The Early Church: Acts 1-12
A Free E-mail Bible Study

'Holy Spirit Flame', an original watercolor by Ralph F. Wilson.
'Holy Spirit Flame', an original watercolor by Ralph F. Wilson.

The Book of Acts is perhaps the most exciting book in the Bible. You'll learn about:

  • The basic teachings of how Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophecy,
  • The Holy Spirit who fills and empowers believers,
  • Apostles as well as regular disciples doing signs and wonders,
  • The rapid growth of the church from 120 to multitudes around the world,
  • A church that holds possessions lightly and helps those in need,
  • A man filled with hatred and violence who becomes Jesus' most effective advocate,
  • Intense persecution and glorious victories, and
  • The power of Jesus who transcends cultural and racial barriers to form one Church.

Indeed, the Book of Acts is foundational for serious disciples, for it lays out the patterns that lead to vital congregations and enthusiastic evangelism. Here's the Preface (Audio 4:59).

In my study of Apostle Paul: Passionate Discipleship I teach on Acts 13-28, the story of Paul's missionary journeys with Barnabas, Silas, and Timothy. The current study covers Acts 1-12.  Together, the two studies take you through the entire Book of Acts in depth.

Here's what we'll cover over the nine weeks of the The Early Church: Acts 1-12.

  1. The Promise of Power (Acts 1)
  2. The Holy Spirit Comes (Acts 2)
  3. Powerful Healing, Bold Testimony (Acts 3:1-4:22)
  4. Power and Fellowship in Jerusalem (Acts 4:23-5:42)
  5. Stephen's Ministry and Martyrdom (Acts 6-7)
  6. Philip Evangelizes Samaria and Baptizes an Ethiopian (Acts 8)
  7. Saul's Conversion, Peter's Ministry (Acts 9)
  8. The Spirit Falls on the Gentiles (Acts 10:1-11:18)
  9. Revival in Antioch, Persecution in Jerusalem (Acts 11:19-12:25)

Your faith will grow as you study what some call the "Acts of the Holy Spirit." And if you're a teacher, small group leader, or preacher, you'll find lots of material to share with your people.

Each lesson includes discussion questions to challenge you to go deeper and a list of Lessons for Disciples that summarize what we've learned about our Christian walk.

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"Deep enough to provoke thought but not past the understanding of young Christians." -- Richard Smith, British Columbia

"I appreciate the clarity that comes from the Holy Spirit through Dr. Wilson" -- Don Slabaugh, Montana

"I have not found such clear maps anywhere." -- Luděk Matějů, Czech Republic

"Reminds me of being back in Bible college" -- Charles Mason, US

"So helpful particularly to many pastors/ministers who are not able to pursue theological studies in a seminary or Bible school.  Ralph has paved the way for many like them to really have a greater appreciation of the Bible as an excellent literary, historical, and theological book." -- Wilfredo Adriano, Philippines

"Makes the Book of Acts come alive off the printed page." -- Charles Branz, Pennsylvania

"I really enjoy listening to the lesson before I start doing it each week." -- Linda Muise, Canada

"The questions really helped me to think things through and challenged my ideas on certain issues. A very worthwhile study." -- Kathy Falk, Ireland

"Gives a level playing field to both the beginning bible student and those more deeply involved in studying the scriptures. Very well structured and easy to understand." -- Jonathan Williams, California

Here's how we'll study together.

  • Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week. Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
  • If you sign up for the daily questions version, on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use these lessons to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly over these weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the discussion questions using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • With each lesson you'll receive a link to a 25- to 40-minute audio teaching with me reading the lesson. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.
  • You can download and reprint free Participant Handouts if you're leading a class or small group.

If you sign up now, you'll receive your first lesson this on the Friday after you subscribe. There is absolutely no charge for these e-mail lessons.

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To sign up, start by clicking on your e-mail frequency preference:

You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.

We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.

Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.

Copyright © 2024, Ralph F. Wilson. <> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.