trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

What's in a Name? (5)

"Church." You keep on using that term...

Acts (8)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 9 (Lesson 8) by clicking here.

Read and meditate on Acts 9.26-31.
The disciples in Jerusalem were reluctant, as we might imagine, to believe Saul’s story about having been converted to Christ. But Barnabas saw something there, something genuine, and he took Saul’s side and made it possible for him to continue these early days of his ministry among the saints at Jerusalem.

For reflection
1.  Things had apparently quieted down a bit in Jerusalem, and it seems the persecution against Christians had waned. Trust Saul to crank it up again (v. 29), not because of anything in his character or methods, but just because of his uncompromising proclamation of Jesus and His Kingdom. Should we be reluctant to share the Good News of Jesus and His Kingdom, just because someone might be upset or angry? Explain.

2. For Saul’s sake and safety, the leaders in Jerusalem pack him off to his home because, well, people are always trying to kill him. We don’t know why this destination was chosen, other than that’s where he was from, or what instructions accompanied him. We do know, however, that when Antioch needed a pastor, Barnabas knew Saul would be their man (Acts 11). We can imagine that Saul continued doing in Tarsus what we’d seen him doing in Damascus and Jerusalem. Why?

3.  Ah, rest (v. 31). We should not associate the peace of the Church in this region with Saul’s departure. The believers were continuing to grow in the Lord and to be strengthened by the Spirit, so we can believe they were being faithful in all aspects of the ongoing work of Christ, including gossiping the Good News to their neighbors. What does it mean to walk “in the fear of the Lord” (v. 31)? Why don’t we hear much about the fear of the Lord these days?

4.  We note that Luke refers to the “church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria” and not to the “churches” (NKJV has “churches” but consult the marginal note). Already believers are beginning to think of themselves as one body; the name church is used to designate, in Acts and the New Testament, the population of believers in a particular region (as here), those in a community, those gathering in homes, and the Body of Christ universal. It’s all the church. Luke used this name at this point to help lay a foundation and prepare us for what will begin to be more obvious in chapters 10-15. How does your church use the word “church”? Like Luke and the rest of the New Testament?

5.  What’s in the name church? Would you say that the churches in your community have a sense of being one “church”? Why or why not? Is this a good thing (cf. Jn. 1.21)? Explain.

Saul – soon to be Paul – is a disruptive person. But then, when you’re engaged in turning the world upside-down for Christ (Acts 17.1-9), that’s what you might expect. Is your church a disruptive presence in its community? Explain.

Closing Prayer
The LORDhas been mindful of us;
He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron.
He will bless those who fear the LORD,
Both small and great.
May the LORD give you increase more and more,
You and your children.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s;
But the earth He has given to the children of men.
The dead do not praise the LORD,
Nor any who go down into silence.
But we will bless the LORD
From this time forth and forevermore.
Praise the LORD!

Psalm 115.12-18

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book,
The Kingdom Turn (click here).

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.