BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 12, Day 3: Hebrews 8:1-9:10

Summary of passage:  Our high priest sat down at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in heaven and serves in the sanctuary set up by the Lord.  Earthly priests serve a a sanctuary here on earth that is an exact copy of that one in Heaven.  But Jesus’ ministry is superior and founded on better promises.

God has said He would make a new covenant with the people unlike the covenant He made with our forefathers.  God will put His laws in the minds and hearts of the people and the people will all know Him.  He will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.  God had made the first covenant obsolete by calling this one “new”.

The first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary.  In this tabernacle was a Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, which held the altar of incense and the ark of the covenant.  This ark held the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff, and the stone tablets of the covenant (the ten commandment tablets).

Only the high priest could enter into the inner room and only once a year and never without blood, which he offered for the sins of the people.  This showed that the way into the Most High Place (where God himself dwelled) had not yet been disclosed.  Therefore, the sacrifices were not able to clear the conscious of the worshiper.  They were only external regulations applying until the new order arrived (Jesus).

Questions:

6)  Christ’s ministry is to all on earth from heaven.

7a)  According to Webster’s a covenant is “a usually formal, solid, and binding agreement usually written under seal between two or more parties for the performance of some action.”

My Bible Dictionary lists one whole page on the different covenants but suffice it to say it’s an agreement between two or more parties.

b)  The new covenant lives in the minds and hearts of all people when they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and the Holy Spirit dwells within.  God will be our God, no longer separated from us by men.  He will forgive all our sins.

The old covenant had an intermediary (blood of the old covenant–a sacrificial animal as described in Exodus) between us and God whereby it had to be offered every time in order to be forgiven.  Jesus’ blood forever sealed God’s covenant with us, allowing God to immediately forgive us our transgressions and remember them no more.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  New Covenant

8 )  There were regulations of worship and an earthly sanctuary (the only place where God dwelt) called the Most Holy Place where only a priest with blood could enter into God’s presence once a year to atone for the people’s sins.  This was separated from the rest of the Tabernacle by a curtain.

The way for everyone into the Most High Place (or presence of God) had not yet been made (Jesus’ death).  The gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscious of the worshipper.  They were external regulations that did not affect the internal soul.

I have debated before on this blog how people who died before Christ could not enter Heaven.  They went to a special place and only entered upon Jesus’ death.  You can read about this HERE.

The Old Covenant was not complete.  Not until Jesus declared on the cross was it finished, as indicted when Jesus said, “It is finished.”  John 19:30

Conclusions:  I definitely did not like Question 6 and am unsure how it relates to the rest of the passage.  I’m unsure what BSF is asking by the word “place” so I answered the place is everywhere on earth from heaven.  I really don’t see any child (depending on the age of what a child is these days) coming up to me and asking, “What’s the place of Christ’s ministry?”  I just don’t see this.

Easy lesson for those who understand the differences between the Old and New Covenant.  Probably not so easy for those new to the Word because Hebrews compacts in 10 verses the majority of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (not easy books to understand with all the regulations).

But if you understand this bit in Hebrews you have a good grasp of the major problems with the Old Covenant.

This site lists the differences between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.  Very informative.  Scroll down to the bottom.

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/5808.htm

My favorite is #9.  How before the covenant was written on tablets of stone and now it is written on our hearts.  It’s much more personal, much more intimate, much more powerful and effective.  God’s true love, mercy, and grace.  Perfect!

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BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 11, Day 4: Hebrews 5:11-6:3

Summary of passage:  You (the people who are doubting whether to choose Christianity or Judaism) are slow to learn and need to be taught the elementary truths of God’s word again.  You live on milk and thus are not acquainted with righteousness.  Those on solid food are able to distinguish good from evil.

Let us go on to maturity in Christ’s teachings and truly understand the foundations of repentance from acts that lead to death, faith in God, baptisms, the laying of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

Questions:

9a) Personal Question.  My answer:  Laziness.  Not taking the time to know God and who He is.  He has it all laid out bsin His Word and yet people still don’t read it.  Or they choose not to know.  Following God’s law and God’s will for their life is too hard so they choose the easy way–their way–and not God’s.

