Questions for Reflection for Study of Acts 4-6

As we began the New Year, the emphasis was to not only learn the main principles of the Word of God but to keep them in our thoughts in order to apply them in our life. Acts is a great book of the Bible to meet this objective.

The journey so far through Acts 1-3 has taught about the Holy Spirit which is a divine resource God has provided for us. A resource of instruction and empowerment for us to live a reinvigorated life of firm witness of Christ. The followers of Christ joined together constantly in prayer and they benefitted from scripture, prayer, and God’s providence to change the course of history.

We can tap into the same beneficial resource of God to push us through this year so we are enabled to make good decisions as we lead our families, communities, and work places; helping us to plan the right things to do for an amazing year.

The followers of Jesus received the promised Holy Spirit and the power to spread the Good News around the world. The early church grew because it was a place of infinite challenge, intense fellowship, passionate prayer, and fervent outreach. This same power is available today and we can passionately step out with peace of mind and visualize a tremendous increase.

The post Empowerment gave one example of God empowering Peter to give healing to a crippled beggar. There is power in Jesus’ name and with this power, we can passionately believe in improved tomorrows. Let nothing hold us up in our work for the Lord and know that one day at a time the impossible will become possible because He empowers His people.

Life may disappoint at times but the good news is that there is something better ahead if we step out in faith. Each day can be amazing because the risen, ascended, and active Christ makes a difference in our daily living. Because of Christ, we are filled with joy and live in hope because we can see the Lord always before us. Even in dark times, His light illuminates the world.

The journey so far through Acts 1-3 has taught that the believers approached spiritual living as a discipline. They responded by devoting themselves to the apostles’ teachings and to fellowship. As the journey now continues through Acts 4-6 over the next few weeks. The aim is to be inspired by the discipline the early believers demonstrated.

The aim over the next few weeks is to plant more seeds of faith, hope, and love; anticipating the yielding of fruit that nourishes others. I invite you to join me over the next few weeks as I step ahead using the questions below to inspire thoughts and ideas. God will give us the upper hand by producing in us the heart of a champion.

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Acts 4:1-12
Why to the priests and Sadducees arrest Peter and John? What five things does Peter say about Jesus Christ to the Jewish leaders? Why does saying each of these things require a boldness given by the Holy Spirit? Are there times in your life when God has filled you with His Spirit to testify of Christ?

Acts 4:13-31
Why do the men of the council say nothing publicly in opposition to Peter and John? Why are they concerned about them? How does God answer the disciple’s prayer? Do you usually pray for deliverance from trying circumstances or for boldness in them?

Acts 4:32-37
How do you feel about your possessions? In what ways is the filling of the Holy Spirit (v. 31) manifest in today’s passage? Why are those who believe in no need? Describe the profound change in the disciples’ mode of living.

Acts 5:1-12
Precisely what is the lie that Ananias and Sapphira agree to tell the apostles? What do verses 3-4 teach us about the identity of the Holy Spirit? Do you hold back from God? Do you back up what you say with actions?

Acts 5:12-42
Why do the Sadducees oppose what God does through the apostles? Peter and the other apostles boldly carried out God’s plan. Are your plans and activities of God or of men? How do you respond to trying times in your Christian life?

Acts 6
What growing pains does the early church experience? To what does God want you to give priority to in your life? What are the results when the Apostles delegated some responsibilities to others?

The above reading plan will be used as I share over the next few posts. It’s important to have a plan. I’m thankful that Jesus is God’s plan for us and by accepting Him as Savior; we have taken the steps necessary to make this day with Him amazing! At this link: God’s Plan for Us, is a post about accepting God’s plan or reaffirming our “YES” for Christ.

When we accept Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit is our companion and it’s exciting to think about what the future holds. We celebrated the birthday of Jesus recently and we will continue the celebration throughout this year because of the gift God has given us.

With God, we can get through anything, we can patiently grind it out during difficulties or give Him credit when the impossible is made possible. Beyond that, we can celebrate because of the victory we will always have with Him.

Feel free to respond with a short note or a comment about any of the questions above. Also, I welcome any other thoughts or ideas, favorite inspirational videos, photos, or favorite Bible verses. Just add them to the comments or to a Facebook page I’ve set up at this link: This Day With God. 

