Acts, the Catholic Church Personified.
The Living Body of Christ...

The Book of Acts:

Acts is divided into 3 main sections and fulfills GOD's plan for worldwide salvation for all people.

The first covenant was the Adamic Covenant - Marriage, Gen 3:16-19.
The second was the Noahic - the Family, Gen 9:8-17.
The third was the Abrahamic - the Tribal, or uniting of many families, Gen 17:1-8.
The fourth was the Mosaic - many tribes united in a National Covenant, Gen 19:4-6.
The fifth was the Davidic - the National Kingdom Covenant - many nations, 2Sam 7:14-16,23:5.

You can see the pattern here, each covenant encompassed a larger and larger group of people, so the next covenant must include more than many nations.

The sixth - the New Covenant... 2Cor 3:6, Worldwide, Universal, all encompassing, Catholic.
It is the evolution of the Catholic Church, and of the rules it must follow for all time.

All of the covenants preceding this one were for GOD's chosen people, the Hebrews and Jews.
Now, Gentiles enter into salvation history for the first time.

This all begins to unfold in Acts 1:8, "..but you shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for me in Jerusalem (local), and in all Judea and Samaria (spreading out), and even to the very ends of the earth (worldwide, Universal, Catholic).

These are the three main sections of Acts...

Acts 1:1 to 8:5 is about the Church in Jerusalem.
Acts 8:5 to 13:1 is about the Church spreading to Judea and Samaria.
Acts 13:1 to 28:31 is about the Universal Church of GOD, the Catholic Church.

The Apostles preached to the Gentiles (Act 14:20) but met with opposition for doing this
(Acts 15:1-5), so they called the first Church Council, the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:6) to deal with the matter.
Then in Acts 15:7-11, Peter voiced his authority, and after, "The whole meeting quieted down
(Acts 15:12). This was the first example of "Rome has spoken, The matter is settled."

Please read "The Magisterium" and the files about authority,
on this website for much more on this subject.

Compiled from Salvation History by Dr Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins, December 2, 1998
Updated May 18, 2000
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