Sent To Bear Witness
INTRODUCTION: If there is one verse that will set the stage for everything that will unfold in the book of Acts, it is 1:8. Here Luke records Jesus’ words and instructions to the disciples. They are to wait for the Holy Spirit, and when he comes, he will fill them with power to be witnesses of the resurrection everywhere they go (Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth). For you and me, we are not witnesses in the same way that the Apostles were. They saw the resurrection with their own eyes. For you and me, we are witnesses to the power of the resurrection in our lives. And, we are to talk about it! The reality is that because of the resurrection; we are different people. We’ve changed and been given new life! That life is what a hurting a broken world so desperately needs. Let’s not be quiet about it. Again, if the resurrection has changed our lives, we can’t keep quiet about it.
GETTING STARTED – In your group, share your testimony. Your testimony is simply your story about coming to faith. No one has a more exciting or more important story. Yes, our stories are different, and some contain deep experiences of the pain of brokenness. But, all salvation stories stand on equal footing; we are all sinners saved by grace because of God’s goodwill. Apart from that, none of us, no matter how moral we are or were, have any hope. When thinking about your story, who are the key people, and what are the key places? Also, what has changed in your heart and mind since you started following Jesus? I.e., How are you different?
IN THE WORD – Let’s dig back into the passage. It is important to strengthen our muscles in reading God’s Word. On Sunday, we walked through the passage in the sermon. Hopefully, that helped you to see the landmarks of the passage with fresh eyes. Now, with your group, go back through it and see what God is saying to you specifically.
First, before you read the passage, take a moment to ask God’s Spirit to quiet your mind and heart and to illuminate the text to you. Second, read the passage aloud to the group. Then, follow the simple method below. (O.P.A)
Observe: Make 8-10 observations from the passage. Pay close attention to observe and note repeated words and phrases, names, places, and themes.
Principles: From your list of observations, what patterns or big ideas do you see emerging? Can you distill it down into 2-4 big idea truths?
Apply: Moving from your list of principles, it is time to apply God’s Word. Remember, we believe that God’s Word is living and active and that it can change the way we live Monday- Friday. What is one tangible way to apply a truth from your list above?