let us also have a great impact through our lives like Philip and bear great fruit for God!

3. Faith that anyone can change - SAUL

Sometimes we find it difficult to believe that some "type" of people can change. Saul was one such person. Nobody thought he would become a disciple of Jesus.

Acts 8:1
And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

He was there approving Stephen's stoning.

Acts 9:1-2
1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest
2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.


He was threatening to kill the disciples of Jesus, wanted to put them in prison.

Acts 9:3-19
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.
6 "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.
11 The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.
12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."
13 "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem.
14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.
16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord--Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,
19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.


Talks about how Saul changed. Vs 26 - Disciples could not believe he had become a disciple.

Acts 13:9
Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,

Mentions Saul is also called Paul...Paul later we see did so many amazing things for God in the rest of his life. He planted many churches, made many disciples, raised many to be leaders and wrote letters much of which are in the New Testament.

Lets have Faith that even to-day God can change anyone - even the ones who seem most difficult to change!