Sunday, October 4th, 2015
This week we studied Acts 8.
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.”
Questions for this week:
Read Acts 8:1-5. The church was entering a period of strong and open persecution, yet those who were dispersed continued to preach the gospel, and the church continued to grow. What would likely be our reaction to persecution such as this in modern times? What must their faith have been like that they continued to preach the gospel despite this “setback”?
Read 8:18-23. Simon was a man who used magic and sorcery to impress people and make a name for himself. What modern day examples like this do we see, where people believe that they can purchase the power of God to use for their gain. How can we faithfully respond to these situations?
How does the story of the spread of the church during this time inspire, encourage, intimidate, or challenge you?
- What was the purpose of God allowing persecution to come to the Church?
- The Jews and Samaritans were historical enemies because the Samaritans were half Jew and half Gentile. What message was sent when Peter came and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit? What does that tell you about the heart of Philip as this was a place he intentionally chose to share the gospel?
- When Philip led the eunuch to Christ, he wanted to be baptized right then and there. Philip didn’t hesitate for one second and agreed to do it. His willingness to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead regardless of great timing or proper ritual is highly important. What are some instances where you have answered God’s call even if it wasn’t proper timing? What are some examples where you ignore Him because it would be uncomfortable or didn’t line up with tradition?