A People Empowered: Looking At & Through the Church (03.02.20)
This week, we’re going to do a more traditional Bible study focusing on Acts 3 before circling back to Sunday’s teaching at the end of the discussion time. However, if you think it would be more constructive for your group, consider recapping the teaching first.
Invite the Spirit of God to speak to us through the text and through our conversations with each other.
Studying Acts 3
On Sunday, Dave taught from Acts 3, where Peter and John heal the beggar outside the Temple, exploring the reality that we are the new face of Jesus on earth. We are going to dive into this further through an inductive Bible study of the passage.
The goal here is to open our hearts and minds to the Word of God, allowing it to transform us. We’ll be using the Observation-Interpretation-Application framework, which is one of many approaches to studying the Bible.
Observation: What Does the Text Say?
Spend 10-15 minutes reading through Acts 3:1-26 carefully, making who, what, when, and where observations from the text, such as:
- Who is speaking? Whom are they speaking to?
- What is happening? What is being discussed? What isn’t happening?
- When does this take place?
- Where does this take place?
Other things to pay attention to:
- Connections: connections between passages like therefore, since, and in the same way.
- Repetitions: are certain words or phrases repeated in the passage?
- Comparisons: is a comparison or contrast made between two subjects in the passage, or between this and a related passage?
Then spend some time sharing your observations with each other. These observations don’t need to be important or insightful, just true to the text.
Interpretation: What Does the Text Mean?
Using your observations and the text to inform your discussion, try to interpret the text by considering some of the following questions:
- What is the significance of the observations we’ve made? Why did these things happen?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- Why did the characters in the passage say what they said?
- What is strange or confusing in this passage?
- What questions do we have about the meaning of this text?
Application: What Does the Text Mean for Us?
Finally, discuss together the personal and communal applications of this text on our lives:
- Personal: How is God calling me to respond?
- Communal: How can we live this out together?
Discussing Sunday’s Teaching
On Sunday, Dave taught from Acts 3, where Peter and John heal the beggar outside the Temple, exploring the reality that we are the new face of Jesus on earth.
- What would happen if we asked San Francisco to look at us? Would they see Christ?
- Like the beggar in Acts 3, Dave said we carry wounds from birth which have made us “relationally lame and emotionally immobile.” In our own lives, how have our wounds excluded us from the joy and blessing of fellowship and intimacy with God and others?
- Dave contrasted metanoia, the Greek word for repentance (literally “above mind”), with paranoia. In what ways are our actions driven by paranoia rather than metanoia?
Thank God for the truths He has revealed to us and ask for His help in living out His Word and keeping any commitments we’ve made.
Options for Further Reflection
Consider reflecting and praying with these questions in your personal time with God:
- How is God calling me to respond — today? This week?
- What are the important truths God has revealed? And how will they transform my life?
- What are the things that I am trusting in instead of God?
- How can we more fully rely on God?
- What are the obstacles that keep us from putting this into practice?
- How can we remove those obstacles?