Ignorant means lacking the knowledge.  This is something that can be rectified by seeking out the knowledge.  Most never seek.

Romans 1:20:  Men are without excuse for knowing Him since God’s invisible qualities have always clearly been seen.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Immature means lacking complete growth and development.  I think we all all spiritually immature in some ways.  There is always more to know.  We can always be closer to God.  We can always learn more about who He is.

For me, laziness and distractions I guess.  Not a priority.  I could learn more but there’s so much that fills my day.  Devoting more time to seeking, learning, believing, listening, reading, and obeying Him.

10)  The inability to distinguish good from evil and not understanding righteousness.

11) The meat, the heart of God’s teachings–the Bible and understanding it to its fullest

12a)  Repentance from acts that lead to death and faith in God–admitting your sins and asking forgiveness and having faith God will forgive you.  Also having faith in God himself and believing in Him.

Baptisms and the laying on hands–laying on of the hands is a way to connect the message with the messenger.  It must be accompanied by faith in order to have effect.  (Taken from here.)

Baptism is an outward sign that you are now living a Christian life, you have faith in Jesus Christ and believe he died for your sins.

Resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment–Revelation 20 puts together both nicely in terms of the first and second resurrection as well as the final judgment.

There were so many passages to support both resurrection and judgment.  This website here lists most with a great explanation on how the two are connected.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I would say repentance and faith I’m pretty good at.  I’ve been baptized.  Laying on the hands still makes me uncomfortable (I’m not a touchy-feeling type person).  Definitely not resurrection and eternal judgment.  These are all areas of the Bible I have not studied yet but I’d love a Revelation study (hint, hint to BSF!).

Conclusions:  I liked this lesson for making us think about what we each need to work on in terms of our spiritual growth.  Question 12 in and of itself (the basic doctrines) is a lifetime to understand thoroughly and be mature in.

Good reminder we all have areas in which to grow in, we are not perfect, and despite all we may think we know about God, Jesus, and the Bible we definitely don’t know it all.  I would say we’re no where near.

End Note:  I did a post on which is better:  knowing or not knowing, in terms of my dilemma with homeschool.  You can read it here but it applies to everything in life.

I never want to be ignorant.  I hate that.  I want to know everything, especially when it comes to God.  That’s why we are all in BSF, right?  We are all searching and yearning to know Him.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 9, Day 5: Hebrews 2:1-4

Summary of passage:  We must pay more careful attention to God’s gift of Salvation and the Holy Spirit lest we drift away.

Questions:

10a)  To pay more attention to what we have heard (Bible and God) so that we do not drift away.

b)  That Jesus is our salvation

11)  Everything in our culture entices us to drift away.  Turn on the TV and you see sex, drugs, and evil as glorified.  Jesus is never mentioned (unless you’re on a Christian station or movie) and has been banned in most places (schools, etc) and labeled as not politically correct.  Nothing in our culture helps us hold onto the gospel.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He showed His love when He sent His son to die for us so we can be with Him and when He granted us the Holy Spirit within.  I can try to remember this daily and be grateful for it even when I have no gratitude in my heart for anything around me.  I can never give up hope that this too shall change and hold onto God’s promises with everything I have.

Conclusions:  I’m really not for sure what Lesson 9 in Hebrews has to do with the Acts of the Apostles.  Nothing written here has been proven to be written by one of the Apostles we are studying.  I no where near filled up all the white space.  I’m thinking this is a filler lesson in my opinion. Not to dismiss it’s message; it’s one we all need reminding of.  I’m just wondering how this fits into the study of Acts.

Question 11 was just depressing for me as an American to think about. How our culture is so anti-Christ.  I found nothing positive in the mainstream culture.  Nothing.  I’m hoping other cultures are not this way but I don’t know since all I know is mine.  Maybe I’m too pessimistic but this has been my experience recently.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 8, Day 4: Acts 15:13-35

Summary of passage:  James tells the Jerusalem Council that Peter’s words are in accordance with God’s word found in Amos 9:11-12 that he quotes.  James agrees they should not make it hard for the Gentiles (whom God has accepted) to turn to God and they should suggest they follow some of Moses’ laws such as abstaining from food polluted by idols, sexual immorality, and from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

The Council chooses some of their own men (Judas and Silas) to accompany Paul and Barnabas back to Antioch to give this agreement.  They send a letter with them and the people were glad to read its encouraging message.  Judas and Silas encouraged them and after a time they returned to Jerusalem.  Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch to preach the Good News.