Resources and Supplementary Helps Used in Posts
Adeney, Carol. This Morning with God. Downer Grove Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1978
First United Methodist Waco Podcast
Christ Notes
Family Times
Image Source

 

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About Mark Shields

Mark volunteers as a member of the media ministry team at his church. A few years ago, he started an on-line Bible study guide called “This Day with God Devotional”. He uses this as a tool in his journey through the Bible. We live in a very busy world with busy schedules so this tool has helped him continue with daily Bible reading and study. Each of the studies are designed to help apply our faith in the work place, at school, or at home. Join him on this journey or check in every so often to read his thoughts.
This entry was posted in Bible Study, Devotionals, Questions for Reflection and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Questions for Reflection for Study of Acts 4-6

  1. “Acts 1-3 has taught that the believers approached spiritual living as a discipline. They responded by devoting themselves to the apostles’ teachings and to fellowship.”

    Great observation Mark. “The apostle’s teachings.”
    The true apostles were 12 witnesses who knew Jesus personally and had followed Him faithfully for His entire ministry “beginning from John’s baptism to the time Jesus was taken up from” them. [Acts 1:22]

    The apostles Jesus appointed knew what an apostle was, and that there could only be 12 apostles, not more. Therefore only 2 men were qualified, and only 1 was chosen, Matthias. [Acts 1:12-26]

    Mark, in In Acts 6, you observed: “the Apostles delegated some responsibilities to others.” We read in Acts 6:2 “So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together…” There were never any other Apostles appointed, and none of the Twelve ever lost his apostleship. The Tweve true Apostles were already functioniong in their appointed roles in the church for quite some time before we even hear anything at all about Saul/Paul the Pharisee.

    The Apostle John records for us a vision of the tuture New Jeruslem:
    “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” [Revelation 21:14]

    So the early church was not listening to Paul’s teachings, but rather the teachings of Jesus, given through His Apostles who knew Him personally for years. (Only 3 Apostles wrote Scripture – Matthew, John, and Peter. It appears that Peter was illiterate, but had others like Silas and perhaps Mark help him to “write” his letters, and perhaps Gospel of Mark. [1 Peter 5:12]

    I think that today as well, we should be devoting ourselves “to the apostles’ teachings and to fellowship” rather than spending so much time listening to Paul…..

  2. Mark Shields says:

    Thanks for sharing Matthew. May we make a difference by equipping followers to understand God’s Word, use their gifts, and work together to reach people for Christ!

  3. Yes, we should know what “God’s Word” is.
    Jesus is God, and Son of God, the Word of God made flesh. So the words of Jesus, written down by two faithful eyewitnesses who knew Jesus personally for over 3 years (Matthew and John) are the supreme “Word of God”. This is in fulfillment of “The Word of God” through Moses and the Prophets. When Jesus spoke of “The first and greatest commandment and the second”, He was not abolishing the 10 commandments, he was summarizing them. And Jesus is the greatest teacher.

    Although Jesus said that some of his followers might DO greater thing than He did, Jesus never said that anyone else would SAY greater things than Jesus did. The words of Jesus are supreme, above all others, forever. Jesus said: “MY words will never pass away.” Not “The Bible will never pass away,” not “Paul’s words will never pass away.” Jesus said the Law would pass away, but only after everything is accomplished – and we still are not there yet!

    No one in the pages of the Bible ever said that all Scripture is equal in importance or authority. Jesus, and also observant Jews today, still understand the Hebrew Scriptures to be in 3 sections – The Law of Moses (Torah), the Prophets (Nabi’im), and the Writings (Kethuvim.) Jews today call the combined writings by the acronym TaNaKh.

    Jesus put The Law and The Prophets above The Writings in authority and importance. “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” [Matthew 22:40] Not “All Scripture”, not “The Law the Prophets and the Writings.” And not “The Bible.”

    In the original church, the Orthodox Church, even today the 4 Gospels are held up in higher authority than the rest of the “New Testament.” This is not a “new idea” – it’s the original idea, if you are really following Jesus, not Paul. Jesus is God, Paul is not. Jesus is infinitely more important than Paul – both His teachings and His life example. The words of God from the very mouth of God, Jesus, recorded by eyewitnesses, should be our highest authority. (Not the writings of a Pharisee who never knew Jesus during His ministry for 3 and a half years.)

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