Syllabus - The Book of Acts

Syllabus - Acts

ACTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Course Overview:

 This course of study was developed for an adult level institute classroom experience.  It will cover the New Testament Book of Acts.  We will follow the timeline and establishment of New Testament Christianity through its initial spread in Judea, Samaria, and the entire known world.  We will focus on the movement of the Holy Spirit through His people in this dramatic and exciting history in order to comprehend how this same applies to the church today. 

 Acts, the second book written by Luke, follows the sequence of events from his gospel.  While the four gospels are transition books—transition meaning the transformation needed in order to move out of the Old Covenant and into the New, Acts begins with the last piece to that transition—the sending of the Promise from the Father—Holy Spirit.  In Acts we will see the continuing tri-part pattern of Jesus’ ministry employed by the Apostles: teaching, preaching, and healing.  As His followers, we are all called to work within this pattern, following spirit principles rather than pulling out methods in isolation.  With a strong foundation in the Spirit life intended for every believer from the lessons of Acts, the learner is equipped to attain to the greater things that Jesus prophesied as the Kingdom is expanded through our obedience.  

 Each week, we will closely examine cultural, historical, and Scriptural backgrounds to attain a deeper understanding of the many spiritual truths embedded within Acts.  Key words in Greek will be incorporated into the lessons to prepare students to elucidate New Covenant spiritual truths in their future personal studies that will outflow in their ministering of the Word to others.  

 Course Goals

 ·      To attain in in-depth understanding of the Book of Acts, no matter the current level of the student

 ·      To develop a deeper knowledge of the spiritual reality we are to express as believers

 ·      To be challenged and enriched as believers living out the truths examined throughout the course

 Learning Objectives

 The student who successfully completes this course will be able:

·      To successfully access and use Greek dictionary tools from online sources for clarification and deeper understanding of New Covenant texts. 

 ·      To distinguish the practices that represent the shadow (from the Old Covenant) compared to the real (from the New Covenant through Jesus) throughout Acts in order to describe the New Covenant Man as every believer’s new identity.   

 ·      To identify the Hebraic, Jewish, and Greek backgrounds of the people involved in this epic using evidence from the texts, spiritual truths, and historical/archeological information

 ·      To identify the spiritual errors of the Jews and Jewish leaders at the heart of spiritual conflicts through juxtaposing Old Covenant texts (their frame of reference), which focused on the external, with the Revelation of the life of the Spirit and its focus of the internal in the New Covenant.

 ·      To compare and contrast the ministries of the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul. 

 ·      To identify how, like the church of Acts, the church in today’s culture can be effective through the Holy Spirit. 

 Course Textbook:

 The Bible. The text we will study is printed in the student notebook.  This is the King James Adjusted Version, which has been adjusted by Pastor Iris Godfrey to simplify comprehension.  We will also look at various English translations as well as targeted Greek vocabulary translations which are included in handouts but also available online. 

 Weekly Assignments:

 Prior to each class session, it is expected that you will have read and studied each Scripture appointed for that lesson. Write out any questions you may have and be ready for class discussion on those passages.

 After the class, complete the Homework Questions provided in this notebook. These may be typewritten (10-12 font only) or they may be handwritten in blue or black ink only using only one side of lined notebook paper. All others will not be graded. You may double-space or single-space your answers depending upon your preference. It is highly recommended that you type your papers. If you cannot do this on your own, please consider having someone do it for you. It is not required, but if you go further in your studies (beyond this Institute) it will be required.

 Write out the question on your paper, then your answer. This keeps the instructor from always having to look up the question as they grade.

 If you wish, all of this material will be sent to you in electronic form through email.

 Term Paper Assignment:

 You are free to select a topic and develop your paper as we continue through our course of study.  It is expected that you would use your Bible, a concordance, and maybe a commentary and/or a study Bible.  A research library is not required.  You are free to use any research materials you have available.  There are several suggestions for topics listed below. You may select your own topic, but that must be approved by your Instructor.

 You are free to use any resources you have at your disposal; the internet is an invaluable source, (BibleHub.com is excellent), your Bible, your notes, and class handouts.  For assistance in writing your paper, see Guidelines for Writing an Institute Paper (included in this notebook).

 Term papers must be 5-10 pages typewritten (10-12 font only) double-spaced, or 6-8 pages hand written in blue or black ink. (If handwritten, use only one side of the lined paper, please).

 Term papers are due with the final exam, but may be turned in at any point during the second half of the course. It is suggested that you wait until Lesson 6 has been completed to begin your paper so that you will be better equipped to choose your topic.

 Term Paper Suggestions:

 1.     The very heart of Stephen’s message could be summarized by Acts 7:13 where it states that Joseph made known his identity to his brethren “the second time.”  In Stephen’s sermon and survey of Israel’s history, he names various patriarchs and heroes.  There is a certain pattern in most of the lives.  That is:

 a.     Rejected the first time by their brethren

b.     Accepted the second time by their brethren

 This foreshadows the story of Jesus.  Write your paper concerning this “pattern” as seen in the lives of: Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and Jesus Christ.  (Include all of these men in your paper.)

 2.     In Acts 3:12, Peter declares that the lame man was not made whole by “their power or holiness.”  Is it possible to have power without holiness?  Write a paper using Scripture to illustrate and support your answer, linking it with Romans 11:29.

 3.     One of the records Acts gives us is the use of the gifts of Holy Spirit by the early church.  Go through the book and research each time a gift is used, list it with its reference, and use additional research on the gifts (1 Corinthians 12) to name and describe what occurs in each incident.  Contrast what you find with your experience in the church at large today and write at least one lengthy paragraph on your conclusions from this contrast. 

4.     Select your own theme, using your creativity and interest.  Permission from your instructor is required.   

 Final Examination:

 There is an open book final exam at the end of the course. It is a “one more brush” over the entirety of the course so you have another opportunity to solidify and reinforce these concepts and truths in your understanding. You are allowed to use your Bible, your notebook, and other material that you would find useful. http://example.com

 Grading:

 Each student will receive a grade according to the quality of the majority of work they have completed. There is no attempt at grading on a curve. Each student’s work is evaluated in light of their own effort to understand and the ability to put that understanding into words. If the majority of your work is an A, they you will receive an A; if the majority is a B, then you will receive a B, etc.

 Please note: No grade will be given without completion of all required course work: all study questions, the term paper, and the final exam.

 Course References

 Bible overview (2012).  Torrance, CA: Rose Publishing, Inc. 

 Hagin, K.  (1988).  How you can be led by the Spirit of God.   Tulsa, OK:  Rhema Bible Church.

 The open bible.  (1997).  Nashville, TN:  Thomas Nelson, Inc.

 Wright, N. T.  (2018).  Paul: a biography.  San Francisco: HarperOne. 

 Course Resources

www.biblegateway.com

www.biblehub.com

www.blueletterbible.com

© Psalm 19 Ministries 2019