Reach Sunday Study Questions – 11.7.21
For the Worship of God
Acts 5:12-16; 1 Pet. 2:9
INTRODUCTION: One of the essential and historical convictions of the Church is that the gospel needs to be declared to people who have not heard it yet. That conviction has been evident from the very start of the Church and through the last 2000 years of its history. In fact, it is a deep conviction of our church to this day. George Peters explains why this conviction is a necessity when he says, “Christian missions makes sense only in the light of an existing abnormality or emergency in the conviction that an answer to a remedy for such a malady is available… The emergency is the fact of sin in the world, which has over powered and infected the human race and which threatens the very existence of mankind there would be no need for Christian missions if sin were not a serious reality… Sin made salvation necessary in sin makes Christian missions necessary.” We must start, though, that missions only exists because God sought out sinful man first. And his seeking of man doesn’t just result in man’s salvation but in the reorientation of man’s desire to glorify God. In that reorientation, man is brought into the greatest purpose for his life, to worship and enjoy God. God’s greatest desire is to be known, and man’s greatest good is to know God.
GETTING STARTED – As your group begins, share your experiences with missions or missionaries. What have you learned about God through your experiences on trips or interactions with missions partners? Or, talk about the ways that God sought you out even before you knew you needed him.
IN THE WORD – Below are some references to how God has purposely made himself known to man. Begin with 1 Peter 2:9 and discuss what stands out to you about Peter’s words. How do they inform your view of yourself, the church, missions, and your neighbors?
- 1 Pet 2:9 – “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Next, take some time to read through the following passages and make notes about how God has made himself known, what surprises you, and what encourages you about God’s seeking nature.
- How God has made himself known:
- Known before sin to Adam & Eve. (Gen. 1&2)
- God exists in relationship to himself through the Trinity. (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)
- Out of an overflow of love and this sense of relationship within himself, he created man to know him in relationship and experience his goodness.
- He created a good world, not just one that was livable or tolerable.
- Known to individuals (Noah & Job).
- Gen 6:8 “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”
- Job 1:1 “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.”
- Known through Abraham’s family. à You will be a blessing.
- Gen. 12:2-3 “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
- Known through the Exodus. à Cloud & Fire
- Exod. 13:21-22 “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.”
- Known through the Judges.
- Jud. 2:18 “Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them.”
- Known through the Kings & Prophets.
- 1 Sam. 8:21-22 – “And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.”
- Isa 1:1 – “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”
- Isaiah operates as a representative of God to the people.
- Fully known through Jesus. à John 1:14
- “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
- Continues to make Himself known through the church.
- This is something we have seen over and over again in the book of Acts.
- This is what we see happening in Acts 5:12-16
- 13 & 14 – “None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,”
- Known before sin to Adam & Eve. (Gen. 1&2)
 George Peters, Biblical Theology of Missions, p. 15.