講題大綱分享 Acts 1:15-26 (modified)

Acts 1:15-26

God leads the way for His Church

D-160 Mu-tien Chiou

FBJ Acts 1:15 ¶ En ces jours-là, Pierre se leva au milieu des frères, – ils étaient réunis au nombre d’environ cent vingt personnes, – et il dit : 16 " Frères, il fallait que s’accomplît l’Écriture où, par la bouche de David, l’Esprit Saint avait parlé d’avance de Judas, qui s’est fait le guide de ceux qui ont arrêté Jésus. 17 Il avait rang parmi nous et s’était vu attribuer une part dans notre ministère. 18 Et voilà que, s’étant acquis un domaine avec le salaire de son forfait, cet homme est tombé la tête la première et a éclaté par le milieu, et toutes ses entrailles se sont répandues. 19 La chose fut si connue de tous les habitants de Jérusalem que ce domaine fut appelé dans leur langue Hakeldama, c’est-à-dire "Domaine du sang". 20 Or il est écrit au Livre des Psaumes : Que son enclos devienne désert et qu’il ne se trouve personne pour y habiter. " Et encore : Qu’un autre reçoive sa charge. 21 " Il faut donc que, de ces hommes qui nous ont accompagnés tout le temps que le Seigneur Jésus a vécu au milieu de nous, 22 en commençant au baptême de Jean jusqu’au jour où il nous fut enlevé, il y en ait un qui devienne avec nous témoin de sa résurrection. " 23 On en présenta deux, Joseph dit Barsabbas, surnommé Justus, et Matthias. 24 Alors ils firent cette prière : " Toi, Seigneur, qui connais le coeur de tous les hommes, montre-nous lequel de ces deux tu as choisi 25 pour occuper, dans le ministère de l’apostolat, la place qu’a délaissée Judas pour s’en aller à sa place à lui. " 26 Alors on tira au sort et le sort tomba sur Matthias, qui fut mis au nombre des douze apôtres.


What is most integral to a Christian church? Deacons leadership? Pastor’s charisma? Appearance of the building? Warmth of fellowship? We must remember God should have first place in the church (Col 1:15-18). A congregation by submitting to Him, as opposed to any other fallible human leader, as our true head, will be able to carry on His great mission despite internal and external hardships.

Proposition: Knowing that God is the One who exerts justice and fails not his Word, the church should go on holding together in witness, unity, and service.

Organizational sentence: In this passage we see two distinctive illustrations, one negative and one positive, on a "how" and a "what" about God’s election of the saints. First, "how God processes His divine will upon the apostate and the faithful through history and men?"; then "what is the purpose for the evil to be punished and the righteous to be elected?"


  1. God’s reward for Judah’s iniquity (vv 16-20):

    Some observations

        v.16 Divine will must be accomplished: His betrayal was prophesied. Yet still it was to the surprise of the disciples that an apostle elected Jesus himself would conspire to murder their Lord. It takes explanation of the divine will.

    Illustration: Pastors of repute could stumble; leaders chosen by God flunk.

    Application: God never fail. None of these would be surprising to God since he predestined such.

        v.18-19 He died in a cursed way, which is predicted as well. This might be a tangible demonstration of how God’s judgment hand is falling upon the apostate

    Application: God does not spare iniquity and disloyalty.

  2. The process of Matthias’ election (vv 20-24, 26):

    Some observations

        v.15, 23-24 witnessed and nominated by many; the process has the group consent

        v.21-22 qualified by the entire duration of fellowship and personal witness of Lord’s resurrection (Christocentric)

        v.24 through prayer and then by casting lots: the church goes on, and it is not man but God upon whom the final authority rests

    Application: Church government is not to be an oligarchy. To live out our conviction that the assembly is marked by witness of the gospel and Christ is our master, we pray in unity and for discernment from God before making major decisions (especially those involve power, ranks, and politics, such as ordination of church leader).

  3. The purpose of Matthias’ election (vv 25):

    Some observations

        v.25 to occupy the ministry and apostleship that Judah used to possess

    Illustration: diakoni,a means servanthood. Nonetheless a preacher in my church is unwilling to serve with the excuse of his sacred priesthood.

    Application: Though later apostles are distinguished from ordinary service for the purpose of more effective ministry (Act 6:1-6), a heart willing to serve remains essential to chosen disciples (Jn 13:14). Do we as ministers today humble ourselves as servants?

        v.26 to fill the vacancy of the original 12: The resurgence of the 12 is to reconfirm the ancient promises made to Israel’s forefathers. The entire church is represented by the 12 apostles (the legitimacy of apostolic succession may here enter into debate), as in the OT it is the 12 tribes that stand for the enitre Israel. All in all, the paradigm shift marks a significant watershed that the enterprise of salvation is formally ready (in no time substantially furnished as well) for a new era of worldwide mission (which is reflected as a central theme in the entire Lukan-Acts).


