Acts

October, November, December 2018

Want to learn more about Acts? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 14-part series.

Lesson 1: You Will Be My Witnesses (Acts 1)
Have you ever faced a crisis in your life when someone let you down? You had a certain plan for the future, but then your plans all changed. Do you remember the turmoil in your mind? You did not know what to believe and you did not know what the future held. I think that is where we meet the disciples in this lesson. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 2: Pentecost (Acts 2)
When I read internal criticisms of the Church of which I am a member, they most often deal with theological differences, or a concern about appropriate standards of behavior. This reminds of my car. If I were missing a headlight, or had a dent in the fender, I would think it needed to be fixed. But, if my engine didn't work, that would be my first concern. In the Church, the presence (or not) of the Holy Spirit should be our first concern. Without discounting the importance of other matters, we need to have the right focus. Our lesson today helps our focus. Let's dig into the Bible and learn more about the Holy Spirit!

Lesson 2: Pentecost (Acts 2)
When I read internal criticisms of the Church of which I am a member, they most often deal with theological differences, or a concern about appropriate standards of behavior. This reminds of my car. If I were missing a headlight, or had a dent in the fender, I would think it needed to be fixed. But, if my engine didn't work, that would be my first concern. In the Church, the presence (or not) of the Holy Spirit should be our first concern. Without discounting the importance of other matters, we need to have the right focus. Our lesson today helps our focus. Let's dig into the Bible and learn more about the Holy Spirit!

Lesson 3: Life in the Early Church (Acts 2:42-4:26)
Our study this week is the church after Pentecost. Is it a model for us today? It is certainly different than the church today. What lessons can we learn? The early church called on sinners to repent. What does that mean? If we see different opinions, and one side resorts to threats rather than persuation, what should we conclude? Let's plunge into our study of Acts and see what we can learn!

Lesson 4: The First Church Leaders (Acts 6-8)
Would you like to do great things for God? Is your desire to do great things hindered by the fact that your Church assignment is something ordinary? For example, "soul-winning" is not your assignment, rather coordinating potluck. This week we turn our attention to a man who stands out in the potluck crowd when it comes to witnessing. His assignment was food distribution. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 5: The Conversion of Paul (Acts 9 & 26)
Do you know people who are so hostile to the gospel that you think they will never change? Perhaps you are wrong. This week we study a person who hated the gospel so much that he made it his mission to imprison or kill Christians. Yet, God turned him completely around. We should never doubt the power of God! Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 6: The Ministry of Peter (Acts 9:32-11:3; Acts 12)
If you read the Gobible.org lessons regularly, you know that I routinely remind you that salvation is by grace alone, our works do not save us. However, that should not cloud the fact that our works generally make a difference in the quality of our life. God favors those who obey Him. At the same time, life is often not fair. Our obligation is to bring glory to God, and not worry about whether we are being treated fairly by the events of life. Our study this week touches on this issue of why some Christians fare better than others. Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 7: Paul's First Missionary Journey (Acts 13)
Is it sometimes difficult to be a church leader? Does opposition and name-calling get discouraging? Our study this week is about Paul's first missionary journey. We will read about the ups and downs of his work. However, the encouraging conclusion to Acts 13 is its conclusion: "And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit." Let's plunge into our study to learn how we can be filled with joy and the Holy Spirit!

Lesson 8: The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15)
Times change, but God does not change. Is the Church authorized to modify or reject the commands of God? My natural reaction is an emphatic, "No!" But, our study this week shows that an emphatic "No!" cannot always be correct. That should make every serious student of the Bible a little anxious because it moves the foundation of our beliefs from the solid rock of the Bible. Except for this: it is the Bible that suggests the rules can change. Let's plunge into this important Bible study and see if we can correctly understand God's will!

Lesson 9: The Second Missionary Journey (Acts 15:30-16:40)
Last week we discussed the conflict over circumcision. The church resolved the conflict, put its resolution in writing, and Paul and Barnabas delivered the resolution to the believers in Antioch. Almost immediately after that conflict was resolved, another conflict arose between Paul and Barnabas. This was not a theological dispute, but a conflict over personnel. What happens when you have conflict among the leadership of the church? Is this a failure of faith? Does it mean that someone is unqualified to be a leader? Or, is conflict to be expected? Can it be a good thing for the church? This week our study of the Bible includes a major conflict among church leaders. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 10: The Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18-20)
In our study of Acts we read that at times Paul was prevented by the Holy Spirit from entering Asia. We don't know why, because Asia is on God's map for Paul's evangelistic work. We know that is true because this week our study focuses on Paul's work in Ephesus, which was the capital of the Province of Asia. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 11: Arrest in Jerusalem (Acts 21-23)
Where we last left Paul he had just raised Eutychus to life as he was about to leave the city of Troas. From there Paul did a little more missionary work. Then in Acts 20:16 we read that Paul is in a hurry to get to Jerusalem in time for the feast of Pentecost. He reports that he is compelled to go by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:22), but we have seriously conflicting signals on that. Our study this week is about Paul's difficult experience in Jerusalem. Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 12: Confinement in Caesarea (Acts 24-26)
Very few people look forward to a trial. When we last left Paul, the Governor told him, "I will hear your case when your accusers get here." In our study this week, Paul's accusers arrive and we study the charges and how Paul defends himself in not one but two trials! Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 13: Journey to Rome (Acts 27 & 28)
Paul appealed to Rome! We learned last week that Paul would have been found "not guilty" of the criminal charges against him - or so the judges said privately to each other. But, Paul was concerned that he would be turned over to the Jews, and so he appealed to Caesar in Rome. My clients often find that the judicial system is a lot slower than they expected. Paul learns that same lesson. This week we discover Paul's travel delays in the next phase of his litigation. Let's dig into our Bible and learn more!

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