Class Notes on Sacred History
Volume IV: Acts of Apostles
J. W. McGarvey (1893)
Table of Contents
ACTS OF APOSTLES.
THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM.
i. 1-viii. 4.
§ I. INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTS (i. 1-26).
1. STARTING POINT OF THE NARRATIVE, 1-5.
- What the "former treatise"? 1, cf. Luke i. 1-4; xxiv. 50, 51.
- What the commandment referred to? 2, cf. Luke xxiv. 46-49; Mark xvi. 15, 16.
- Connection of this commandment with the present narrative?
- What "the promise of the Father"? 4; Luke xxiv. 49.
- When was this promise made? See Jno. xiv. 15, 16.
- Why the reference to John's baptism? 5, cf. Luke iii. 16. 
2. PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND THE ACCOUNT OF THE
ASCENSION REPEATED, 6-11.
- What meant by "restore the kingdom"? 6.
- Was the kingdom of Christ yet set up?
- Receive what power? 8, cf. 6.
- What the order of places? 8.
- What new items in the repetition of the ascension? 9-11, cf. Luke xxiv. 46-51.
- Why the ascension mentioned by Mark and Luke who were absent, and not by Matthew and John who were present?
3. NAMES AND LODGING PLACE OF THE APOSTLES, 12-14.
- What was a Sabbath day's journey? 12.
- Where their time now spent? 13; Luke xxiv. 53.
- Why this new list of names?
- Relative position of Mary at that time? 14.
- Is she mentioned after this in N. T.?
- What change in the Lord's brothers? 14, cf. Jno. vii. 5.
- Who the other women? 14, see Luke xxiii. 49, 55; xxiv. 10.
4. THE PLACE OF JUDAS FILLED, 15-26.
- Who were the one hundred and twenty? 15.
- In what sense were the words quoted spoken concerning Judas? 16, 20, cf. Ps. lxix. 25; cix. 8.
- Whose words verses 18, 19?
- In what sense did Judas obtain the field? 18, cf. Matt. xxvi. 3-7. 
- What caused him to fall and burst asunder? 19. See Matt. xxvii. 5.
- Was the field bought before or after the death of Judas?
- Why sold so cheap?
- Reconcile the two statements of the reason for calling it Akeldama. 19; Matt. xxvii. 7, 8.
- What qualifications prescribed for the successors of Judas, and why? 21, 22.
- What should now be the qualifications of successors to the apostles?
- Did the eleven regard the choice made as their own, or as the Lord's? 24.
- How could it be either, when it was determined by lot?
- Why limit the choice to two? 23, cf. 21, 22.
- Was Matthias made a real apostle? 26.
- Show the fitness of each of the preceding paragraphs as part of the author's introduction.
§ II. THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM ESTABLISHED
1. THE APOSTLES ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, 1-4.
- What the day of Pentecost? and whence the name? 1.
- On what day of the week did it fall? Cf. Lev. xxiii. 15, 16.
- Who "together in one place"? 1, cf. i. 26.
- What filled the house, and what house? 2, 1; Luke xxiv. 53.
- Significance  of the fire-like tongues? 3, 4.
- In what sense was this a baptism in the Spirit? 4, cf. 5.
2. THE EFFECT OF THE MULTITUDE, 5-13.
- How were all Jews, yet born in other countries? 5, 8.
- In what sense were they "devout men"? 5.
- How did they know the apostles to be Galilaeans? 7.
- How many countries represented? 9-11.
- Were there as many different tongues?
- Meaning of proselytes? 10.
- What the principal question? and why? 12.
- Why the charge of the mockers? 13.
3. PETER'S SERMON.
1. Introduction. The Miracle Explained, 14-21.
- Why notice the charge of drunkenness? 15.
- Conclusiveness of his answer to it?
- Conclusiveness of his explanation? 14-21.
- In what sense was the Spirit "poured" forth? 17.
- How "upon all flesh"?
- Does the mention of women by Joel imply that they were now inspired? 17, 18.
- What "that great and notable day"? 20, cf. 21.
- Why attach salvation to calling on the name of the Lord? 21.
- What did Peter gain by this introduction? 
2. Jesus Proclaimed as Christ and Lord, 22-32.
a. His Resurrection Declared, 22-24.
- What four facts here asserted?
- Which were known to the hearers, and which needed proof?
- Distinction between "mighty works," "wonders," and "signs"? 22.
- Who the "lawless men"? and why so called? 23.
- Meaning of "loosed the pangs of death"? 24.
- Why not possible? 24.
b. Resurrection of the Christ Predicted by David, 25-31.
- How is the case made out?
(1) David predicted the resurrection of some one before corruption, 26-28.
(2) Though speaking in the first person, he meant not himself, 29.
(3) The one he spoke of was the Christ, 30, 31.
- What is meant by his soul being in hades? 31.
- Bearing of this division on facts to be proved?
c. Resurrection of Jesus Attested by the Twelve, 32.
- Full force of this testimony? comp. 4, 16, 17.
- Was it merely asserted, or given in detail?
- Its logical connection with the preceding evidence? 
d. Jesus Exalted to the Throne of God, 33-35.
