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Sermon Series Autumn 2007

Christian Discipleship
A Study of Acts 2 v 42-47

 

42:  They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the
        breaking of bread and to prayer.

43:   Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by
        the apostles.

44:   All the believers were together and had everything in common.

45:   Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

46:   Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in
        their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,

47:   praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their
        number daily those who were being saved.

 

they devoted themselves to…………….


Week 1:    Sunday 7 October   the apostles teaching……
                  Readings:     Galatians 1 v 6-24 and Acts 2 v 42-47

Week 2:    Sunday 14 October  and to the fellowship…..
                  Readings:     Ephesians 2 v 11-22 and Acts 2 v 42-47

Week 3:    Sunday 21 October  to the breaking of bread and to prayer
                  Readings:      Psalm 25 and Luke 22 v 14-20

Week 4:    Sunday 28 October    Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and
                   miraculous signs were done by the apostles….

                  Readings:     1 Corinthians 12 v 1-13 and Acts 2 v 42-47

Week 5:    Sunday 4 November     All the believers were together and had everything in
                   common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

                  Readings:     Psalm 133 and Philippians 2 v 1-11

Week 6:    Sunday 18 November   and the Lord added to their number daily those who were
                   being saved.

                  Readings:     Acts 2 v 42-47 and Mark 4 v 1-9, 26-32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Study resources

The following study guides have been prepared for use by Home Groups, or individuals, to help with a more in depth exploration of the weekly teaching. If you have any questions about these studies which you would like answered, please email them to vicar@st-barnabas-cray.org.uk and we will try to respond promptly.

 

Week 1:    They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching

Read Acts 2 v 42

  1. What do you think Luke is getting at when he writes "they devoted themselves… …."? 
    (the translation from the Greek used here is "they continued steadfastly")
  2. What was the source of the apostles teaching? – read what Paul says in Galatians 1 v 6-24
  3. Where do we, in 2007, find the record of the apostles’ teaching?
  4. What might it mean for us to devote ourselves to the apostles' teaching? How would such devotion work out in practice in our lives as individuals and as the St Barnabas branch of the body of Christ?
  5. What are we already doing and what might we need to do that we are not doing at the moment?
  6. A church based on the love of God and the truth of his Word. How do we express this statement that is on our church logo?

[ Back to Summary ]

 .       

Week 2:   They devoted themselves to… and to the fellowship

Read Acts 2 v 42 - 47

   1.  From the context in Acts what do you think Luke means when he talks about “the fellowship”?

Read Ephesians 2 v 11 - 22

   2.  What do we learn in this reading about the basis of the Christian fellowship?

   3.  What is the difference between relating to someone as part of the fellowship and simply being
        friends with them?

   4.  In Acts 2 v 42 - 47 how did the commitment of the first Christians to the fellowship show itself?

   5.  How can we reflect that sort of commitment in the life of St. Barnabas?

   6.  How can we ensure that both newcomers to St Barnabas and those who have been part of the
       church for a long time, find appropriate forms of giving and receiving encouragement and
       support, particularly if they find it difficult to get to our midweek or weekend activities?

[ Back to Summary ]

 

       

Week 3:   They devoted themselves to… the breaking of bread and to prayer

Read Luke 22 v 14-20

1.    We learn from Acts and other sources that for the early Christians the breaking of bread was
        something central to their existence as a community.

        a.   Why do you think this was the case for the early church?
        b.   What is the evidence that this is still true for us?
        c.    If we never celebrated Holy Communion again, why would we miss it?

2.     What can we learn from the practice in the Early Church of having regular communal meals?

Read Psalm 25

3.    How does this prayer differ from or reflect the way we pray at home?

4.    In Acts 4 v 31 we read:
        "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with
        the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly."

        What do we expect to happen when we meet with others to pray?

[ Back to Summary ]

Week 4:    Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the
                 apostles …

Read Acts 2 v 42 & 43

  1. In verse 43 Luke says the people were ‘filled with awe’. Other translation use the word ‘fear’ instead of ‘awe’. Why do you think they reacted like this?
  2. How might this reaction (awe or fear) have been different among the new believers and the onlookers?
  3. Think of situations in which your reaction to God’s activity has been awe or fear. Why did it happen?

Read 2 Corinthians 12 v 12 and Acts 3 v 1-10

    4.    Why do you think these wonders and miraculous signs were important?

Read 1 Corinthians 12 v 1-13

    5.     Look at the range of spiritual gifts mentioned. What makes them belong together? How should
            we expect to recognise them among the congregation of St. Barnabas?

[ Back to Summary ]

 

Week 5:    All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and
                 goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

        Read Psalm 133

  1. In verse 1 we read "how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" 
    What does it mean to say that Christians should have unity with each other?
    Does this mean we should all be the same?

    Read Philippians 2 v 1-11

  2. What do you think Paul means when he says that we should be "like-minded" (NIV)
    "of one mind" (RSV) "thinking the same thing" (Greek)?
    Does this mean we always have to agree with each other?

    Read Acts 2 v 44, 45
  3. What do you think Luke means when he says in v 44 that the believers ... had everything in common?
  4. What do you think motivated the Early Church to behave in this way?
  5. How can we, in our own situations, express the commitment to care for and serve one
    another that is reflected in v 44 and 45?

  6. Some people have suggested that what is described in Acts 2 was a short lived experiment limited to the earliest days of the church. Whilst others have seen it as providing model for how all subsequent generations of Christians should behave. Which of these views do you find most convincing and why?

[ Back to Summary ]

 

Week 6:    "...and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

                Read Acts 2 v 42-47

  1. Given the context of v 47 in Acts 2, what do you think were the reasons that the first Christians were praising God?

  2. Do you think we should expect to have `favour with all the people' in St. Paul's Cray today? Why, or why not?

  3. Why is it an encouragement to read that `the Lord added to their number daily'?

  4. If it is the Lord who adds people to his Church, what, if anything, is our part in the process?

    Read Mark 4 v 1-9 and 26-32

  5. The story of the sower is very well known, but what might it mean for us at St Barnabas in this coming year? What might our ears need to hear (v 9)?

  6. The fascinating image of a tiny seed growing to a big plant feels very comforting but what about the issue of the birds o` the air who will perch in its shade? (v 32) What might that be about and what relevance does it have for St. Barnabas at its current stage in life?

 

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