Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Acts 4-5:42

This week we studied Acts 4-5:42.
As you begin your study each week, pray that God will speak to you through His Word. Come each week prepared for discussion. Be willing to participate and ask questions. As much as possible, stick to the topic at hand. Be sensitive to the other members in your group and listen attentively.
Intro To ACTS:
In the book of Acts, we see God birth the church by sending the Holy Spirit to indwell followers of Jesus. A great way to frame the entire book of Acts is in the following themes:
The beginning of the church (1:1 – 2:47)
The church and the Jewish authorities (3:1-5:42)
The church begins to expand (6:1-9:31)
The beginning of the Gentile mission (9:32-12:25)
The mission to Asia Minor and its aftermath (13:1-15:35)
Paul’s missionary campaign in Macedonia and Achaia (15:36-18:17)
Paul’s missionary campaign in Asia (18:18-20:38)
Paul’s arrest and imprisonment (21:1-28:31)
As we read and study Acts together, our prayer is that deep study of the Word of God would result in changed hearts and renewed spirits to pursue the things of God in our day and time.
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”

Romans 8:11

Questions for this week:

  1. Read Acts 4:1-22. What do we learn about the attitude of the religious leaders toward Peter and John?
  2. How would you explain the connection between the healed cripple and salvation (verses 9-12).
  3. List the three requests in verses 29-30. What is the significance of these requests? How is it that followers of Christ are able to respond to persecution in this way?
  4. In Acts 5:34-40, what does Gamaliel say to the Sanhedrin? Discuss what verse 39 means to you. Do you think the wisdom of it can apply to today? In what ways? In movements within the church? Do you think the wisdom expressed by Gamaliel can be encouraging to Christians facing unsure times?
  5. Review the parable in Matthew 13, pay attention to the explanation of the rocky soil. Then read Acts 5:1-10. There’s a shift in the attitudes of the people after the events of Acts 5:1-10. Read verse 11-13. What happened? Why did attitudes change? Discuss times when you’ve witnessed attitude shifts like this, when following God is no longer fun and easy, but becomes hard and with consequences. Discuss how easy/hard it is to be a Christian. Finish by reading Acts 5:14.
  6. Read Acts 5:40-42. Realize that “flogging” was more than being pushed around, but probably was the same as “scourging,” that is, the same way they whipped Jesus before he was crucified. Discuss the reactions of the apostles after this harrowing physical ordeal. Are they insane? Try and put yourself in their shoes. Try and think through the level of confidence they had. What was the source of this confidence? Do you have the same well to draw from? Does fear play into it? Should it?