Friday, September 16, 2011

BSF LESSON / ACTS / LESSON 1 / ACTS 1:1-26

(These are my own opinions, and not to be considered "correct" answers to BSF questions.)

DAY ONE Read all lesson notes and Scripture references.
1. Every known nation during this time was reached for God.  How more important is it now in these days nearer the end of the world?  I feel convicted to get off my rear end, away from my safety net and out from underneath my covers and start learning to reach those people lost because they are living far from Christ.
2.  * There is a difference between accepting knowledge of Jesus and the acceptance of his forgiveness and consequent indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
* The key to living a powerful, fruitful Christian life is to be filled continuously with the Holy Spirit.  It’s a privilege.

DAY TWO Acts 1:1-4, Luke 24:25-27, 36-53
3.  a.  Acts 1:2 – He gave his apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit.
1:3 – He proved to them that he was alive.
1:4 – He told them not to leave Jerusalem until ready
Luke 24:26-27 – He explained all the scriptures concerning himself and regarding his foretold suffering described in Moses and the prophets.
24:36 – He appeared to them in physical form and ate with them.
24.45 – He opened their minds to understand the scriptures
24:49 – He sent the Holy Spirit to fill them and told them not to leave until they had received this gift.
24:51 – He blessed them and returned to heaven.
b.  By his living word.  If I study and reflect upon it, he will speak to me.
c.  Just this lesson has me learning more of what was unclear to me and compels me to read and learn more, seeking what God has to say to me.
4.  Luke 24 – There were many proofs, but I’m thinking this answer requires physical signs.
24:3 – Tomb was empty
24:15 Jesus appeared to two followers walking down the road from Jerusalem
24:17 – He spoke to them as they walked.
24:27 – Jesus taught them the scriptures concerning himself and his crucifixion.
24:29 – He went home with them.
24:30 – He blessed the bread and ate with them.
24:31 – He disappeared instantly as it became near to them this man was Jesus.
24:36 – Jesus appeared and spoke “Peace be with you.”
24:39 – His hands and feet were real, he was not a ghost.
24:43 – He ate fish.
24:49 – Jesus sent the Holy Spirit and game them instructions to stay in the city until the Holy Spirit would come and fill them with power from heaven.
24:51 – He ascended into heaven.
John  21:6 – He filled the disciples fishing nets with fish.
21:13 – He made breakfast with them and broke bread and ate fish.
5.  To prepare their hearts to receive the miracle that he was really alive and to be ready to receive his instructions about spreading the living word.

DAY THREE Acts 1:4-8
6.  To receive the power of the Holy Spirit upon them so they could be witnesses.
7.  a.  Jesus was with them before, but now the Holy Spirit lived in them.
b.  Yes, because God is with everyone, even those who are non-believers.  Just because someone doesn’t acknowledge the presence of God, doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist.
c.  I am trying to be “in you” but lately it seems I am “with you”.  I am a believer, but circumstances keep me (no excuse) from fully devoting myself to God.

DAY FOUR Acts 1:4-11
8.  Yes, Acts 1:5 states “you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 
Romans 8:9-10 - states that the Holy Spirit controls us by virtue of living in us.
8:14-16 – God’s spirit joins our spirit when we are adopted into his family.
1 Corinthians 12:13 – Jesus and his church “us” are one body, one spirit when we are baptized in the spirit, by accepting Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit.  Every human is capable of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.  It is available to all, Jews, Gentiles, free men and slaves.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – God has placed the Holy Spirit in every human heart; that is how he identifies us.  Animals don’t have this gift.  We are guaranteed the ability to call upon the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 4:6-7 – By virtue of making us his children, God has placed the spirit in our hearts ready to be called upon when we call out to God, our Abba Father.  This is our inheritance.
9.  I believe the spirit is housed in us, from our birth.  When we call upon Jesus, and accept him as our Savior, we are “filled” with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit comes out to play, to be a part of our everyday lives.  We are essentially “baptized” when we are asked to have our sins forgiven and our souls cleansed.  One cannot happen without the other.
10.  a.  The disciples would be witness to the Holy Spirit coming upon them in order to help spread the word about Jesus, as our Savior, throughout the world.  When they received the Holy Spirit, they would receive the power to evangelize.
b.  I am called to help spread the word of Jesus and help others become followers of Christ.  I can lead by example and compassion, if not able to travel the world, or even my own city, in His name.
11.  a.  I can’t imagine what they were thinking.  I would be shocked, amazed and left speechless.  I would have been thrilled to see the prophecies spoken about in the Word of God were coming true and it would give me strength to move on to the command left by Jesus, to spread the Word. 
b.  Seeing the two white-robed men would have just added to the shock value of the ascension of God, but it would have been comforting to see that Jesus had really returned to Heaven and there was a promise he would return.

DAY FIVE Acts 1:12-26
12.  a.  Acts 1:13-14 – Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), and Judas (son of James).  Eleven in all.
b.  I think they were praying for strength to accomplish the command Jesus set forth for the, that of spreading the gospel.  They probably prayed for guidance, protection and wisdom for their journey.
13.  a.  I believe in a voting system, not casting lots.  Acts 2:23 states that God’s prearranged plan (Jesus being betrayed) was carried out.  I truly believe that God decides who our leaders will be, according to his prearranged plan.  That doesn’t mean he doesn’t need us to vote or pray for guidance.  We are disciples in his plan being carried out.
b.  – No, because we cannot truly fulfill God’s plan of spreading the gospel if we don’t actually believe it and seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in doing so.  Jesus chose the disciples from the beginning, after they accepted him as their Savior.  But further instruction states that they were to not leave on their missions until the gift of the Holy Spirit came upon them.  I do not think a non-believer can truly “work” for God.  They can help the church in a variety of ways, and they are still part of God’s plan, but if they are truly going to do the work of the Lord, they need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and constantly be seeking spiritual guidance along their journey. Non-believers do not see this as a way of life.  As an example, a non-believer accountant can certainly balance the church’s checkbook, but can they truly foresee the budget needs of a church without first seeking the God to guide his wisdom to work for the fulfillment of God’s plan?  I don’t think so. 

DAY SIX Acts 1
14.  Application:  I was called back into youth ministry this school year, though I thought that phase in my life had passed.  I will continue to seek guidance and ask for wisdom as I lead my group of 6th grade girls through their middle school years along with my two co-leaders.  I need to replenish my soul at the well, on a daily basis, if I am to accomplish what God has planned for my group.  I cannot be successful in this if I am not walking with God.

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