Conclusion and Application:

The legitimacy of the continuing witness to the twelve tribes of Israel (Lk 22:30) is affirmed by the apostles’ filling the vacancy in their ranks, whereas the continuity of eyewitness testimony lays a foundation stone for the construction of the NT church.

Today the church as body of Christ must learn that that whatever [crisis] happens God is in control. We have such conviction since through evidences in history and Scripture He has been revealing that He is the One who spares no evil and elects those who humble themselves. His will is discernable that we grip the testimony of truth, pray, and serve as an united whole. By doing so He will reign and sustain His church forever.


Strength: insightful observations dotted in the main points made

Weakness (before modification): 想要談論的經文啟示太多,前中後欠缺連結的緊密度和力度。雖然有很大一部份的重點是談神的啟示和在教會的主權,main points卻過多都在談人,致使比重產生些許失衡。



2 réflexions sur « 講題大綱分享 Acts 1:15-26 (modified) »

  1. Acts 1:15-26 is quite interesting. At least I have never though that I would choose this passage for preaching. My question falls on "what’s the significance of Acts 1:15-26?" After class discussion with Dr. Padilla, this is what I think: this text falls between the waiting command and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Luke emphasizes "apostles" more than other three gospel authors. But at the rest of the book of Acts, he seems to drop his emphasis. And the use of lot-casting and the guidance of H.S. contrast sharply. Finally, I choose an important transition for Church crisis and world mission as its thrush. You have many insight that I haven’t thought in this way. It helps me a lot. Your illustration in main 3 is outright strong, "A preacher in my church is unwilling to serve." I do admit sometimes we hold priesthood than servanthood. Plus, maybe you need change Judas from Judah.Thanks for your sharing.

  2. This is a good observation, Luke
    has in mind the legitimacy of apostleship in the first half of the Acts but the
    concern seems to be replaced in its second half by the progress of world
    mission. The climax of the first, as I believe, is reached in the Pentecostal event,
    whereas the second part consummates in a sweeping conquest of the gospel in
    Rome (Act 28).

    Thus, the time/occasion when Peter addressed the issue of
    filling up the vacancy reflects a dual theological concern for the author and/or Peter. One is about HS from the ministerial/evangelical aspect,  and the other is about Apostles from the historical/covenantal aspect. On the one hand, in addition to
    those Messianic prophesies there are prophetic tellings concerning his
    disciples (Ps. 69; 109). It must be fulfilled separately from the
    phenomenal realization of Pentecost (i.e., the phenomenal appearance of HS), though
    still accomplished by one divine will. Through the latter part of the Acts, it
    is apparent that the office of HS is only to seal on those who already secured 
    the salvation in heart (no matter by spiritual ecstasy or by bestowal of
    tongues), not to give (without giving) them the leadership in ministry.


    On the other hand,  it must be demonstrate that this group of disciple
    are justified and authorized successors to carry on the “Olympic Torch” of
    salvation. This is important because the high priests and the Pharisees still
    assumed that they were. Historical evidences and theological convictions must
    be presented in order to convince the general multitude of Jews.

    This goes back to typology in
    Lukan-Acts, the messianic ones and the apostolic ones.  


    These two kind of typology spiral
    around Jesus Christ. In other words, Luke’s Christocentrism must be the primary
    concern as we interpret its significance.

    Dr. Pao made this point in class
    but I will elaborate it in my own words:

    Jesus Christ is the expected Messiah Redeemer of
    the nation Israel (represented by Jacob’s twelve tribes). The legitimacy of
    this transition [from Messiah the Dacvidic Son to Jesus of Nazareth the Son of
    Man; from OT kingdom horizon to NT worldview] has been warranted by the work of
    synoptic gospels and John. There is no doubt that He is the person that we
    proclaim for salvation.  

    The theological transition from ethnic Israel of
    twelve tribes to the New Kingdom of heavenly Jerusalem, however, awaits
    distinct evidences of Scriptural fulfillment. This is not the one told in Joel
    2:28-29 since Joel only speaks of the eschatological omen. A proper and plausible
    reference of this spiritual affusion to OT is supposed to be the pattern in the
    book of Judges.  

    Hence Peter finds
    other Scriptures that, directly or indirectly, address the apostles.  This inevitably points out one fact about legitimate
    transition: It is only first hand eyewitness to all the Messianic ministry (throughout
    His baptism, earthly ministry, passion, death, resurrection, ascension) that
    satisfies the demand of authorized leadership. Ergo they have everything it
    takes to convince their contemporaries that the salvation has been prepared for
    whoever believes and that they are the designated apostles to teach and shepherd
    those converts. The theoretical structure of the primitive church has been
    formally prepared to welcome their first 3,000 converts. 「萬事具備,只欠東風」Prayer of assembly is just their invocation
    to the Easterly Wind, the Ruah (pneu/ma;
    x;Wr) – a fresh impetus initiated by Sprit of the

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