THE SOVEREIGN EVANGELIST
STUDY FIVE 10/09/2010
ACTS|OF|THE|APOSTLES 1. The Ascension of Christ (Acts 1:1-11) 2. The Holy Spirit for Us (Acts 2:1-41) 3. Handling Hostility (Acts 4:1-22, 5:17-32) 4. Our Hardened Hearts (Acts 6:8-15, 7:37-8:1) 5. The Sovereign Evangelist (Acts 8:1-40)
On the following scale, mark where you personally and honestly sit. Share as a group. God has given me the gospel and the Holy Spirit; I need to be proactive in telling others about Jesus.
God is sovereign over everything and everyone; I should be still in that comforting knowledge and wait upon His instruction.
Pray and read Acts 8:1-25 Write a dot point summary of the major events in Acts so far. How far has the gospel of Jesus Christ spread at this point? - Chp 1: Jesus’ ascension and commission to disciples -
Chp 2: Holy Spirit descends, Peter’s sermon, v. 41 – 3000 believers
Chp 3: miraculous signs, healing, Peter continues to preach
Chp 4 & 5: persecution and opposition, Acts 4:4 – 4000 believers
Chp 6 & 7: Stephen’s defence speech and martyrdom (*NB: Stephen’s martyrdom marks a new era in Christianity – before, Judaism and Christianity did not ‘conflict’. Christians still went to the temple and never preached that the people had to leave their Judaism behind, but rather that they needed to accept Jesus as the fulfilment of all that the law and prophets pointed towards. However Stephen’s speech about Israel’s history emphasised the ongoing relationship between God and His people, that if Judaism is thought of only in terms of the temple and the law, then Christianity and Judaism conflict. Jesus has taken this relationship beyond the law/temple, extending it to Gentiles.)
Chp 8: introduction of Saul, more persecution church scatters, Philip takes the gospel to Samaria
Event Now read Acts 8: 26-40 and fill in the following table. (v. 26): angel of the Lord directs List what happens in each verse and tick the appropriate column. (v. 27): Philip follows and meets an Ethiopian eunuch
God’s guidance OR Philip’s response
reading the book of Isaiah in his chariot (v. 28): the Spirit directs Philip
(v. 30): Philip runs to the chariot and asks the question
According to verse 35, Philip evangelised to the Ethiopian eunuch from Isaiah 53:7-8. Read Isaiah 53:5-8. How would you use this passage to share the good news about Jesus with someone you know? Which points would you emphasise? Discuss as a group. The passage is about Jesus, who went without protest as a sheep to the slaughter (v. 7). His life was taken in an unjust and deeply humiliating way for our transgressions and sins (v. 5). By Jesus’ death, we are justified before the eyes of God (v. 11). Jesus was truly the Son of God and his resurrection vindicated him as the one and only saviour that could cleanse us (v. 11- 12). Thus our response should be to repent, receive God’s forgiveness, and, having received the Holy Spirit, rejoice and be baptised. “God is sovereign; let him do the work of evangelism. When God pleases to convert the heathen he will do it without your help.” Discuss this statement with your group. God will ultimately bring about His cause, but that does not mean we can be lazy and idle – the Bible warns against this in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13. We see in this Acts passage that God is the ultimate evangelist – let us not forget that and become entangled in trivial pursuits and corporate dimensions regarding evangelism and missionary work. God chooses Philip, God directs him to the right place, God prepares the Ethiopian and his responsiveness – but Philip acts in accordance with God’s will. God chooses to accomplish His great and divine work through us and we should be carrying it out obediently, faithfully, actively. Am I sensitive to the intersections in my own life? As I travel on the train, bus or plane, am I looking to open up a conversation? Do I see every meeting as an opportunity set up by God? He knows where He will take the conversation. :)
PERSONAL REFLECTION How do you spread the Gospel? “The Bible knows no such thing as a silent Christian. What is on the heart will find its way to the tongue” (Matthew 12:34)
Pick a friend or family member who is unsaved and pray specifically about how you might share the good news with them. Closing Prayer
God has givenme the gospel and the Holy Spirit; I need to be proactive in telling others about Jesus. God is sovereign over everything and e...