Questions:

9a)  James suggests that circumcision not be made a requirement but instead make certain suggestions to live by:  abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals, and from blood.  They chose some of their own men (Jews), Judas and Silas, to accompany Paul and Barnabas to verify this is a decree from both sides.

b)  On the words of the prophets found in Amos 9:11-12

10a)  Judas and Silas

b)  It gave credibility to Paul and Barnabas that all were in agreement on what the letter said.  It encouraged the church people in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia and strengthened them.

11a)  It avoided a potential rift in the new faith which very well might have caused separate religions (which happened anyways as in all the denominations and faiths we see today) but it provided some stability and harmonized beliefs so that the early church could continue to grow.  It confirmed that we are saved by grace and faith in Jesus alone and not by conformance to any laws.

However, some scholars argue this may have been the beginning of where Jewish Christians began to separate from the new Christians and retain their old beliefs.

Whatever the case, this compromise allowed the gospel to spread without major defects and all out condemnation on either side.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Fear of rejection and criticism.

Conclusions:  Great history lesson for us history buffs in terms of the new faith.  Also, great lesson on compromise and coming to terms that both sides can agree on.  Both sides came to the table, brought their major concerns in an amenable way, and produced results.  Wish we’d see more of that in today’s political arena.

End Note:  Great site that explains the Jerusalem Council along with references to the Judaizers point of view:

http://bible.org/seriespage/jerusalem-council-gospel-defined-and-defended-acts-151-35

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 6, Day 2: 2 Corinthians 11:23-12:12

Summary of passage:  Paul is answering his critics who are jealous and trying to discredit him.  He says he is a servant of Christ and more.  He was worked harder, been in prison, flogged, and exposed to death again and again.  From the Jews he has been flogged five times.  He was beaten with rods three times, stoned, shipwrecked, and drifted at sea.  He has been constantly running from danger: bandits, rivers, Jews, Gentiles–everywhere he is wanted.

He has been sleep deprived, hungry, thirsty, cold and naked.  Plus, he is concerned for the church.  Yet he does not feel weak.  Yet he boasts of his weaknesses not strengths.  Paul has endured all of this for Christ, which the other false apostles have not.  God knows he is telling the truth.

He knows a Christian (Paul is speaking of himself here) who has been to paradise and heard things he cannot tell (Paul had a vision basically).  Yet Paul will not boast over these revelations like some are and God has given him a thorn in his flesh that torments him and reminds him God is bigger.  God’s grace is sufficient and His power lies in weaknesses.  Being dependent on God makes Paul (and us) stronger in the end than our weaknesses.

Questions:

3)  Been in prison, flogged, on the verge of death (Verse 23); 5 times he’s been given 39 lashes (24); 3 times beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, drifted at sea (25); in danger from rivers, bandits, Jews, Gentiles–everyone (26); been hungry, thirsty, cold, naked (27).

4a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God and His grace is greater than any physical suffering here on Earth.  Suffering is nothing when compared to God’s gift to us.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Be more grateful for all my blessings which far outweigh my “sufferings”.  Everything is for God’s glory

c)  He reluctantly “boasted” over all he suffered for Christ and he recognizes that in his weaknesses he is strong.  Others probably thought their lot in life not so bad when compared to Paul’s.  Paul does a great job of illustrating his life:  even with all of these things that have happened to him he is still here–living, breathing–and doing God’s work.  And God is the one who has enabled all of this.

Conclusions:  Paul’s life is a great illustration of what the early Christians endured so almost 2000 years later we can worship in peace.  We have life easy in comparison.  We’re not flogged, stoned, or beaten with rods (nor can we be legally).  Not everyone is against us because of our faith.  We are not a minority fighting against a majority who want to kill us.

