Showing posts from December, 2014

Conclusion to Peter's Story, ready for Paul

(10) Peter’s Ministry Last week we saw how God persuaded Peter that Gentiles could also be baptized, receive the Spirit, and become full followers of the Way. How willing do you think Peter was at this point to accept other Christians preaching Christ to the Gentiles in foreign lands? Even today, missionaries sometimes appear to work against each other, because they don’t believe each other’s churches to be truly Christian. What might this do to our witness? And what might it do to our faith? News from Antioch 1.        Read Acts 11:19-22. Why is preaching to Hellenists any different from preaching to Jews? 2.        Why do the church authorities (including, presumably, Peter) need to send out a representative? 3.        Read Acts 11:22-24. What difference would it have made if Barnabas were not “full of the Holy Spirit”? 4.        Read Acts 11:25-26 . Why Saul? Do you think Barnabas is acting with or without authority? 5.        Read Acts 11:27-30 . Wh

Continuing studies in Acts with Peter's Journeys

(9) Peter’s Journeys We all know stories about Saint Peter, from the Gospels, from Acts, from the Epistles, or just from tradition. Before we start this study, which story comes first to your mind? What do you think of when you think about Peter? Ministry Journeys with Jesus Peter traveled with Jesus during his ministry on earth. What Gospel stories come to mind first? 1.        Peter’s calling. Who led him to Christ? What were Peter’s beliefs then? ( Read John 1:40-41, Matthew 4:18-19 ) 2.        Peter’s faith. Do you remember when Jesus said “On this rock I will build my church”? What was happening then? ( Read Matthew 16:16-18 ) 3.        Peter’s folly. When does Peter seem less than great in the gospels? 4.        Peter, James and John. Why do these three names go together? ( Read Luke 5:8-10, 8:51, 9:28-29 ) Journeys with the resurrected Jesus After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Peter’s name is still prominent 1.        Why might some people sa

Continuing Acts with the Conversion of Saul

(8) The Conversion of Saul The church in Jerusalem entered a time of trial after Stephen’s death, but what do you think was happening elsewhere? Were there believers outside Jerusalem? Were there believers outside Israel? Were there believers outside Judaism even? Today we’re going to look at one rather strident unbeliever, and a miracle that, at least in some people’s eyes, surpassed all the healings performed by apostles to date. Before reading on, what do we remember of Saul’s story? Where does his conversion take place—nearer Jerusalem? Nearer Damascus? And where is Damascus anyway? 1.        Jerusalem: What do we know about Saul, prior to his conversion? a.        Read Acts 7:58. Is it significant that Saul does not take part in the stoning of Stephen? b.       Read Acts 8:3. How is Saul’s behavior different from stoning someone? What does this tell us about Saul? c.        Read Acts 9:1-2. By this point, Peter and John have traveled through Samaria an