Please read Acts 1-12 for Tuesday and Acts 13-28 for Thursday.  Look especially for information that helps explain the rapid growth of the early church.  Please also be ready to discuss the following questions:

1.  What is Luke's purpose in writing the book of Acts?  Should this book be viewed as completely separate from the Gospel of Luke, or is it simply a continuation of that work?

2.  Note how the apostles are portrayed in the Gospel of Luke and how they are portrayed in Acts.  In what ways is the portrayal of these men the same?  In what ways is it different?  How do you account for these differences?

3.  How does Acts explain the spread of the Gospel among so many of the Jewish people?  How does it explain the failure of many Jews to accept Christianity?

4.  What seem to you the main strengths of the church as it is described in Acts?

5.  What does the book of Acts teach about the proper relationship between the Christians and secular authority?  What does it teach about ecclesiastical  authority?

6.  Note Peter's sermons in Acts 2 and Acts 3 and Stephen's sermon in Acts 7.  What do these sermons have in common?  What are the main points stressed by these men in presenting the gospel message to their fellow Jews?

7.  Note the portrayal of the Apostle Paul.  How does Luke explain the transformation of this man from a hater of Christians to a zealous convert?  Does this seem a probable explanation?

8.  What kind of man is Barnabas?  How would such a man have helped the spread of Christianity?

9.  In what ways are Peter and Paul alike?  In what ways are they different?  Why was Paul so effective in spreading the gospel?  Why was he so effective in establishing churches that would last?

10.  According to the book of Acts, what were the major obstacles to the spread of Christianity?

11.  How did the Roman authorities respond to the gospel and those who preached it?  Is there any hint of why Roman officials would later persecute Christians so bitterly?

12.  Why does Acts end where it does?  Is this a real "conclusion" to the book?  With what message does it leave the reader?