If you have nothing else to be grateful for today, be grateful for our freedom of religion and worship as granted in the First Amendment in the Constitution.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 2: Acts 3-4

Summary of passages:  Acts 3:  Peter and John were heading to the temple to pray when they ran into a crippled beggar.  He asked them for money and Peter exclaimed, “Look at us!”  The beggar did and Peter said he would give the man what he had and told him to walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  He pulled him to his feet and the beggar began to jump around and praise God.  The people who saw the beggar were filled with awe at what had happened to him.

All the people were astonished and came running to Peter and John.  Peter asks them why they stare at them as if they were the ones to heal the man.  It was through Jesus, the one you disowned and killed and God raised again, by faith in Jesus that this man walks.

God fulfilled his prophecies.  Repent, turn to God so your sins can be wiped clean.  Jesus will remain in heaven until the time of restoration.  Peter quotes Moses and Abraham who spoke of Jesus, telling the people to listen and turn from your wicked ways.

Acts 4:  The priests and the Sadducees arrest Peter and John because they were teaching people Jesus rose from the dead.  But many heard and more were converted.

The next day the pair was brought before the Sanhedrin (a group resembling the group Jesus was brought before) and asked by what power they healed.  Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks the truth, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ whom you killed that this man is healed.  Salvation is found only in Jesus.

The learned men were astonished these so-called unschooled, ordinary men could heal.  They could do nothing since everyone had seen the man healed.  The Sanhedrin want to stop them from speaking in Jesus’ name but when they asked Peter and John to stop, they refused. Reluctantly, the two were let go since they could not deny a miracle had taken place.

Peter and John returned and prayed, saying “God, you made it all; you proclaimed through David how the rulers gather against you but they did what you had decided beforehand.  So enable us to speak your word with boldness and to heal through Jesus.  God filled them with the Holy Spirit.

All the believers shared their possessions.  The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of Jesus.  No one went without.

Questions:

3)  1) You must have faith to give faith.  Peter says, “What I have I give you.” (Acts 3:6)  Peter takes the man by the hand and he walks.  Peter had faith in Jesus and gave it to the man.

2) Once you have faith you must use it and proclaim it.  “He jumped to his feet and began to walk.  He walked, jumped, and praised God.” (Acts 3:8)  Once Jesus is in your heart you must use it to follow God’s plan for you.  John 10:10  “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

3) “Faith comes from hearing the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17  Peter heals the man in the name of Jesus.  When  you hear or read the word of God you are healed in many ways just like this man was when he heard the name of Jesus.

4) From Ephesians 2:8, God’s grace saves us and the Holy Spirit prompts us to do good works.  The crippled beggar was healed because God chose to heal him through his grace.  The beggar believed and Peter believed and God chose to reward them because He loved them and loves us.

4a)  The name of Jesus is powerful.  It heals (3:6).

Jesus is referred to as God’s servant (3:13); the Holy and Righteous One (3:14); the author of life (3:15); Peter explains “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given complete healing” (3:16); God’s holy servant (4:27, 30)

b) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (4:12)

5) The were astonished and confounded how unschooled, ordinary men could perform such miracles.  They had been with Jesus and performed an indisputable miracle.  All the rulers could do was threaten them.  They could not harm them for they were now loved by the people.

6a)  They praised God and listed his accomplishments (“you made the heaven and the earth and the sea”).  They quoted God’s words (Psalm 2:1,2).  They told God what was happening through telling him the travesties that were occurring against him and Jesus (conspiring against him).  They recognized it was God’s will and said so (verse 28). Finally, they asked for what they wanted (consider the threats and stretch out your hand and perform miracles in Jesus’ name).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m trying to say “your will, not mine” more.  I praise God for His goodness and His goodness in my life.  Then ask for what I want in a humble way if it is God’s will and in His timing.

7)  They shared what they had with others and each had a good heart (one for God).  They testified to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and much grace was showered on them.  No one was in need for those that had gave when needed or gave to those who could give to those needy.

Conclusions:  Challenging lesson that’s for sure.  Question 3 I think will get a lot of you thinking.  I also liked the prayer model.  It’s something we all know but it’s hard to remember in the rush we have in our lives to take the time and pray properly when we do pray.

