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Plain Talk on Acts- Gutzke

Plain Talk on Acts- Gutzke

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Published by woodstockwoody
Dr. Gutzke wrote a series of Plain Talk Books, including this one on the Book of Acts. It was always his aim to open up the Scriptures and discuss them just as they are. He made it a point to use plain, everyday language so that an average, ordinary person who was interested could learn more. Anyone who might be leading a bible study might be able to make use of this.
Dr. Gutzke wrote a series of Plain Talk Books, including this one on the Book of Acts. It was always his aim to open up the Scriptures and discuss them just as they are. He made it a point to use plain, everyday language so that an average, ordinary person who was interested could learn more. Anyone who might be leading a bible study might be able to make use of this.

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Published by: woodstockwoody on Jan 06, 2011
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11/11/2011

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Plain Talk On Acts
By Dr. Manford George Gutzke
PREFACE
" . . . and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost . . ." 
(Acts 2:4).
" . . . ye shall be witnesses unto me . . ." 
(Acts 1:8).As we begin our study together of the Book of Acts of the Apostles, two groups of nine and sixwords, respectively, would seem to set the tone for the entire book. We have headed our introductionwith these statements, and I would suggest that you ponder them for a moment or two, for their meaningfor us today is just as important and potent as when they were first written down in this book.This glorious book is full of incidents of the founding, growth and work of the early church. It recordsmiracles and miseries, heights of joy and depths of suffering, and sets forth clearly the ministry of theChurch of Jesus Christ then, today, and until He comes and receives us unto Himself.Our attention is first claimed, as we shall see, by the ascension of our blessed Lord, and then by thecoming of the Holy Spirit of God, to indwell the hearts of believers. To what purpose this infilling? Thatwe may be witnesses! None of us is of any use at all, apart from the indwelling presence of the HolySpirit.Five words in chapter 28 are highly suggestive. "and we came to Rome . . ." (v. 16). What tremendousexperiences lay between the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus and this calm statement at theend of the book. Let him tell us briefly:". . . in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned,thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep: In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in thecity, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren: In weariness and pain-fulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside thosethings that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches . . . "(II Corinthians 11:23-28).I feel confident that all of this was in Paul's mind as he neared Rome, and the writer of Acts put downthe simple words, "and we came to Rome," the end of the long life of service.As we study this Book of Acts together, let us ask God to speak to our hearts. "Ye shall be my wit-nesses . . . witnesses unto me," said our beloved Lord, as His feet left the earth and a cloud received Himfrom the sight of the watching disciples.These chapters before us will set forth clearly all that is involved in "being a witness" for Christ.Is this witnessing just one single act, Bible in hand, telling others about our Redeemer, crucified, risen,ascended, and seated at the right hand of the throne of God, in our behalf? No! We may well ask our-selves. How am I living, day by day? What are my inmost thoughts? Are they reflected in my conduct?Are my speech and my actions such as becomes a child of God?Let us begin our study with prayer that when we reach the last verse, "Preaching the kingdom of God,and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbiddinghim," we shall be different men and women, led more fully by the Spirit of God, taught by the example
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© Dr. Manford G. Gutzke
 
of Paul and his fellow Christians, realizing that each one of us is, indeed, a vital part of the living church,"which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:23).
CONTENTS
(The table of contents refers to the page numbers in the original manuscript. These page numbers ap- pear in parentheses throughout this electronic version. They are meant to be used in conjunction with theStudy Guide on Acts which uses the same page numbering.)PrefaceChapter One (Introduction)13Chapter Two (Acts 1:1-26)23Chapter Three (Acts 2:1-40)32Chapter Four (Acts 2:41 - 3:23)43Chapter Five (Acts 3:24 - 5:42)55Chapter Six (Acts 6:1 - 8:4)71Chapter Seven (Acts 8: 5 - 9:31 )83Chapter Eight (Acts 9:32 - 11:18)97Chapter Nine (Acts 11:19 - 12:25)107Chapter Ten (Acts 13:1 - 14:28)117Chapter Eleven (Acts 15:1-35)131Chapter Twelve (Acts 15:36 - 16:40)138Chapter Thirteen (Acts 17:1 - 18:18)152Chapter Fourteen (Acts 18:19 - 20:38)165Chapter Fifteen (Acts 21:1 - 23:11)183Chapter Sixteen (Acts 23:12 - 26:32)195Chapter Seventeen (Acts 27:1 - 28:31)211
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© Dr. Manford G. Gutzke
 
CHAPTER ONE
(Introduction)As a high school boy, I was impressed with Christianity as a religion. When I began to read books of history and geography, I found Christianity surprising. No prominent person really ever promoted thespread and development of the Christian Gospel. There has never been much money promoting it. It hasnever been pushed by some powerful military force. Actually, when you consider how the Christianchurch began, and think of the unfavorable conditions under which it developed, it is simply astonishingthat it survived at all.The Jewish people were neither prominent nor important in the recorded history of Rome, Greece, or Persia. When the Lord Jesus came into the world, Rome was the dominant power over all the Mediterra-nean. The Roman armies were the conquering armies. In those days, Judea and Galilee, the home of theJews, were small, obscure provinces, and the Jewish people had been so badly defeated that they had nogovernment of their own. This was the situation into which Jesus was born and in which He lived. His public ministry covered only about three years and He died as a young man, having been put to death bythe Roman soldiers. His few followers were insignificant and discredited people. They faced stubbornhostility. The Jewish authorities opposed them. The Roman government opposed them and eventuallycame out in bitter persecution against them. It was as much as a man's life was worth to say that he wasa Christian.Even as a skeptic, I had to admit that this Christian Gospel had tremendous strength. It became amovement and crossed every barrier. It crossed the oceans, the deserts and the mountains. It leaped fromone country to another. It spread around the world, and today it is being preached in more than a thou-sand different languages and dialects. From an historic point of view, Christianity is the most amazing phenomenon the world has ever seen. (p.13)The early Christian church spread because it made a change in people. They were transformed. Even before I became a Christian, I had read enough to know that people were tremendously affected and liveswere really changed by the Gospel. Homes were changed. Where there had been bickering, strife, dissen-sion, and separation, people changed entirely and became loving, kind, thoughtful, generous, gentle andcourteous. Communities were changed. Where they had once been given over to vice and violence, wholecommunities became virtuous. Even society was affected. New laws were entered into the books of thevarious countries, and people began to do unusual things for one another publicly because of the influ-ence of the Christian Gospel.The history of the early days of the Christian church is to be found in the Book of Acts. In the NewTestament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- the four Gospels -- all tell about the Lord Jesus. And thencomes the Book of the Acts of the Apostles -- the story of the early church. It reports the activities of these Christians who lived just after the Lord Jesus was taken away into heaven.Everything that the Christian church has ever accomplished has depended upon the people, the indi-viduals who make up the church. It is personal. Some of us are inclined to think that the church is a pro-gram. Some of us are inclined to think of the church as a crowd that meets in a certain building some-where. However, when you look into the Book of Acts, you will find the essence and the vitality of theChristian church is in the people. The Christian church never established itself because it had a strongarmy. Nor did it have financial strength. In the third chapter of the Book of Acts, Peter said, "Silver andgold have I none." The Christian church is not some new economic principle, some new technological
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© Dr. Manford G. Gutzke

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