Acts Study Questions #6

Kyle Bartholic   -  

To Be Known

Acts 5:12-42

INTRODUCTION:  From the very beginning, God desired to be known. It is why He, out of lavish love, created a good world and created man in His image not only to dwell in this good world but to know and enjoy God’s presence in relationship. However, we know that man rejects God, and we, like Adam, have rejected God. But, there is good news, God still desires to be known by us! And, He has made Himself known and knowable through Jesus! If we really believe that God has raised Jesus, then the question Gamaliel left open, as to whether God is with us or not, has been decided once and for all.[1] And because God is with us, we see the establishment of a new reality in a dangerous place: the power of the living God becoming concrete, definite, undeniable, not simply a matter of a few people telling a very strange story and behaving from time to time as if they were drunk. It is when the church, through prayer and wisdom and often in the teeth of opposition, acts with decisive power in the real world—to build and run a successful school or medical clinic; to free slaves or remit debts; to establish a housing project for those who can’t afford local rents, or a credit union for those ashamed to go into a bank; to enable drug users and pushers to kick the habit and the lifestyle; to see hardened and violent criminals transformed by God’s love—that people will take the message of Jesus seriously. Of course, there will then be opposition because we shall be invading territory that is currently under alternative occupation. But God’s power will be at work, and people will know it.[2] We continue to see God working in powerful ways because God will stop at nothing to make Himself known.


GETTING STARTED – We all have someone in our lives that seems to know us inside and out. In your group, share about the relationship that you felt truly known. Then, talk about if you have ever experienced that with God? Why or why not? What helped you experience it? Or, what seems to be a barrier to God’s presence?

Note: As you dig back into the passage, it can be easy to wonder why God doesn’t move in dramatic ways in our lives, but take time to consider how God has moved. The fact that there is evidence of God’s intervention in your life is an amazing thing! Trace how God has made Himself known and continues to do so.


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?


[1] Tom Wright, Acts for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-12 (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2008), 95–96.

[2] Tom Wright, Acts for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-12 (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2008), 85–86.