Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Thoughts on Study Questions from Acts Ch 2 from 7/8


My Sunday school class/Life Group is studying the book of Acts. Monday, I posted the questions we discussed the day before. Today, I’m posting some of the comments from the class discussion.

If you’d like a PDF file of the questions, email me at crd.author@gmail.com

Chapter 2
V1-13
Look at verses 1-4:
I'm including the answer below from last week. Hopefully, you'll understand why before the end of this post.
What happened here?

They waited --> a sound --> wind --> tongues of fire.
In 1 Kings, Elijah is recovering after his confrontation with the priests of Baal. After a couple of good meals and a lot of sleep...
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
In a similar sequence to Pentecost, Elijah meets God's spirit after wind and fire.

Many scholars now believe that the baptism by the Holy Spirit did not occur in the Upper Room. Based on what happens immediately following, they make a case for the Southern Steps of the Temple inside the Court of the Gentiles. Visitors to Jerusalem would have seen the event and immediately heard the disciples speaking in their language.
Why would there be 1) wind and 2) fire and then the Holy Spirit?
As a prelude of things to come.
God blew His Spirit over the crowd.
The Holy Spirit is the cleansing agent.
Fire represents God, like in the bush Moses saw.
Ezekial 1:22-28 is read every Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). It speaks of wind and flames when God speaks.
The process is similar to what happened to Elijah in 1 Kings 10-13 (see above)

Why were there so many foreign Jews in Jerusalem at this time?
150 Jewish colonies were part of the Roman Empire. Jerusalem was like this during the Feast of Weeks every year--what is part of May-June on our calendar.
The Feast of Weeks was one feast that every male Jew tried to get to every year.
Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed: Deuteronomy 16:16

How does the list of countries in verses 9-11 relate to God's plan as given in Matthew 28:19 and Acts 1:8?
Jerusalem was filled with people from many nations.

The magenta circle represents Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 
Matthew 28:19
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Acts 1:8

The last biblical evidence of Peter's speech identified him as Galilean. When and where was that?
In the courtyard, on the night Jesus was betrayed.
But after a while, the men who had been standing there came over to him and said, “We know you are one of his disciples, for we can tell by your Galilean accent.” 
Matthew 26:73 (TLB)

What is significant about Peter’s (and the others from the upper room) speech in this verses 6-12?
Two things stand out.

  1. Jews from around the world understood them. Some commentaries translate the word tongues/languages as dialects. Since most of the initial crowd was Jewish, they might have been speaking dialects of Hebrew or Aramaic used in the 150 colonies, precursors to what became known as ghettos in the 1500s.
  2. The disciples that huddled in a room waiting were now speaking boldly.

We got this far this week. 

This is the link to my first Expressions of Face devotional post on Acts Chapter 2. Acts 2:1-4, 41 is the Scripture basis.
http://crdowning-author.blogspot.com/2018/06/expressions-of-faith-acts-ch-2-pentecost.html

What event this "other language" aspect of Pentecost correct?
In verse 13, "some made fun of them." Who might this have been?
Chapter 2
V14-36
This has been called "Peter's first sermon." What are some characteristics and major themes of this sermon?

Why would Peter begin with the prophet Joel?
Peter moves from Old Testament prophecy to hard-hitting condemnation of the crowd in vv22-23. How does this set up vv24-28?
What is the significance of using David as an example?
What explanation (almost in passing) does Peter give for the cause of the events of the day?
Verse 36 contains two key terms in describing Jesus. What are they are why is each significant?
1
2
Chapter 2
V37-41
Why would the crowd be "cut to the heart" by Peter's message?
Explain Peter's reply to the question "What shall we do?"
How effective was Peter's sermon?
Chapter 2
V42-47
This section describes the first "Christian" church. List as many characteristics of this church as you can.

Which characteristic made the greatest impression on the people of Jerusalem?
Which characteristics would be easiest for the church of today to attain? which the hardest? Why?
How do we know this church was evangelistic?
  
This Friday, my Expression of Faith is Fellowship (With Believers?)

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Why would there be 1) wind and 2) fire and then the Holy Spirit?
Why were there so many foreign Jews in Jerusalem at this time?
How does the list of countries in verses 9-11 relate to God's plan as given in Matthew 28:19 and Acts 1:8?
The last biblical evidence of Peter's speech identified him as Galilean. When and where was that?
What is significant about Peter’s (and the others from the upper room) speech in this verses 6-12?

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