bsf acts lesson 1 day 4

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15

Summary of Acts 1:4-11:

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!).

Summary of John 14:1-3:

Jesus assures his disciples he is preparing a place in heaven for them to be with him.

John 14:16-18:

Jesus will ask God to give the disciples the Holy Spirit to be with them instead of him physically to live inside of them.

John 16:12-15:

The Holy Spirit will guide them in what to say and do and bring God and Jesus Glory.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15

8 ) So that the Holy Spirit could come in his place. That way all believers can be with Jesus.

9) “Jesus will come back int eh same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

10) That they would not be alone and forsaken after Jesus left them.

Conclusions to BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15

I would definitely encourage you to look back at the previous Acts study and see the differences. This lesson especially has been vastly modified from when I first did this study the last go-around. Here’s my commentary from back then HERE We had to look up way more Bible verses back in the day.

End Notes to BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15

Acts 1:9-11

Jesus was taken up from them as He blessed them (Luke 24:50). As He slowly disappeared into the sky, surrounded by a cloud they continued to gaze upward.

The cloud of glory (called the Shekinah) that is associated with the presence of God in the Old and New Testaments.

It was important for Jesus to leave His disciples in this manner. He could have simply vanished to heaven and the Father’s presence in a secret sort of way. But by ascending in this manner, Jesus wanted His followers to know that He was gone for good.

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.”

Morgan speculated that the two men were possibly Moses and Elijah. It seems best to say they were angels.

This same Jesus reminds us that the Jesus ascended to heaven and seated at the right hand of God the Father is the same Jesus of the Gospels. He is the same Jesus forever and always.

John verses

This entire focus is being with Jesus again, who is preparing a place out of his great love for us. Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us every day.

bsf acts lesson 1 day 3

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

Summary of Acts 1:4-8:

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.

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

6) “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promied, which you hae heard me speak about.” The Spirit will empower them to be his witnesses in Jerusalem and the entire world.

7a) All the difference. You can do nothing without Christ.

b) Personal Question. My answer: God has guided my every step and gotten me to this place in my life right now where I can live the life He has for me.

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

Great emphasis on the fact that we can do nothing without God, and that God does not leave us to our own devices to do His will. He empowers us through the Holy Spirit with every step we take every day no matter our circumstances.

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

Fun Fact: This is the last time the disciples see Jesus in His physical body, until they went to heaven to be with Him forever.

The disciples had asked when Jesus would restore Israel many times before, but it had a special relevance now. They knew that Jesus had instituted the New Covenant (Luke 22:20). They also knew that the restoration of the kingdom to Israel was part of the New Covenant (as seen in Jeremiah 23:1-8Ezekiel 36:16-30Ezekiel 37:21-28). Jesus tells them it is not for them to know.

Why not reveal God’s plan to the disciples?

  • It was wise for Jesus not to outline His plan over the next 2,000 years. It was good for the disciples to not know that the full restoration of the kingdom to Israel that they hoped would happen soon would not come for some 2,000 years. It might overly discourage them in the work they had to do right then and might make them think less of the aspect of the kingdom of God that was present with them.

The progress of the spread of the gospel message from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and then to the end of the earth becomes the outline of Acts.

  • Acts 1-7 describes the gospel in Jerusalem.
  • Acts 8-12 speak of the gospel in Judea and Samaria.
  • Acts 13-28 tells of the gospel going to the end of the earth.

Jerusalem was where Jesus was executed at the word of an angry mob.

Judea rejected His ministry.

Samaria was regarded as a wasteland of impure half-breeds.

In the uttermost parts of the earth, the Gentiles were seen by some Jews of that day as nothing better than fuel for the fires of Hell.

Yet God empowers all through the Holy Spirit.

bsf acts lesson 1 day 2

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 2: Acts 1:1-4, Luke 24:13-49

Summary of Acts 1:1-4:

Luke (the writer of Acts) tells Theophilus that he previously wrote (in the book of Luke) about Jesus’s actions and teachings up to the day he ascended to Heaven after instructing the apostles through the Holy Spirit.  Jesus gave proofs to the apostles that he was alive after he had been crucified, and Jesus continued to appear before them for 40 days, speaking about God’s kingdom.  On one occasion, Jesus instructed the apostles to not leave Jerusalem until they received the gift God has promised.