That being said, I think ultimately God doesn’t care how you pray.  Even if it’s just, “God, help me” it’s something, which is better than nothing.  For God knows your heart and what you mean even when you don’t or can’t say it.

I enjoyed the various names Jesus is called.  It’s helpful for me to remember exactly what he has done for us. Sometimes the word Jesus is not enough.  He’s talked about so often we can become immune almost to his power. The phrases “God’s holy servant” and “author of life” emphasizes just exactly who Jesus is and the power he has in our lives.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 2, Day 3: Acts 2:14-21 and Joel 2:28-32

Summary of passage:  Peter stood up the with the Eleven Apostles and told the confused crowd: we (the 120 and them) are not drunk.  Listen to Joel’s words:  God will pour out His Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, the young men will see visions, old men will dream, the servants will prophesy and have the Spirit as well.  Wonders will appear in the heaven and signs will appear on earth such as blood, fire, and smoke.  The sun will be dark and the moon to blood before the day of the Lord when everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.

Questions:

5a)  They stood up with Peter as he spoke.

b)  I don’t like how this question is phrased at all.  It implies that  we don’t stand up with our family, church, or business.  This is a matter of English grammar.  The question would be better if stated “If you followed the example of the Eleven disciples what difference would it make in your family, church, or business?”  Subtle but a big difference.

My answer:  Obviously, unity is better than being alone.  But it also depends on the matter you are standing behind. You stand behind those whom you believe are right.  You don’t stand by those whom you believe are wrong.  My answer would depend on what exactly I’m called on to support.

Again, a matter of grammar and what this question is asking.  It seems like everyone’s answer would be the same here so not sure what BSF is trying to accomplish with this.

6) The last days begin with Jesus’ death as this ushers in and makes possible the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Joel is speaking of after Jesus has arisen into Heaven then the Spirit will be outpoured.

7) The Spirit will be poured out on all people.  Everyone will prophesy, see visions, and dream.  God will show wonder in heaven and give signs on Earth (blood, fire, and billows of smoke).  Sun will turn to darkness and the Monn to blood.

8 ) It’s for everyone who accepts Christ as their Savior.  Romans 10:11-13  Paul is speaking.  “As the Scripture says (Isaiah 28:16) ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.  For there is no difference between Jes and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”

9) The Second Coming of Jesus who will judge all mankind and deliver the remnant.

Revelation 6: 12-17:  “…the sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned red, and the stars in the sky fell to the earth…For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Matthew 24:29-31:  “…the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken (Matthew quoting Isaiah 13:10; 34:4)…At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and…they will see the Son of Man coming….”

1 Thessalonians 5:2:   “…the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

Conclusions:  You can almost feel Peter endeavoring to make the people understand the significance of what has just happened; the passion in his voice; the excitement he is fighting to contain; the anger from being called a drunk. He quotes Joel, an Old Testament prophet, almost as an attempt to prove he’s not making this stuff up.  Great study of Joel as well.

End Note:  This site lists all of the places in the Bible where “the day of the Lord” is said:  http://www.gotquestions.org/day-of-the-Lord.html

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11

Summary of passage:  Jesus gives the disciples a command to not leave Jerusalem until they have received the gift from His Father, which is the Holy Spirit.  The disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel and Jesus says it is not for them to know the Father’s timing; it is for them to be witnesses for him in Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Then Jesus was taken up before their eyes into heaven.  Two men in white suddenly appeared next to the disciples and said this same Jesus will come back again in the same way you have seen him ascend.  (Basically, quit gawking and start talking!  You have much work to do!).

Questions:

8 ) Yes.  Before Jesus, man has always been separated from God by man’s sin.  Jesus enables man to be with God because Jesus has taken our sin upon himself.  Therefore, we must have the Spirit of Christ within us in order to be with God (Summarization of Romans 8: 1-9).  If we receive Christ, we receive his Spirit and we become alive with righteousness (Romans 8:10).  This Spirit is what allows us to share in Christ’s glory (Romans 8:17).

