Guide The Acts Of The Apostles: What Really Happened In The Earliest Days Of The Church

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He informed them that they will "receive power from the Holy Spirit" to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth Acts Christ's life and teachings formed the Faith and Tradition of his Apostles and disciples, and inspired them to hand on his message of salvation to future generations. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Gospel of Luke He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them for forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

Acts of the Apostles But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. Second Peter The Holy Spirit appeared at Pentecost , ten days after the Ascension of Jesus, to the Apostles and disciples in the Upper Room, and inspired them to proclaim the faith Acts There were about one hundred and twenty persons gathered together in the Upper Room.

This community of disciples of Jesus was the beginning of our Church. The oral tradition of the Apostles was established in the infancy period of the Church, from the time of Jesus to the written Gospels. During this period the Christian faith was transmitted by word of mouth Romans The Levant, the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, served as the cradle of Christianity. The Acts of the Apostles describe the emergence of Christianity beginning with the mission in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and spreading throughout Asia and the Mediterranean world.

Luke portrays the actions of the Apostles and disciples, focusing primarily on Peter , upon whom Jesus created his Church, and Paul , who was converted when he Saul saw the risen Christ. Acts describes Peter's early leadership and ministry, such as his four powerful speeches in Jerusalem Acts , the healings of Aeneas and Tabitha Acts 9 , his mission to the Gentile Cornelius and return to Jerusalem Acts , and his presiding at the Council of Jerusalem Acts Mark the Evangelist joined St. Following his conversion Acts , Saul first preached in Damascus, Syria, traveled to Arabia, and then returned to Damascus where he stayed for three years Galatians Barnabas returned to Cyprus Acts and founded the Church of Cyprus.

During Paul's second missionary journey Acts , the Spirit of Jesus redirected Paul, Silas, Luke, and Timothy to Philippi in Macedonia, a journey which was the first recorded introduction of Christianity into Europe! Paul returned to Ephesus in Asia Minor on his third missionary journey, where he spent a total of three years Acts , but also revisited Macedonia and Greece in Europe, traveling as far as Dalmatia or "Illyricum" Romans The Acts of the Apostles concludes with Paul's Mediterranean voyage on his fourth missionary journey to Malta and Rome as a prisoner in chains.

The Apostles, heeding the message of Jesus Christ to Go therefore and make disciples of all nations Matthew , traveled East and West during the Apostolic Age to all parts of the known world to proclaim Christianity. Andrew is known as the Father of the Byzantine Churches. James , the son of Zebedee and brother of John, is believed to have preached in Spain; he is the only Apostle to have his martyrdom recorded in the Bible Acts John , the son of Zebedee and the brother of James, was the "one Jesus loved.

Christ on the Cross entrusted his mother Mary to John John , who took her with him to Ephesus; he was later exiled to the island of Patmos Revelation James , son of Alphaeus, stayed in Jerusalem and is believed to be the writer of the Letter of James in the Bible. But when he put his hand in the Lord's side, he reacted with a beautiful profession of faith: "My Lord and My God" John Thomas traveled through Chaldea and Persia all the way to India! He is recognized as the Father of the St. Thomas Christian Churches. And I say also unto thee, that 'thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.

Acts of the Apostles How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? Do this in remembrance of me. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians In order to fulfill Christ's commission to make disciples of all nations, some Apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit committed the message of salvation to the written Word.

It is believed that the first Christian Letters were composed by St. Paul in the mid-first century AD.

Day of Pentecost

Apostolic writings were considered Scripture in the early Church. Second Peter refers to Paul's writings as Scripture. Since no original manuscript by the author of a biblical book has yet been discovered, we cannot truly say when Apostolic writings were actually composed. An important observation is that not one Christian writer recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Matthew , Mark , and Luke recount the prediction of the destruction of the Temple. It is noted that Acts ended abruptly with St.

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Paul under house arrest around 62 AD, with no mention of his trial or his subsequent activities. Furthermore, Luke did not mention the Roman persecution of Christians or the martyrdom of Peter and Paul in the mids, the leading figures in Acts.


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Mention of Apostolic writings began to appear with the approach of the second century. The Apostolic Fathers were the next generation of Church leaders who received the Faith directly from the Apostles. Ignatius of Antioch wrote seven Letters circa AD on the road to martyrdom in Rome and was one of the first to distinguish between the writings of the prophets and the Gospel; he often referred to the sayings of Matthew.

A disciple of the Apostle John, St. Justin Martyr placed the memoirs of the Apostles on equal footing with the writings of the Prophets in AD. Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name. Gospel of John So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life - for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us - what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

We are writing this so that our joy may be complete. First Letter of John Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God.

The heart of Christian tradition and the Christian way of life is Jesus Christ. But it was the powerful witness of Christian martyrdom that led to continued expansion of the faith. The fish became a symbol of the Christian faith, adorning the catacombs and early Christian Churches. In a time when professing the Christian faith was an invitation to death, the fish became a secret code to introduce one Christian to another.

One Christian would draw a curve representing half of the symbol, and the other one would complete the cryptic symbol by drawing the second curve see image. Who Christ is, the Son of God, and His mission, Savior, are both expressed by the ancient symbol of the fish.

Ignatius of Antioch, Syria circa AD described the transmission of the Christian faith through the bishop, priest presbyter , and deacon, who received their authority through Apostolic succession. The possession of sacred texts in times of persecution could mean discovery, imprisonment, and death. Also, it was common for people of that time to be illiterate. In addition, production of written Scripture was a monumental task in itself, as each page of any text had to be hand-written on papyrus scrolls Luke and later parchment codices Second Timothy !

Written Scripture was in the hands of only a few. Thus the oral Traditions of the Church were vitally important to teach and guide the early Christian community. Persecution of Christianity under Roman rulers lasted nearly years, until the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in AD, which mandated complete toleration of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

The traditions of the early Church were passed on to the faithful followers of Jesus Christ at Sunday service from the very beginning of the Church at Pentecost.

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Lecture Acts | Free Online Biblical Library

Thus the Church celebrates the Paschal Mystery of Christ by which He accomplished the work of our salvation. The community would gather on Sunday in divine worship. Justin Martyr described the Memorial of the Last Supper on Sunday, one that would be called the Divine Liturgy in the East and the Mass in the West, an event which has remained essentially the same for nearly years.

The Church assembly would first have the Liturgy of the Word with readings and then a homily or sermon. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word The assembly then received Communion , as described in his First Apology written in AD: On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.

History of the Apostles

The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read. When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things. As Paul was directed to Rome by the Lord himself in Acts , his voyage to Malta and Rome served as his fourth missionary journey, detailed in Chapters Paul fulfilled Christ's mission given in Luke and Acts to be His witness to "the ends of the earth. In contrast to Jonah, who was running from the Lord and imperiled the safety of the ship, Paul was obedient to the Lord and saved the lives of all on board!

There is a lesson here: may all of us be obedient to the Word on our journey through life! Malta is an important aspect of the narrative, for the natives there representing the Gentiles were receptive to Paul's mission. Publius, the chief man of the island, became a convert and the first Bishop of Malta. This is in contrast to the Jews of Rome, who, while individually may have been responsive to the Word, as a group rejected Paul's message. The climax occurs in Rome, when Paul, after continued rejection by the Jews , , , quotes Isaiah and then reaffirms in Acts , "Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.

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This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.

And after it was sold, was it not under your control?