Acts 12 Paper Instructions

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Acts 12 Paper Instructions

Acts 12


Acts 12 is our text in this message. It concludes the first long section of the story of Acts. Starting in chapter 13 Luke will begin to unfold new interests. The focus will move away from Jerusalem and will eventually turn to Rome. The most prominent individual in the opening chapters of Acts is the apostle Peter. In some respects Peter was like an ice-breaking ship. I saw a documentary some time ago about these great ships that work where harbors and waterways freeze over and become impassable. They have enormously powerful engines and great wedges in the bow that drive into ice and break it up, allowing other vessels to follow the newly opened passage.

Narrative analysis of Acts 12:1-24. The story of Peter's imprisonment

In the same way, Peter was the strong servant of God whose work made possible so many other people's success in ministry. His calling was to take on hard things and break up the opposition so that other people could follow him. He was among the first of the disciples to follow Christ (Matthew 3:18-20; Mark 1:16-18; Luke 5:1-11; John 1:35-42). He preached the first sermon on the Day of Pentecost, (Carson, 1999, 181) explaining how the Spirit was baptizing believers into a living fellowship (Acts 2:1-36). Along with the other apostles, he led in the early experience of being opposed, hated, jailed, and persecuted (Acts 4:1-22; 5:17-42). He laid hands on the first converts in Samaria (Acts 8:14-17). He was the door through which God invited Gentiles to join the church of Christ without having to first become Jews (Acts 10:1-11:18). Peter's great gifts and strengths and calling helped others in many ways in the first days of the church. (Carson, 1999, 181)

The story in chapters 8-11 was mostly about the good work of God. The church was growing, barriers were being broken down, enemies were being converted, and outsiders were being welcomed. There was peace and harmony and understanding. What had been confusing became clear. And the geographical borders of the church were expanding.

But now in chapter 12 we come to a dark account of a vicious martyrdom that is reminiscent of Stephen's martyrdom in chapter 7. We'll find the events of this chapter to be hard, and the effect ultimately is not growth, but a gathering of the church to pray and understand and strengthen one another in the face of opposition.

Acts 12:1-5:

Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church, in order to mistreat them.

And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword.

When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest

Peter also.

Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread.

And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the

Passover to bring him out before the ...
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