1 Corinthians 12:13 says everyone drinks of the same Spirit (God does not discriminate).

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says God put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit and as a seal of ownership, claiming us as His.

Galatians 4:6 says 2 Corinthians basically and says this Spirit cries out to God as our father.

9) According to Webster’s dictionary, baptized means “to purify or cleans spiritually” or to “give a name to or christen”.  [Notice Christ in christen]. Fill means to spread through; to possess and perform the duties of; to make full; to place a person in.

Baptism to me usually is one act.  It takes place once.  We ask Jesus into our hearts.  Bam!  He’s there.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit to me means having the Spirit always present. Ephesians 5:18 says don’t be drunk on wine but be drunk on the Spirit.

The difference is subtle.  You can be baptized with the Spirit but then lead an ungodly life (but still going to Heaven).  Or you can be filled with the Spirit all the days of your life and live a life as Jesus would (as humanly possible) and still go to Heaven.  It’s in the application.

I love the Stephen example (Acts 6:3-4).  I’m assuming all the brothers were baptized with the Holy Spirit.  But the Seven were chosen because they were full of the Spirit.  Stephen is described as such twice in this example.  So there was something about Stephen that made him stand out and I believe it was because he lived his life with the Spirit (God and Jesus) as his guide.  They walked in the ways of the Spirit.

10a)  Proof of power was when the Holy Spirit descends on them and Jesus commanded the disciples to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  As a disciple of Christ, I can choose to walk in his ways and live my life according to the Bible’s commandments and be an example to others; a witness to those who do not know Him and share the Good News to those I meet.

11a)  I think they were stunned, shocked, awe-struck, bewildered, and amazed that all the prophecies had come true.  Could this really be happening? they might have thought.  Am I really seeing Jesus, the one and only Jesus, ascend into Heaven?

They might have been sad to see Jesus go–a man they had spent the better part of three years following, living, and breathing with every day and every hour.  It would be like losing a loved one here at home.  They might have even been in denial Jesus was leaving for good, reluctant to believe their best friend, teacher, and leader was leaving for good.

They were probably confused, befuddled a bit by what was happening; wondering when Jesus would return since they kept asking him; wondering when his kingdom would come and pining for it.  Still waiting for an earthly kingdom when Jesus all along had been talking about a spiritual kingdom.

I’d be speechless.  The two men dressed in white had to break their reverie and bring them back to the present by speaking to them while they were still dazed and bedazzled.

John 16:6-7 Jesus says, “You are filled with grief.  But I tell you the truth:  It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you.”

b) The men tell the disciples not to worry, fret, or be sad because the same Jesus will come back to earth in the same manner as they just witnessed him go.

Conclusions:  I had fun with this lesson.  Finally back in the swing of things. Learning new things (always makes me happy).  Clarified some thoughts in my head.  Couldn’t stop typing really.  The beauty of BSF at work.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 3: Acts 1:4-8

Summary of passage:  Jesus tells his disciples one day after his resurrection and during the 40 day period of his teaching (before he ascends to heaven) to not leave Jerusalem to preach the Good News but to wait to be baptized by the Holy Spirit.  The disciples ask Jesus if he is going to restore the kingdom of Israel and Jesus basically says it’s not for you to know the time but it is for you to be his witnesses to the world.

Questions:

6)  To be baptized with the Holy Spirit

7a)  Before the Holy Spirit dwelled within Jesus.  When Jesus left earth, He asked God to imbibe the disciples with the Holy Spirit–to be with them and in them.  John 16:13-15

b)  Yes.  God can be with people even if they don’t believe in Him.  He is with everyone.  He is prodding people to accept Him.  In you is when you have accepted Christ as your Savior and He lives within you.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  In you.  God would describe it the same way.

Conclusions:  Short lesson but to the point:  God made sure the disciples had the Holy Spirit in them before they went out to represent Him to the world.  This shows to me the importance of God dwelling within us as we represent God in our lives every day.

It’s not enough to have God with you.  Everyone has that.  But God wants to be inside of all of us.  To be a part of us.  As His desire in the Garden.  To be with man fully.  Not only to walk with man all of the days of his life but to be a part of who we are all the days of our lives.