- What implied in His sending forth the Spirit?
- How could Peter's words prove this a reality?
- Value of the quotation from David? 34, 35.
e. Logical Conclusion, 36.
- What meant by Lord, and what by Christ?
- From what premises does each part of the conclusion spring?
3. Exhortation to Save Themselves, 37-40.
- What pricked them in the heart? 37, cf. 36.
- Do for what? 37.
- What told to do? and for what? 38.
- Does this answer allow remission of sins to precede baptism?
- Why not told to believe?
- What gift of the Spirit? 38.
- Extent of the promise? and what promise? 39.
- What children? 39.
- How save themselves? and how from that generation? 40.
- Plan of the whole Sermon?
- Is it constructed according to the rules of rhetoric?
4. EFFECT OF THE SERMON, AND PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH,
- Meaning of "received his word"? 41.
- How much time? and what facilities for the baptizing? 15; L. of B., 189-201. 
- Were all the 3,000 baptized?
- What was the process of adding? 41.
- Define the four items of service in 42.
- What fear? 43, and why?
- What the demand for so much giving? 44, 45.
- What their place of meeting? 46.
- Is the "breaking bread" of 46, the Lord's Supper?
- Why their present popularity? 47.
- Meaning of "those that were being saved"? 47, cf. 40, 38.
§ III. THE FIRST PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH
(iii. 1-iv. 31).
1. A LAME MAN HEALED BY PETER, III. 1-10.
- What were the hours of prayer? 1.
- In what wall was this door? 2.
- How did the people all know the man? 10.
2. PETER'S SECOND SERMON,
1. Introduction. The Miracle Explained, 11-16.
- What was the portico called Solomon's? 11.
- Why the disclaimer? 12.
- Points of contrast in the treatment of Jesus? 13-15.
- Whose faith? 16, cf. 5-7.
- Plan of this introduction?
2. Forgiveness of Sins Offered through Christ, 17-21.
- To what extent "in ignorance"? 17.
- In what sense did God do the fulfilling? 18.
- How were they to turn?  19, cf. 38.
- Meaning of "blotted out"? 19.
- What the "seasons of refreshing"? 19, cf. 38.
- On what conditions these blessings offered?
- What "the restoration of all things"? 21.
- What must occur then before the second coming of Christ?
3. These things were foretold by Moses and the Prophets, and
Promised to Abraham, 22-26.
- In what particulars was Jesus a prophet like Moses? 22.
- What the force of these citations in the minds of the hearers?
- Why "to you first"? 26.
- What the blessing promised in the seed of Abraham? 25. See 26.
- Plan of the speech?
- Why no exhortation?
3. PETER AND JOHN ARRESTED, IV. 1-4.
- Cause of the arrest? 2.
- Who the captain of the temple? 1. See I. Chron. xxiii. 5; xxvi. 1-19.
- Why the Sadducees in the lead?
- Force of the reason for delay? 3.
- Meaning of "put them in ward"? 3.
- Who included in the 5,000? 4.
4. PETER'S DEFENSE, 5-12.
- What rulers? 5.
- Who John and Alexander?
- Of what must Peter and John have been reminded? See John xviii. 15-18; Matt. x. 17-20.
- Why no definite charge? 7.
- In  what sense "filled with the Holy Spirit"? 8.
- Meaning of remark about the stone? 11, cf. Matt. xxi. 42.
- Exact force of the remark about salvation? 12.
5. A PRIVATE CONSULTATION, 13-17.
- What led to it? 13, 14.
- Why the man there? 14.
- Hypocrisy of the persecutors. 16.
- Their motive? 17.
6. MORE PREACHING FORBIDDEN, 18-22.
- Rule for obeying rulers? 19.
- Why fear the people? 21.
- What punishment could the Council lawfully inflict? See v. 40.
7. REPORT OF THE TWO APOSTLES AND PRAYER OF THE TWELVE,
- Why not prepare for resistance?
- Analysis of the prayer?
(1) The Invocation, 24.
(2) A Scripture fulfilled, 25-28.
(3) The Petition, 29, 30.
- Appropriateness of every part?
- How did they expect boldness to be given? 29, 30.
- Why the place shaken? 31.
- Why again filled with Holy Spirit? 31.
§ IV. PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH, AND SECOND
PERSECUTION (iv. 32-v. 42).
1. UNITY AND LIBERALITY OF THE CHURCH, 32-37.
- In what sense did the apostles now testify with more  power? 33.
- Connection of this with the unity and liberality of the church? 32.
- What was now lacking of the unity which Jesus prayed for?
- Is this giving a precedent for us?
- Why called "son of exhortation"? 36.
- Why Barnabas especially mentioned?
2. A CASE OF DISCIPLINE, V. 1-11.
- How did Satan fill his heart, if he conceived the thing in his own heart? 3, 4.
- What the motives of Ananias and Sapphira?
- Are they ever imitated?
- Why was it a lie to God and not to men? 3, 4.
- In what way was it tempting the Holy Spirit? 9.
- How was Sapphira kept ignorant? 7.
- Why the severity?
- Was it Peter's act, or the Lord's? 9, 10.