Summary of Luke 24:13-49:

Two men were walking along the road to Emmaus when Jesus appeared to them after he was crucified. The men did not recognize Jesus who then told Jesus about his own death. Jesus responded by admonishes them for not believing the prophets when they spoke of Jesus’s death.  Jesus then explains the scriptures (the OT) to them concerning himself (basically, how his life, death, and resurrection crowned centuries of God’s work). Jesus stayed with them, broke bread with them, and he was recognized. However, he disappeared after that. They told the 11 disciples all that had happened.

Jesus then appears before the disciples in Jerusalem. The apostles are frightened and Jesus asks why they don’t believe it’s him.  “Look at my hands and my feet.  It is I…” and Jesus showed his hands and feet where he had been pierced on the cross.  He ate with them and reiterated how every prophecy must be fulfilled from the Old Testament.  Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand how he must suffer, die, and rise again; forgiveness of sins will be preached.  But first, Jesus will send them what God has promised so they must remain in Jerusalem until they have been clothed with power from on high.

Jesus led them to Bethany where he blessed the disciples and arose into Heaven.  The disciples worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem where they remained, praising God at His temple.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 2: Acts 1:1-4, Luke 24:13-49

3) Personally. Jesus appears to his disciples and other believers and continues to teach them and put the pieces of his death together for them.

4) Part personal Question. My answer: Jesus still needed to teach his disciples, and he needed to have proof, or witnesses, that he was risen in the form of testimony. He also needed to explain about the Holy Spirit. I’d want to know when the Second Coming was, and I’d ask about everything else I don’ know!

5) Personal Question. My answer: It’s helpful to know that this life and troubles are temporary, that there is a better place awaiting — a place with God, Jesus, and no evil in the world.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 2: Acts 1:1-4, Luke 24:13-49

Acts opens fairly simply with Luke casually talking about Jesus hanging out with the disciples after his resurrection. No big deal.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 2: Acts 1:1-4, Luke 24:13-49

Yay! First Lesson of the Study of Acts and Letters of the Apostles. So exciting!

Acts 1:1-4:

Luke, the writer of Acts, was a physician (Colossians 4:14), a Gentile, and a devoted follower of Paul (from the text of Acts, and Colossians 4:14, Philemon 24, and 2 Timothy 4:11). That’s about all we know about him.

Theophilus (Greek meaning lover of God) is the person to whom Luke is writing the books of Acts (and the book of Luke previously) to. He could have been a Christian or a Roman official. We don’t know anything else about him, although he may have held office since Luke calls him “most excellent.”

One theory has Acts as a defense book on Paul’s behalf since Luke was with Paul in Jerusalem (Acts 21:17) and went to Rome with him (Acts 27:1).

Fun Fact:  “Ancient books were generally written on papyrus scrolls. It was practical to have a scroll about thirty-five feet in length. When it got any longer it got too bulky to carry around. This physical limitation has determined the length of many books of the Bible.” (Boice) Luke used two scrolls to tell his story, and one we call “The Gospel of Luke” and the other we call “The Book of Acts.”

Acts spans a period of about 30 years, and takes us up to about A.D. 60 or 61, with Paul in Rome waiting to appear before Caesar Nero. This same Nero began his infamous persecutions of Christians in A.D. 64.

Note how Jesus rose and spoke to the disciples with the power of the Holy Spirit.  If the glorified, resurrected Jesus needed and relied on the Holy Spirit, so should we. This will be an on-going theme throughout Acts that we need the Holy Spirit to operate as well.

The Power of the Father (or Holy Spirit) is:

  • Reliable
  • Belongs to all
  • Received by faith
  • Requires patience

Luke 24:13-49:

These 2 anonymous disciples were sad that Jesus had not redeemed Israel. Jesus appeared to set them right. They indeed were redeemed! Jesus teaches them:

  • He had to suffer
  • The cross was necessary
  • The Messiah Moses predicted

God’s word can burn on your heart like it burned on theirs.

