Part 1 of 5

There are seven books in the New Testament, and in the main four, which can give Christians a lot of doctrine troubleMatthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Hebrews, James. Why? They all have, or seem to have, amongst other things, works to maintain your salvation.

Doctrine is the set of rules you are going to live by. It’s your creed, your beliefs, your principles, your religion, it’s your everyday life.

Now all scripture is 100% correct history, it is devotional, and it is doctrinal for the appropriate dispensation.

And this is why the Book of Acts is a trap if you’re not careful.

Now, the correct title is The Acts of the Apostles. “Good” says the Christian “we are to follow the apostles.” However, they don’t realize that all apostles are not equal. As the saying goes “Forget the rest and use the best.” Paul was the best. All the apostles that came before Paul had insights, but Paul is not lying when he says “Look, the others had little pieces of the jig-saw puzzle, but I’ll give you the big picture. I’ll make sense out of it all for you.” Paul says

“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” (1Cor 4:16)

“Those things … ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do… (Phil 4:9)

“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord …” (1Thess 1:6)

“… God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Rom 2:16)

“… a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.” (1Cor 9:17)

“… Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:” (2 Tim 2:8)

The Christian gets his doctrine from Paul

Paul wrote 13 epistles to the churches and Christian men - Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon.

Paul states: But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, (2 Tim 3:10)

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:9)

There is a simple rule of thumb: “If it agrees with Paul, it’s doctrine for the Christian. If not, it is still true, however it is meant for another time – either past or future.”

The first principle to study the Bible is to know which of the three following groups, God is talking to.

Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 1 Corinthians 10:32-33. If you can’t, or won’t, or don’t, work out the difference, with these three groups, then interpreting the scriptures will be an impossible task for you!

BACKGROUND and THEME to the Book of Acts

“Peter is replaced by Paul”

Although the gospel of Christ had reached every nation of the known world (Colossians 1:23; Romans 16:26), the book of Acts limits itself to the preaching of the gospel over Palestine, North to Antioch, West through Asia Minor and Greece, to Rome. Basically this area was backbone of the Roman Empire.

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles is mainly about the acts of Peter and Paul, but mostly Paul.

“… the gospel of the uncircumcision (these are the Gentiles which are all other nations other than the Jews) was committed unto me (Paul), as the gospel of the circumcision (the Jews) was unto Peter” Galatians 2:7.

The main theme of the Book of Acts, is the extension of the gospel to the Gentiles.

But here’s the problem for the present day Jew, Roman Catholic, Christian particularly the Independent Baptist. He says “Right, I’ll follow Peter.” But there’s the thing, there is no choice anymore. Paul severely corrects Peter (Gal 2:11) and Peter admits being bamboozled by Paul (2 Peter 3:16). Paul says “Thank you Peter, you sit in the back seat now. I’ll take over driving the car.”

It’s a book of two halves with Peter in Acts 1-12 and Paul in Acts 13-28.

Harley Hitchcock


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Part 2 of 5

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