Monday, March 26, 2012

Acts Chapter 9

In this Chapter we see the conversion of Saul, and the very beginning of his ministry.

Our discussion questions are:

  • Why was it, that Paul was so vehement against the Christians?
  • Who was it who Paul was physically persecuting?
  • Who is it who Jesus claims he is persecuting?
  • How can Jesus make this claim?
  • Why do you think Paul was struck blind?
  • Was there a purpose to it?
  • It was curse or a blessing? And what did Paul probably feel that it was?
  • What do you guys think about the powerful ministry of Ananias?
  • How was it that Paul came to know so much about the Gospel?
  • Why might it have been necessary for him to know so much so quickly?
  • We have read in this book of many times when Christians were beaten and even killed. Why was did Paul sneak out of the city?
  • How do we know when it is time to die, or time to run?
  • Why are some people healed and some people not healed?

Acts Chapter 8

In this Chapter we get to see the fall out from Stephen's execution as well as the spread of Christianity into Samaria through the efforts of Philip.

Some Discussion Questions are:

  • How was it that the Church began to follow Christ's instructions to bring the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and then the the ends of the Earth?
  • Why was it that the Samarians did not receive the Holy Spirit at first? 
  • What was the sin of Simon?
  • Was he saved?
  • Does God lead us to talk to specific individuals, he did with Philip and the Eunuch?

Acts Chapter 7

In this Chapter Steven deliver's a powerful sermon and is executed. Some discussion questions are:

  • Why does Steven frame the story of Christ in the context of Jewish History?
  • Why does he frustrate the crowd instead of calm them down?
  • Is there a significance to the fact that Stephen--a man chosen to serve tables--is the first to follow in Christ's model of martyrdom?
  • Is dying a failure?
  • What will the effects of Stephen's death be?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Acts Chapter 6

In this next chapter a unfair exception is being made in the distribution fo food in the church. The greek speaking widows were being over looked. Not wanting to be distracting from the preaching of the gospel the Apostles decide to appoint 7 Godly men in the church to take on the task of distributing food to these women. 

As these men carry out this task one of them, Stephen, is said to be speaking of Jesus and performing many signs and wonders. This activity is noticed by many of the Greek speaking jews and they become angry.

Some things to discuss are:

Verse 1:

  • How did this behavior creep into the church when everything was going so well?

Verse 2-4:
  • Does anything stand out to you about the apostles reaction?
  • Did the apostles do the right thing by appointing the seven?
  • How are we to know whether we are to serve physically or devote ourselves to the word? Is it an either or situation?
Verses 5-6:
  • What do you think about the criterion the apostles used for selecting individuals?
  • The observation is made that many of these men seemed to have either foreign or had Hellenistic names. What inferences might we make from this?
Verse 7:
  • Can a ministry model be lifted from the way the early churhc dealt with this problem?
  • Should one be lifted?
  • What would it be?

Verse 8:
  • What the apostles had described as “merely waiting tables” seems to be much more?
  • Do you think they knew it would be like this, or was it a surprise?
  • Is this the democratization of signs and wonders?

Verses 9-15:
  • Why do you think it was the Jews among the Greek Speaking community that took exception to this?
  • Do this chapter make comments on the value of service in comparison to evangelism?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Acts Chapter 5

In this weeks Chapter of Acts Ananias and Sapphira are caught in a lie and both are supernaturally killed for it. The Apostles continue to be persecuted for their sermons and miracles, and when they refuse to stop, they are imprisoned for it. An angel releases them from prison and they return to their preaching.

Verses 1-10:

  • What was Ananias' crime?
  • How did Peter know that Ananias was lying?
  • Who was the lie spoken to?
  • But who was the offence against?
  • Is this always the way it is with lying?
  • What is it about lying that is so offensive to God?

Acts 12-42
  • What is the reason for the Apostles' suffering?
  • Is all suffering persecution?
  • Why are the Apostles able to have Joy in their suffering? 
  • How can we have the same reaction to suffering?

Acts Chapter 4

In this chapter Peter and John are brought before the Sanhedrin and called to account for preaching in the name of Jesus. The two men give an account of their actions and are released, but told to cease preaching in Christ's name. After their release the believers came together and prayed for strength to continue God's work.

Verses 1-2:

  • This was a debate between the Sadducee's and the Pharisees
  • What is the significance of resurrection in the christian belief
  • What did this miracle have to do with resurrection   
Verses 3-12:
  • Once again what is the significance of Christ’s name
Verse 13:
  • Where did this wisdom and confidence come from?
Verses 14-17:
  • Why didn’t they do to them what they did to Christ?
Verse 18-20:
  • What is the significance and the danger of this line of thinking which Peter displays?
  • How can we safe guard against the pitfalls in this line of thinking?
Verses 21-31:
  • What is the content of this prayer?
  • What might you have prayed?
  • What did they not pray for that we might have prayed for?
Verses 32-37:
  • This seems to be a recurring theme, what is the point of this theme?

Acts Chapter 3

In this chapter Peter heals a lame beggar and is able to address large crowds as a result. He called to account by the authorities for his actions and told to stop preaching in the name of Christ, but of course he ignores this.

Verses 1-5

  • Do you think this was the first time that Peter and John Walked past this man?
  • If they had seen him before, what was it that made today the day that he was healed?

Verses 6-10

  • Peter says, "I do not have silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you." What was it that Peter had that he gave to the man?
  • The church has recently been described as distributing funds to all those among them who had need, what significance might this have on Peter's claim that he has no money?
  • What does it mean to act in the name of Jesus?
Verses 11-26

  • What is the result of this miracle?
  • What is the theme of Peter's sermon?