One prominent theme of the book of Acts is that of being a witness. See how Paul’s life demonstrates that being a witness precedes the act of witnessing.
– What’s the connection between Acts 1:8 and Acts 28:23?
– What is a witness? Compare a firsthand eyewitness of an accident versus someone who hears about the accident from the evening news.
– Being a witness is different from someone who does witnessing. Explain the distinction (include the topic of identity).
– What is significant about Paul’s conversion in Acts 9? How does it mirror your own salvation? How does this conversion relate to the theme of being a witness?
– We tend to focus on Paul the minister, the church planter, the missionary extraordinaire. We focus on his works and try to imitate what he did. Why do churches like focusing on work? Our training is heavily tilted toward being effective workers and learning witnessing techniques vs. training the people on how to be a witness who hears the voice of the Lord. There is a huge imbalance. Do you agree or disagree?
– When you envision a spiritually mature person in a typical church setting, what comes to mind?
– Our conversion began with hearing God’s voice, yet isn’t it ironic that post-salvation, we rarely train the people of God to continue to hear His voice? What happens when we lose our hunger to hear the voice of God? If the hunger to hear the voice of God is lost, then what will our faith devolve into?
– If you look at the pattern of Paul’s life, in many instances, you see that God spoke first and then obedience happened. Here are some examples:
- God spoke to Cornelius/Peter, then Peter goes to Cornelius’ house (Acts 11);
- God spoke to Agabus, then Christians in Antioch sent relief to Christians in Judea (Acts 11);
- God spoke to set apart Paul and Barnabas, then they left to minister to the proconsul (Acts 13:1-4);
- the Holy Spirit blocked Paul and Timothy from ministering in Asia and Paul receives a Macedonian vision, then they go to Philippi and Lydia is converted (Acts 16:6-10);
- Paul leaves a thriving ministry in Ephesus because the Holy Spirit told him to go to Jerusalem, then Paul obeys and says farewell (Acts 20:18b-23);
- the timing of when Paul goes to Jerusalem was controlled by the Holy Spirit so Paul waited a few days and then left (Acts 21:4);
- the Lord spoke to Paul regarding his future and then this word of the Lord regarding Paul’s future was confirmed by Agabus and then Paul obeys (Acts 21:10-14);
- the Lord gives Paul the next marching orders–after Jerusalem, you need to go to Rome and Paul obeys, appealing to Caesar and eventually getting his wish (Acts 23:11);
- an angel of the Lord reassures Paul while he is on a ship in the middle of a severe storm and then Paul speaks courage to the rest of the crew (Acts 27:22-25)
– Read Acts 28:23-27. Paul shares a prophecy from Isaiah 6. There are 3 groups of people: 1) those who get it, 2) those who get it and continue to get it and 3) those who got it at first but along the way they stopped understanding and stopped perceiving.
– Define the pattern of someone who is a true witness.