3. PROSPERITY OF THE CHURCH INCREASED, 12-16.
- Who durst not join the Apostles? and why? 12, 13.
- Why the increase of additions? 14.
- Why more miracles than before? 15, 16.
- When such sins are found in a church, how can it prosper?
4. THE APOSTLES IMPRISONED AND RELEASED, 17-21.
- Who was now high priest? and of what sect?  17, cf. iv. 6; Jno. xviii. 13.
- Why their jealousy? 17.
- Purpose of the release?
5. THEY ARE BROUGHT INTO COURT, 21-27.
- What the council and the senate? 21.
- Why the prison still shut, and the guards still at its doors? 23.
- Point of perplexity? 24.
- Why danger of stoning? 26.
6. ACCUSATION AND DEFENSE, 27-32.
- Meaning of "bring blood on us"? 28.
- How was the answer that of "the apostles"? 29.
- Did Peter deny the charge?
- How was repentance given? 31.
- How was the Holy Spirit a witness? 32.
7. THEY ARE SAVED FROM DEATH BY GAMALIEL, 33-42.
- Present feeling of the Pharisee? 34.
- Could the Theudas here mentioned be the one mentioned by Josephus? 26, 27, cf. Ant. xx. 5; i. 18; i. 1.
- Who, then, was he?
- Merits of Gamaliel's policy? 38, 39.
- What more known of him? xxii. 3.
- How could the Apostles rejoice? 41.
- Effect of all this on the people? 
§ V. FURTHER PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH, AND
THIRD PERSECUTION (vi. 1-viii. 4).
1. SEVEN MEN APPOINTED TO SERVE TABLES, 1-7.
- Distinction between Grecian Jews and Hebrews? 1.
- What the daily ministration? 1.
- Why are widows specially mentioned?
- What meant by serving tables? 2.
- Who served the Lord's table?
- In what sense "full of the Spirit"? 3.
- Why not appointed sooner?
- From which class the seven selected? and why? 5.
- Meaning of "proselyte"? 5.
- Why the laying on of hands? 6, cf. 3.
- Is this a precedent for us?
- Were these men deacons?
- How are officers to be selected now? 2, 3.
- Cause of the increased prosperity? 7.
- Significance of the obedience of priests? 7.
2. STEPHEN ARRESTED AND FALSELY ACCUSED, 8-15.
- Who the Libertines, Cyrenians, etc.? 9.
- Why a synagogue of these?
- Of what sect were they? cf. vii. 58; xxiii. 6.
- What charges preferred, and on what ground? 11, 13, 14.
- What truth at the bottom of the charges? 14.
- What was the nature of the change in his face? 15.
- Why Stephen attacked, rather than Peter? 
3. STEPHEN'S SPEECH,
1. The Introduction, vii. 1-8.
- Purpose of this recital?
2. A Series of Deliverers Persecuted by Israel, 9-34.
(a.) The Case of Joseph, 9-16.
- What the leading thought? 9, 10, cf. 14.
- How the 75 made out? 14. Gen. xlvi. 26, 27. See Septuagint, Gen. xlvi. 20.
- Was Jacob buried in Shechem? 16; Gen. l. 13.
- Did Abraham buy a tomb in Shechem? 16. Gen. xxiii. 16-18; xxxiii. 18-20.
- Who was buried at Shechem? Josh. xxiv. 32.
- How, then, are we to understand verse 16.
(b.) The Case of Moses in Egypt, 17-36.
- The leading thought?
- Whence Stephen's knowledge of the education, words and works of Moses? 22, cf. Jos. Ant. ii. 9, 10.
- How did he know the purpose of Moses? 25.
(c.) The Case of Moses in the Wilderness, 37-41.
- Meaning of "church in the wilderness"? 38.
- Meaning of "living oracles"? 38. 
(d.) God's Final Rejection of Israel, 42, 43.
- In what "book of the prophets"? 42. See Amos v. 25-27.
- Leading thought in this?
3. The Tabernacle and the Temple, 44-50.
(a.) The Tabernacle Supplanted by a House, 44-47.
- How "unto the days of David"? 45.
(b.) The Temple Not God's Real Dwelling, 48-50.
- What prophet? Isa. lxvi. 1, 2.
- Connection of this division with the accusation? cf. vi. 13, 14.
4. Application, 51-53.
- Chief point in the application?
- Show its connection with the cases recited.
- How did they resist the Holy Spirit?
- Could his hearers foresee this application?
- Why conceal it till the close?
- Whole plan of the speech?
- Meaning of "uncircumcised in heart and ears"? 51.
- How was the law "ordained by angels"? 53.
4. THE DEATH OF STEPHEN, VII. 54-VIII. 4.
- Was his death according to law?
- Why so exasperated? 54, 57.
- Purpose of the vision? 55, 56.
- Why did the  witnesses lay down their garments? and why at Saul's feet? 58; Deu. xvii. 6, 7.
- Who buried Stephen? 2, cf. 1.
- Why dare to go abroad preaching? 4.
- Why did not the Apostles flee?
- Value to the church of Stephen's death?
- What now the prospects of the church?