This new series is also available on audio. To hear the audio version, go to The Early Church.

1. The Commission of the Church

Acts 1:1-26–In His parting words prior to His ascension, Jesus gave a mission statement to His disciples, explaining to them what they were to do and how and where it was to happen. In his gospel account, Luke had already shared “All that He began and to do.” This work would now continue through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Although first Peter and later Paul would be the prominent ministers in the book of Acts, they would not be the central character; that position was reserved for Christ alone.   Steve Gallagher (56:25)

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2. The Birth of the Church

Acts 2:1-47–Jesus ascended to His throne 40 days after His death. The following ten days were spent in intense prayer and waiting upon the Lord by the small flock of 120 followers He left behind. Then “suddenly” on the Day of Pentecost, Jesus fulfilled His promise to baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire! The effects in the spiritual realm and on the city of Jerusalem would change the course of world history. Steve Gallagher (50:19)

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3. Growth of the Church

Acts 3:1-4:31–The first order of business for the apostles after Pentecost was discipling and organizing 3,000 new believers! It was a time of great excitement as God’s Spirit moved freely through the primitive Church. One day, the Lord healed a lame man through Peter and John. Then came a stirring message–adding another 2,000 believers to the burgeoning Church–followed by opposition of the enemy. But the disciples refused to be intimidated or to stifle their testimony of the Messiah. Steve Gallagher (51:33)

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4. Cleansing of the Church

Acts 4:32-5:42–It was an exciting time for the people of God. A great devotion to the Lord, fear of displeasing Him, deep fellowship and unity–even to the point of sharing possessions–characterized the primitive Church. Luke introduces Barnabas, a man “filled with the Spirit,” and then begins the fearful story of Ananias & Sapphira, who allowed Satan to fill their hearts with deception. God’s retribution was swift and terrifying.   Steve Gallagher (54:41)

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5. Witness of the Church

Acts 6 & 7–Stephen will always be known as the first martyr of the Church. Being killed for one’s faith is a drastic and terrifying experience. But there is a deeper meaning to the Greek word martureo than simply being killed. The way one lives his life–before others and in private–tells the real story about what one believes. A person who lives for Christ, cannot help but share his faith with others, because it is a life that wells up from within. The history of the Church is replete with stories of saints who paid the ultimate price for sharing their faith.   Steve Gallagher (64:43) 

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6. Expansion of the Church

Acts 8–Outwardly, it was a contest between Philip and Simon the Magician, but in the unseen realm a battle raged between the forces of good and evil. Simon wanted the power he saw displayed through Philip and Peter, but what motivated this desire? This is a pertinent question for all who approach God. Christianity is a matter of the heart and the Lord is watching what is going on inside of it. His rewards can be fabulous–for the sincere of heart.  Steve Gallagher (62:49)

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7. God’s Purpose for the Church

Acts 9:31-11:18–God was unfolding His purposes and was not concerned about the reactions of the religious-minded Jewish Christians in Jerusalem! It remains the same today. The Lord continues to unveil His purposes to His people. Those who attempt to box God into their preconceived religious notions are in danger of missing out on what the Lord is doing in our day. He has a plan and it is our responsibility to discover it, get in line with it and live it out.  Steve Gallagher (46:48) 

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8. Opposition to the Church

Acts 11:19-12:25–The religious leaders thought they could overthrow it. Herod thought he could stamp it out. Indeed, Satan continues to act in his same delusional notion that he can stop God’s work on earth. For His own sovereign purposes, the Lord allows Satan’s opposition to His people, but it is always held in check by the boundaries He establishes. “You may go this far and no further!”  Steve Gallagher (56:37)

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Watch for the follow-up series which will be coming soon: The Life and Writings of Paul the Apostle.