Sunday, October 11th, 2015
This week we studied Acts 9.
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:
Saul’s conversion experience was a dramatic event that led to an immediate repentance and submission to God, yet many conversion experiences happen over a lengthy amount of time, maybe even years. Reflect on your conversion experience and when you submitted yourself to God- was is something that happened in an instant (hear and respond), or was it a longer process of seeking God and learning more about his character?
For those who encountered Saul after his conversion, they likely knew of his reputation as one who persecuted Christians. How difficult must it have been for them to believe and accept his changed character and his new life? Have you had an experience where it was hard for you to accept or believe somebody’s new identity in Christ because of who they were before? How can we seek and trust God in situations like this?
Paul immediately began preaching the gospel and winning converts after his encounter with Christ, and had even gained a following of his own disciples (versus 23-25). How might his testimony have been so powerful and unique as to draw people to Christ?
- “The Way” is a designation for the new movement used several times in Acts (19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22; 16:17; 18:25–26) Why do you think that is?
It was as the Son of God that Christ was revealed to Saul on the Damascus road (Galatians 1:16; 2 Cor. 1:19; Rom. 1:4). This title, or its equivalent, is used in the Old Testament as reference to (1) the people of Israel (Exodus 4:22; Hos. 11:1), (2) the anointed king of Israel (2 Samuel 7:14; Psalm. 89:26–27), and therefore (3) the ideal king of the future, the Messiah of David’s line (see especially Psalm 2:7 as quoted below in Acts 13:33). How does that impact the ministry of Saul moving forward?