Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Thoughts on Study Questions from Acts Ch 8-9 on 12/2

My Sunday school class/Life Group is studying the book of Acts. I posted these questions this Monday and encouraged you to jot your thoughts down.
It's Wednesday. This post consists of some comments from the class discussion.

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

Chapter  - Vv26-40
What is the Ethiopian reading?
Isaiah 53:7-8

Why would Philip ask the question he does?
Philip wanted 

  • to explain, but he also wanted to be heard.
  • to know how much the man already knew.

The eunuch could not be a "full Jew" because of his castration.

Philip's answer to the Ethiopian's question includes what?
This passage in Isaiah is a good passage to introduce

  • Jesus as the Messiah.
  • the concept of redemption.

It's not a coincidence that it is what the eunuch was reading!
The answer shows that God cares for individuals, even a eunuch who could not worship in the Temple. The Temple is not needed for worship in the New Covenant.
Philip was sent to a person with a question and was willing to go wherever he needed to provide an answer.

What happens to Philip after the Ethiopian is baptized?
He is transported to Azotus.
There was some discussion as what "transported" meant, but that was unresolved. 

Where does Philip end up?
Azotus. (Sorry for the repeat!)

How does Philip's ministry begin the spread of the Gospel to "the ends of the earth"?
Philip was preaching as he went.
He was sent to Gaza.
He did what he was told.
Ultimately, by the eunuch returning to Ethiopia, the Gospel was at one of the ends of the earth at that time.

Describe Philip’s evangelism.
Spontaneous and directed by God. 
He was obedient and did what God directed him.
He walked his talk: serving and preaching.
His preaching was natural.

Chapter 9 - v1-9

What is Saul's plan? 
Round up the leaders and purge Judaism from this heretical influence.

What evidence does this passage provide that he was not present at Gamaliel's speech?
His "I'm going to fix this problem" attitude.

Why do you think he headed for Damascus?
There were lots of Jews there.
It was a major trade route.
Might have heard about Philip, Barnabas, and Peter and decided to nip this in the bud.

 We got this far this week. 

What is Saul's verbal response to the heavenly voice?
Compare what happened to Saul with what happened to his traveling companions. What did they hear? How did they react?
What is the last things Saul's companions are recorded as doing?
Put yourself in Ananias's place. How does his reaction compare to what you think yours might have been?
What does God tell Ananias to say to Saul?
What does Ananias actually tell Saul?
What does Saul do? Explain why he did each thing he did.
How do you think the "disciples" in Damascus felt about Saul's attending their meetings?
Saul almost immediately begins to do what?
What questions do the people have?

In v22 Saul is described as proving that Jesus was Messiah. Why did he not see this before?
How do we know that the shoe is on the other foot now for Saul?
How does Saul avoid the Jews?
Reaction to Saul in Jerusalem is different than it was in Damascus. Why do you think that was?
Who appears (for the second time) to help?
What does Barnabas do to help the people overcome their fear?
Saul seems to infuriate all Jews equally. Who tries to kill him this time? Where does he end up after this "close call"?
After Saul's extreme persecution, what does his conversion lead to?
Compare the fear at the first of Chapter 9 to the fear at the end.
The story returns to which apostle? What's he been doing?
This miracle is similar to which previous miracle?
Where did this occur?
What do you think v35 means?
Tabitha (Dorcas) is the first positive woman role model presented in Acts—what was her claim to fame?
What has happened to Dorcas? What do the people of Joppa do about it?
They ask Peter to come "at once," but when he arrives, what do they do?
How does Peter address the need?
What results from this miracle?
Why might some confusion have arisen from Peter's choice of residence in Joppa?
Chapter 10
Who is Cornelius? What do we know about him?
What is significant about the time of day of Cornelius' vision?
Why do you think God sent an angel and not just a voice?
Why do you think Peter went up on the roof to pray?
What is significant about Peter’s physical state during his prayer?
What is Peter doing when he sees his vision?
What comes from heaven?
Describe the vision.
What does the voice say to do? What is Peter's response? [see Leviticus 11]
How does the voice respond to Peter?
What significance do you think there is to Peter seeing the vision 3 times?
What is Peter's mental state after the third vision?
Who shows up? Are they invited in?
Why aren’t they invited in?
Why does Peter go down off the roof?
What does Peter do when he gets down?
When do they head to Caesarea? What is implied by this?
What is Cornelius doing?
How does this show the depth of Cornelius' faith?
Why would Cornelius "fall at [Peter's] feet"?
How does Peter respond to this act of Cornelius?
What does Peter do then?
How does he explain this non-Jewish action?
What is Peter's question to the group?
Cornelius' answer is straight-forward. He adds one thing, what? Why do you think he adds this?
How does Peter's sermon here differ from his previous sermons?
What happens before the end of the sermon?
Who came with Peter? What is their reaction?
What is Peter's reaction?
How does Peter’s reaction fit into Jesus command of Acts 1?
Chapter 11
When Peter returns to Jerusalem, he is on the hot seat. Why?
Describe a possible parallel situation that might happen in our church in this century.
Compare Peter's account to the brothers in Jerusalem to Luke's account in Chapter 10. What is different?
Why do you think that it’s different?
What happens to the objections of the Jerusalem believers?
How does the church get its start in Antioch?
Who might these “evangelists” be?
Who is given "first shot" at the Gospel by the evangelists?
Who are "the Greeks"?
What is the secret of the evangelist's success?
Why is Barnabas sent to Antioch?
What is the effect of his visit?
Where else does he go? Why?
How long do Saul and Barnabas "pastor" the church at Antioch?
What significant terminology arises from this church?
Who is Agabus?
What does he do?
About what year is this?

What is the Antioch church response to this?

In Jesus time, Jews were looking for a wrong type of Messiah rather than the One God provided in Jesus.
If you are interested in Messianic prophecies, my blog December 26 is a "fill in the blanks" table for 37 messianic prophecies. On December 27, the blog post provides the answers.
Feel free to spread the word about this.

This week's Expressions of Faith is Immanuel (Revised)

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