God's Plan in the Book of Acts

Steve Viars July 21, 2013

Sermon Preview

Psalm 119:14-16 - I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways.  I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.

Acts 2:22-24 - Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

Acts 2:37-40 - Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”  Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”  And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”

Matthew 16:18 - I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

7 key words to help us understand, remember, and apply this marvelous book of the Bible

I. Promises

A. Kept

Acts 2:14-16 - But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:”

2 Peter 1:4 - …great and precious promises…

B. Made

Acts 1:8 - but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

Prologue (1:1-8)

I. The Witness to Jerusalem (1:9-8:3)

A. The Anticipation of the Church (1:9-26)

B. The Founding of the Church (2:1-47)

C. The Growth of the Church 3:1-8:3)

1. Apostles: Preaching, healing, and enduring persecution (3:1-5:42)

2. Deacons: Praying, teaching, and enduring persecution (6:1-8:3)

II. The Witness to Judea and Samaria (8:4-12:25)

A. The Gospel to the Samaritans (8:4-25)

B. The Conversion of a Gentile (8:26-40)

C. The Conversion of Saul (9:1-31)

D. The Gospel to Judea (9:32-43)

E. The Gospel to the Gentiles (10:1-11:30)

F. The Persecution by Herod (12:1-25)

III. The Witness to the Ends of the Earth (13:1-28:31)

A. Paul’s First Missionary Journey (13:1-14:28)

B. The Jerusalem Council (15:1-35)

C. Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (15:36-18:22)

D. Paul’s Third Missionary Journey (18:23-21:16)

E. Paul’s Jerusalem and Caesarean Trials (21:17-26:32)

F. Paul’s Journey to Rome (27:1-28:31)

II. Resurrection

Acts 2:24-32 - God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, “I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence. Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.”

III. Church

Acts 15:36 - And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”

IV. Transition

V. Problems

Acts 6:1 - Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.

VI. Persecution

Acts 8:1-3 - Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.

VII. Unfinished

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video