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 John Lesson 1, Day 2: John 1:1-5

Summary of passage:  The Word (Jesus Christ) was in existence from the beginning with God and is God.  All things are made through him and he contains life.  He shines to unbelievers who do not understand him.

Questions:

3)  1)  “In the beginning was the Word”.  The Word is Jesus.  This means he has always existed.

2)  “the Word was with God”.  Jesus is always with the Father (God).

3)  “the Word was God”.  This means Jesus and God are one and the same, referring to the Triune God where God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One entity.

4)  Genesis 1:1:  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Jesus has always existed so Jesus was there in the beginning and he created the heavens and the earth since he and God are one and the same.

Colossians 1:15-17:  Jesus is the image of God and was first in creation.  Jesus created all things and all things are created for him.  He is above all things and he holds all things together.

Hebrews 1:2-3:  The universe was created through Christ.  Jesus is the world’s light and the sustainer of this world (creation).  Jesus and God are equally responsible for this world, for Creation, and for its ongoing perpetuity.  They are in ultimate control of everything.

5)  We are told even thrones, powers, rulers, and authorities were created by Jesus and for Jesus.  All things on heaven and earth.  God is in control of us and our flourishing upon this earth and in heaven.  God is responsible for our life and therefore is at the center of a fulfilling life and should be the center of my fulfillment in life.

6)  Part personal question.  My answer:  Light is God/Jesus.  Darkness is Satan/devil.  Figuratively, light is also believers and darkness is unbelievers and evildoers.  Too many examples to list.  Light is all the good people do for others.  The aiding in disasters and in daily life.  Missionary work.  Even just bringing a meal to a sick neighbor.  That is light.  Darkness unfortunately is everywhere.  Terrorism.  War.  Senseless deaths and violence humans wreck upon each other.  Very, very sad.

Conclusions:  I’m SO excited to begin the study of John.  After Revelation last year, I’m looking forward to something more clear-cut, easy to understand, and Jesus’s words to us.  My kids struggled last year due to the nature of Revelation so I’m praying they love this study and look forward to BSF every week.

Good lesson on the Word and light and darkness, which is frequently used by John in this book.  If we understand nothing else in this study, understand the first line:  God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one in the same and have been since before time existed.  Life is in the belief in Jesus.  Period.

End Notes:  John deliberately opens his book with a parallel to Genesis 1:1.  There, God speaks creation into existence.  Here, God through John speaks salvation into existence by announcing Jesus’ presence in the world.  Everything is spoken.  Jesus speaks the Word of God and is the Word of God.

In Greek, word is logos.  Jews referred to God himself as “word of God.”  The ancient Greeks used the word logos as meaning turning chaos into order.  John uses the concept of word to speak to everyone:  the word is God–always has and always will be.  He lays out from the first sentence the Trinity so all can understand.

The Word created all things, meaning the Word himself is an uncreated being.  In the Word is the source of all life–physical and spiritual.  The Word is the life of all men.  Without Jesus we are dead and in darkness.  Most of us have a natural fear of darkness because of this fact.

The Greeks also used logos to mean the unspoken word as well that lingers in the mind–reason.

Life is Christ’s gift and is central to this Gospel for Christ is life (John 14:6).

Light is also Christ (John 8:12), who illuminates all spiritually–prominent in the Book of John as well.  Psalm 36:9 holds the connection to the Old Testament:  “in your light we see light.”  We see Jesus.

In verse 5, understand can also be overcome.  Essentially, darkness cannot overcome light.  The devil cannot defeat God.  The Greek word is difficult to translate here, meaning laying hold onto something to make its own.  In Genesis 1:2, the earth was dark until God called into light.  Until God decided to banish darkness with his light and gift us all with life.

Fun Fact:  The Greek word “life” is used 36 times by John while no other New Testament book uses it more than 17 times.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 1, Day 2: Exodus 1:1-21

Summary of passage:  We pick up where Genesis left off.  All of Jacob’s family moves to Egypt where Joseph already is.  Their generation dies but they leave behind many who are fruitful and multiply and fill the land.  A new Pharaoh comes to power who does not know Joseph.  He is afraid that the Israelites are becoming too many and may join with his enemies to overthrow him so he makes them all slaves.

But Pharaoh’s plan backfires:  the more they are oppressed, the more they multiply.  Hence, they were oppressed more with a life of hard labor.

Plan #2 to rid Egypt of the Israelites:  Pharaoh tells the midwives of the Israelites to kill all baby boys who are born.  However, the midwives feared God more than Pharaoh and they disobey.  They tell Pharaoh that the babies are born before they arrive.  Hence, God blessed His people even more as well as the midwives.

Questions:

3)  Genesis 15 tells us that part of Egypt was part of the Promised Land.  Genesis 45 tells us that it is God’s plan to save His people during the famine that they go and live near Joseph who will provide them grain during the famine.  God says He will make them into a great nation while in Egypt.

4a)  Pharaoh feared that the Israelites would join with his enemies and fight against him and leave the country.

b)  To oppress them by making them slaves and giving them heavy labor to perform.

c)  They only multiplied and spread.

d)  Pharaoh wanted the Israelite midwives to kill every male child born.

5a)  They risked their own lives by disobeying Pharaoh but they feared God more than Pharaoh.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  If you do His will instead of others, you will be blessed and rewarded both on earth and in heaven.  Do what is right for He is always with you.

Conclusions:  Who else is glad to be back??  Great lesson.  Right off the bat things are going to get interesting.  Great beginning to one of the great stories of the Bible.  Loved how the midwives were named instead of being kept anonymous. Shows just what an important job and risk they did take by following God.  Awesome!

End Notes:  Note Pharaoh was not named, which is why the exact time frame of history is unsure here.  Contrast this with the women who were named and this is a Bible anomaly and a historical anomaly where important men were usually always named and women were insignificant.

350 years are summed up in a few verses in chapter one of Exodus and the Bible will devote most of Exodus to just a single year and focus on one man.  This emphasizes the importance of these events and this man.

In the original Hebrew language, the first word of Exodus is ‘and’.  This further notes the continuation of the book of Genesis.

As Joseph died, so did all of his privileges and special treatments.

The Hebrew verbs from Genesis 1:21,22 and repeated in Exodus for emphasis:  “fruitful, swarmed, became numerous”.

God started with one man and 4 woman (Abraham and his wives).  Now, they are a nation.

The enemies of the Egyptians at the time were the Hittites in the north.

If we remember in Genesis, a problem for the Israelites was they were surrounded by pagan people who wanted to intermarry with them.  So God brought them to Egypt, a place where they believed themselves to be a superior race and felt it beneath them to marry non-Egyptians so that they could grow into a strong nation, which would have been impossible in Canaan.  So when they were ready, God brought them to the Promised Land.  All in God’s timing.

We see the theme of suffering and persecution only growing faith in God and Christianity.  Here, the Israelites grow.  After Christ’s death, Christianity grew.

Shiphrah and Puah mean beauty and splendor.

We can see Pharaoh’s order as Satan’s attempt to eliminate the Seed of the Woman (Jesus) who will crush him. Genesis 3:15

Great example of obeying God first over the government and man when we are called to do something against God’s word (Romans 13:1-5).

The midwives may or may not have been lying with their answer to Pharaoh about why the male children still live.  This is debated by scholars.

Usually midwives were chosen because they couldn’t have children so God blessed them with children.

Key point:  God over man and He will bless you out of his goodness.