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Brief Synopsis

This manual overlays the book of Acts with Paul’s epistles in a way that can sharpen our understanding of what God was doing with Israel, the Jewish rejection of Christ as the Messiah and the introduction of the Dispensation of Grace.  

The book of Acts serves as a connector, the transition between the old and new testaments in the Bible.  (Between the gospels and the Pauline Epistles (Rom – Phm).

If we were to skip Acts and go directly from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) to Romans, we’d see a shift from the Kingdom program/dispensation to the Grace program.  We’d see the focus going from the twelve apostles to Paul and from the program God gave to Israel to the program given to the gentiles.  While this can be confusing, the book of Acts is the link to dispel such confusion.  The scriptures lay out different sets of instructions with many distinctions between the two programs as God brings about a change in His dealing with Israel, His chosen nation.  Studying Acts in the context of Paul’s thirteen epistles (Romans to Philemon) can provide much greater insight into a major part of the New Testament, right division and the body of Christ.

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The Grace Message given by Jesus Christ to Paul after his conversion in Acts 9 teaches that much of the confusion about salvation today is based on the belief that we must do something to gain salvation, e.g. do good works, be water baptized, and adhere to the laws and ordinances of the Old Testament. In short, many believe the whole Bible is written to us today and we must follow Israel's program (the Law) to have eternal life. While the entire Bible is for our learning, it is not all written as instructions for us today. God, through Moses, gave the Law to Israel only, His chosen people. It's true that even the nation of Israel, God's chosen people were not successful in keeping the Law. With the program (Dispensation of Grace) given by God, through Paul for us today, simply believing on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ provides salvation by Grace through faith and gives us the assurance of eternal life. In the Dispensation of Grace we need only look to the cross, and believe on the finished work of Christ at Calvary, for this "blessed assurance". "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph 2:8-9 The study guide, "AN OUTLINE OF THE MINISTRY AND WRITINGS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL" is available though the Shorewood Bible Church South website: or contact Shirley at