The 28 chapters of the Acts of the Apostles are covered in three books, Amazing Acts—act one, Amazing Acts—act two, and Amazing Acts—act three.This Overview shows how the three parts relate to each other in dividing up the Acts of the Apostle Amazing Acts—act one (Acts 1:1–9:31) covers the birth, growth, witness and cruel persecution of the church up to the conversion and early evangelistic ministry of Saul, later to be known as Paul.
- Jesus’ commission to the church to witness to Him in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).
- The birth, growth, witness, and persecution of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 1:1 to Acts 8:3).
- The spread of the gospel into Judea and Samaria by Christians fleeing persecution (Acts 8:4).
- Concentration of gospel preaching in Samaria by Philip, Peter and John (Acts 8:4–25).
- Concentration of gospel preaching in Judea by Philip (Acts 8:26–40).
- Moving on from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria: the conversion and nurturing of Saul, the arch-persecutor of the church, near Damascus in Syria (Acts 9:1–19); Saul immediately preaches the gospel in Damascus with the believers there (Acts 9:20–22); After a Jewish death-threat Saul flees to Jerusalem via Caesarea (Judea), from where he escapes another death-threat by going north to his home town of Tarsus in Cilicia (Acts 9:23–30).
- A period of freedom from persecution and further growth for the church, after Saul’s departure (Acts 9:31).
Amazing Acts—act two (Acts 9:32–18:23) covers Peter’s gospel preaching in Judea, the wider spread of the gospel, persecution through Herod, Paul’s first two missionary trips which take the gospel wider still toward the end of the earth; between those missionary trips Saul attends the meeting of the apostle’s Council:
- Peter’s evangelistic ministry in Judea at Lydda, in the plain of Sharon, and at Joppa (Acts 9:32–43).
- Peter’s witness in Caesarea (Judea) to the Gentile, Cornelius; the falling of the Holy Spirit on the believing Gentiles; after Peter’s debriefing is discussed, the rejoicing of the apostles and believers that Gentiles are converted (Acts 10:1–11:18).
- The spread of the gospel further to Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch; Barnabas brings Saul from Tarsus to Antioch; famine relief arranged for Judean Christians through Barnabas and Saul (Acts 11:19–30).
- Herod Agrippa’s persecution of the church and martyrdom of some leaders; Peter in and out of prison; Growth of God’s word; return of Barnabas and Saul from Jerusalem (Acts 12:1–25).
- Paul’s first missionary trip (Acts 13:1–14:28).
- The Council of apostles and elders at Jerusalem about salvation by faith alone (Acts 15:1–35).
- Paul’s second missionary trip (Acts 15:36–18:23).
Amazing Acts—act three (Acts 18:24–28:31) covers the last of Paul’s three missionary ventures, Paul in Jerusalem again, his hearings before various authorities leading to his going to Rome to appeal his case to Caesar, his arrival there and freedom to share God’s word for two years:
- Paul’s third missionary trip (Acts 18:24–21:16).
- Paul in Jerusalem with the apostles and elders; his arrest in the temple; facing, speaking and testifying to a mob from which he is rescued by the soldiers (Acts 21:17–22:29).
- Paul’s appearances before the Council (Sanhedrin) in Jerusalem and Felix in Caesarea, and Festus through whom he appeals to Caesar; further appearance before King Agrippa and his testimony to the king (Acts 22:30–26:32).
- Paul’s very eventful journey to Rome via a shipwreck on Malta; his ministry there to Jewish leaders, and his relative freedom to preach about Jesus Christ for two years ‘no-one forbidding him’ (Acts 27:1–28:31).