(Message 4) It’s easy to shop around and look for a church that meets our preferences. But if we’re not careful, our priorities can be misplaced. Let’s rethink church by seeking a church where we can find our role in serving God and people, rather than seeking to be served. #rethinkchurch
Read Acts 8:1-3 and discuss this scene. Review these statistics from www.opendoorsusa.org: Every month 255 Christians are killed, 104 are abducted, 180 Christian women are raped, sexually assaulted, or forced into marriage, 66 churches are attacked, 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned.
There are strong opinions on both sides of the issue of the likelihood of religious persecution targeting Christians occurring in our country. How likely do you believe it would be for the types of persecution noted in the statistics above to happen in our country?
Why or why not?
Share any examples you believe are happening now.
How do you believe you should or would respond if faced with imprisonment or death because of your faith? How should/would you react if a family member faced the same possibilities?
Take time to read the Scriptures together with your group and fill out the chart as you go.
2. Referring to the chart answer the following:
With which individual in Acts 8 do you find yourself relating to the most? Why?
With which individual would you like most to relate? Why?
3. According to Acts 8:9-25, have you ever been confused, like Simon, about something having to do with faith?
If you asked for clarification and received an unexpected answer, how did you respond? Why?
Simon the Sorcerer responded to Peter by requesting prayer. Why?
How would you respond to a “Simon” in a similar situation?
Like Simon have you ever been in a situation or had an experience when you or others believed the result could be accomplished by simply throwing money at it? Discuss some examples.
4. Read Acts 8:26-40. Have you ever been at the place where the Ethiopian Eunuch was, unable to comprehend what you read in scripture, but wanting to understand? Explain.
What steps did the Ethiopian Eunuch take that led him to the point of salvation? What part did the Holy Spirit play in the process? What part does the Holy Spirit play when you witness to someone?
What do you do when you are reading the Bible and come across something you are struggling to comprehend?
What do you do when someone comes to you with questions related to something they just read in the Bible?
5. Think of someone who hasn’t begun their relationship with God and with whom the Spirit is leading you to boldly, courageously share the gospel. Write their name here ____________, Maybe that someone is you and you need to find a “Philip” to explain the Scriptures to you. Pray together with your group for God’s leading.
v.15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
v.16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him
v.17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
v.18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
v.19 & 20 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Author: The apostle Paul was the primary writer of the Book of Colossians (Colossians 1:1). Timothy is also given some credit (Colossians 1:1).
Background: The first half of the Book of Colossians is one of the most eye-opening presentations of Christology anywhere in the New Testament. The second half addresses every ethical area of Christian life. Paul talks about the individual life and then the home and family. He speaks to everything from work to the way we should treat others. The theme of this book is the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His sufficiency in meeting our needs in every area of life.
Context: Colossians was written explicitly to defeat the heresy that had arisen in Colosse, which endangered the existence of the church. While we do not know what was told to Paul, this letter is his response.