Jesus had to ascend to heaven so that confidence would be put in the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit, not in the geographical presence of Jesus.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 5: Acts 1:12-26

Summary of passage:  The Eleven disciples returned to Jerusalem from Mount Olives after witnessing Jesus ascend to heaven.  Along with women, Mary mother of Jesus, and Jesus’ brothers, they prayed constantly.  While waiting for the Holy Spirit to descend upon them, Peter leads the believers (120 in number at this time) in choosing one to replace Judas Iscariot as the Scriptures dictate (Psalm 109:8).  So they choose one who has been with them from the beginning by praying and casting lots.  Matthias is chosen and becomes the new twelfth disciple.

Questions:

12a) The disciples (the Eleven):  Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matther, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas son of James and women, Mary (mother of Jesus), and Jesus’ brothers.  I’m inclined to think the women were the ones who reported Jesus has arisen from the grave like Mary Magdelene).

b) I think they prayed for clarity of what they just witnessed and for its significance; guidance as they go forward; wisdom in decisions and teachings.  Maybe they prayed for the Holy Spirit to come soon.  They prayed for guidance in replacing Judas Iscariot.

I also see this as a sort of grief counseling session: everyone comforting each other (especially Mary and the brothers) in their lose of Jesus, praying for one another to have comfort and peace in knowing Jesus is with His father.  Praying for the strength to carry out their mission in the terrible dangers that would lay ahead in challenging the Roman religion and other religions.

13a)  Yes and no.  Yes:  in prayer.  The apostles prayed first to know God’s will in this decision.  No:  in casting lots.  Casting lots is an Old Testament method to discern God’s will.  This is the Bible’s last mention of this taking place.  After Pentecost, the disciples relied directly on the Holy Spirit for guidance.

My assumption here is since we are now able to speak with God directly we don’t need an outside mechanism (lots or sticks) to tell us.  God tells us now directly.

b)  Great question!  In Acts, we see how Jesus won’t let the disciples leave Jerusalem to begin their work of spreading the Good News until they have received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  So, in this instance, the answer is clearly No.  But should an exception be made to this example because in my mind the disciples were special people.  I would have wanted to be a disciple in another life.

The disciples were Jesus’ chosen representatives and pupils on earth and they were commissioned to begin telling his story.  So I do believe it was necessary for them to have the Holy Spirit since they were the ones first converting people.  People need to see the Holy Spirit inside of the disciples in order to believe them in the beginning.  They had a very special job.

Does this apply in modern society?  The question says “try” to work for God.  I think try is the key here.  My answer is Yes.  I think all people should try to work for God even if they are unbelievers.  We are all called to do God’s work (even those unbelievers.  They just don’t know it).  We have Free Will to either do it or not for which we will be judged later.

Ultimately though if you don’t have the Holy Spirit within you will fail in working for God.  Your work will be meaningless to you and maybe others if God is not the one behind it.

Another point:  in trying to work for God, that person hopefully will accept the Holy Spirit within their lives and thus be a believer and be saved.  So in the effort will come the reward.  You can begin the journey of trying to work for God, accept Him as you realize all God is, and then your work will have meaning.

It could be God’s plan to have a person try so you will see Him and accept Him into your life.

Conclusions:  Awesome lesson.  Great points I had never thought of.  And I learned something new.

I’m the first to admit I had no idea what Pentecost was.  I couldn’t have told you before today.  Pentecost is not something I had ever celebrated in my Christian walk.

Pentecost is a day to celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples after Jesus’ ascent into Heaven, traditionally held on the seventh Sunday after Easter.  Pentecost comes from the Greek word for “fifty” and also is celebrated 50 days after Easter.  This event marks the birth of the Christian Church as now the disciples were ready to go forth and spread the Good News.

Pentecost is also known in some places as Whitsunday (like in England).  This is short for White Sunday.  Traditionally, baptisms would take place on Pentecost and the newly baptized would wear white robes during this day.

This was my favorite site for explaining Pentecost:  http://www.stpaulskingsville.org/pentecost.htm

So who are the Pentecostals then?  They are a diverse sect of believers within Christianity who emphasize personal spiritual experiences just like the disciples had with the Holy Spirit.  They believe in sanctification and speaking in tongues.  This is the best site I found (here) but I believe there is much more here than meets the eye.  If you are a pentecostal, I’d love to hear more so feel free to post.

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.