The work that Jesus "began" to do was, and is, continued by Him through the Holy Spirit.
The authorship, by the Evangelist Luke, is established by a comparison of the address of his Gospel, Luke 1:3, with Acts 1:1. Luke was eminently qualified for his task by his long and intimate association with the Apostle Paul. The place and hour of the commencement of their happy fellowship are fixed by the change in the pronoun in Acts 16:10 from “they” to “we” and “us.” Luke stayed with Paul to the end, II Timothy 4:11. During the long periods of Paul’s imprisonment, his faithful friend and physician would have had ample opportunity for writing both the Gospel and this book.
The Acts is clearly a continuation of the life and ministry of the Redeemer. As the Gospel tells what He “began” to do and teach, so this treatise “continues” the story. There He wrought in a mortal body on earth; here in the body of His glory from heaven. The book is also a commentary on Acts 1:2. We are not specifically informed what the commandments were which our Lord enjoined upon the Apostles, but are left to infer them from the ordering of the Church unfolded in these pages.
The division of the narrative is indicated in the enumeration of the widening concentric circles of Acts 1:8. Jerusalem, Acts 1-7; Judea and Samaria, Acts 8:1-12; the uttermost parts of the earth, Acts 8:18, and onward to the end of the book, which has no formal termination, because the Acts of the Holy Spirit by the Church have continued throughout the Christian centuries and are not yet finished. There are some illustrious chapters still to be added by the pen of the angel scribes, before the divine program is finished. —Through the Bible Day by Day
“Ye Shall Be Witnesses”
I. The Church in Jerusalem, Acts 1:1-8:3
The Ascension; Day of Pentecost; Peter and John Imprisoned; Ananias and Sapphira; Martyrdom, of Stephen
II. The Church in Judea and Samaria, Acts 8:4-11:18
Preaching of Philip; Simon Magus; the Ethiopian Eunuch; Conversion of Saul; Peter’s Visit to Cornelius
III. The Church in Antioch, Acts 11:19-13:3
The Disciples First Called Christians; the Work of Barnabas; Peter’s Release from Prison; Death of Herod
IV. Paul’s Three Missionary Journeys, Acts 13:4-21:16
(1) With Barnabas, from Antioch through Asia Minor and Return
(2) With Silas, through Asia Minor to Greece, Returning to Antioch by way of Jerusalem
(3) Assisted by a Number of Disciples, through Asia Minor and Greece
V. Paul in Jerusalem, Acts 21:17-26:32
Paul’s Speech to the People; Paul before the Sanhedrin; Sent to Caesarea; before Felix; before Festus and Agrippa
VI. Paul Sent to Rome, Acts 27:1-28:31
The Voyage and Shipwreck; Melita; Arrival in Rome; Paul’s Residence There, with Continued Missionary Activity —Through the Bible Day by Day