July 16, 2023
Message Big Idea
As Luke focuses on the church in Antioch, we begin to see some distinct characteristics of the type of community all local churches are meant to be. It is very clear that they exist solely by the power of the Holy Spirit. This brings about new life from the ashes of human brokenness, culminating in a people who are sent into the world as Jesus was sent to us!
- Has anyone ever recognized where you were from by something you said or did? What gave you away? Was it a source of embarrassment or pride for you?
- Read Acts 11:19-29 & 13:1-3
- Discuss/highlight the parts of this passage which intrigued you most? What stood out? Why?
- Share/reflect on key highlights or takeaways from the previous Sunday’s message (Key Points on next page). What jumped out at you as impactful and/or made you want to know more?
- What types of communities do you encounter in the broader culture (e.g., neighborhoods, clubs, companies)? Where do they get their power, influence and mission?
- Would you consider the local church to be a distinct community? What makes it distinct from the other types of communities in the world?
- Drew noted the Holy Spirit as the true revolutionary (11:20-21, 24, 28; 13:2). Do you recognize the Holy Spirit as your source of power (i.e., your ability to accomplish anything for the Kingdom of God)? How can you continually remind yourself of this truth?
- Reflect a little as to how the Holy Spirit has brought new life through the ashes of your past struggles and sin. Share as you feel comfortable. What has God brought you through?
- The church in Antioch gathered to send and be sent (13:2-3). Do you live as one sent and mobilized for the advancement of the gospel? How can you continue to embrace your identity as one who is sent by God?
Live It Out
- What one truth from this passage would you like to take to heart and act upon? How will this affect you?
- Who will you share this with this week?
Throughout the summer, this section will consist of four areas which will help prepare for the upcoming Sunday’s sermon: a scriptural read ahead, a commentary on the passage, a reflective exercise, and a weekly practice.
- Scriptural Read Ahead: Acts 14
- Acts 14 Commentary: Matthew Henry’s Commentary https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Act/Act_014.cfm
(Note, commentaries are not without error. Prudent commentary use will lead one to have confidence where consensus exists across commentators while holding loosely where disagreement arises.)
Reflective Exercise: Spend some time reflecting on some of the tough situations which God has brought you through. What have they taught you about God’s character? How have they changed your ability to face difficult situations in the future?
Weekly Practice: At least three times a day, pray for understanding as to what it means to be one who is sent. Ask God to illuminate the way in which you may live as one sent in your current context (i.e., your family, neighborhood, job). Act as you receive clarity from the Lord.
Sunday’s Sermons Key Points:
- Remember where your power comes from (the Holy Spirit!).
- Remember what God has brought you through.
- Live as the church expects to send and be sent into the world.