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Discussion Guide - Standing on the Resurrection

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Discussion Guide – “The Way—Standing on the Resurrection” Pastor Tony

Questions by Pastor Ric
July 2, 2017 

If we want to understand the history of the church, Acts is our book. This study will continue to give us a picture of how the early church handled its beginnings, struggles and subsequent growth in a culture not unlike our own—somewhat hostile but open to spiritual things. We need this.

Feel free to use more or less of these questions. They are here to move us from knowledge to obedience as God’s Spirit speaks to our hearts. Share what God is doing in your heart as a result and have others you trust hold you to account for the life-change God is working in you.

Text: Acts 23:1-34 

  • Paul’s defense of his testimony divided the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Honesty clearly characterized his speech. Honesty in this case, revealed the flaws of both religious groups and divided them. However, it created more problems for Paul, in that both groups were even more antagonistic towards him. It was clear that this kind of honesty is what Christ desires from us as His followers. How have you been tempted to dishonesty recently? How does this story about Paul’s testimony impact your response to truthfulness today?
  • Ephesians 1:18-20 speaks of the hope that the resurrection gives us, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…” His power transforms us, justifies us, gives us hope as well as victory over death. Explain how this has happened in your life and give an example of how this kind of power, working in your life, has been an encouragement to you. 
  • The uniqueness of Jesus’ resurrection gives us the ability cope with the tragedies of life here on earth (hope). Christ’s power over death assures us that death is not final for us either (1 CO 15:51). It also gives us a perspective on eternity that enables us to live lives of selflessness here and now. Discuss the many ways today’s follower of Jesus is able to live a life of service to others because we serve the risen Christ.
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Discussion Guide – “The Way—What is God Doing” Pastor Tony

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Discussion Guide – “The Way—What is God Doing”  Pastor Tony

Questions by Pastor Ric

June 25, 2017

 

If we want to understand the history of the church, Acts is our book.  This study will continue to give us a picture of how the early church handled its beginnings, struggles and subsequent growth in a culture not unlike our own—somewhat hostile but open to spiritual things.  We need this.

 

Feel free to use more or less of these questions.  They are here to move us from knowledge to obedience as God’s Spirit speaks to our hearts.  Share what God is doing in your heart as a result and have others you trust hold you to account for the life-change God is working in you.

 

 

Text:  Acts 21:1-32; 22:3-21

 

  1. Many leaders, like Paul, have great resolve and can at times, appear stubborn. In this context, Paul does not heed the spiritual advice of others.    How does one decide when to listen or not to the advice of others?  (When we do not take godly advice, we must be ready to experience the consequences of our actions as Paul did.)
  2. What do we do with the “fear” that grips us during times of crisis? How does the enemy use fear to paralyze us in terms of effective ministry? (1 SA 18:29) (2 TI 1:7)  How should we respond?  What place should prayer play in how we handle fear?
  3. How is it that some people seem “spirit-filled” possessing great wisdom and insight? (EP 5:18) Shouldn’t we ALL be filled with the Spirit?  Why aren’t we?
  4. In the midst of undeserved conflict, we are tempted to ask what God is doing. How comfortable are we in not knowing?  Mystery is a biblical concept (EP 1:9, 10).  Why are many of us uncomfortable with it?  Are you uncomfortable with the possibility of never knowing?  One thing we do know, God IS with us.  Sometimes, if we do find out, it is years until we discover what God was doing.  (Genesis 50:20)
  5. Ultimately, in his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul defines who our real struggles are with: our enemy, Satan. (EP 6:12) Relate this Truth to a struggle you have had and tell others how the struggle ended.  Why is it important to remind ourselves of this?
  6. Anger is a natural response to false accusations. Paul, undoubtedly, struggled with this. Is Paul’s anger wrong?    Can you think of a biblical text (aside from Acts) that gives us guidance with how to handle anger?  (EP 4:26)
  7. Have you been in a place where you’ve heard an evil report about someone you know? How do you deal with that?  How should we deal with it?  (MA 18)
  8. This passage of Acts gives us a glimpse into the deep relationships Paul had made as he traveled sharing the Gospel. Read Philippians 1:3-11 and discuss the role healthy relationships play in making disciples.
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