And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27
This week’s video is presentation 15 in our study of Acts, and looks at the work of theology in the ongoing work of Christ. You can view it by clicking here (scroll down to Lesson 15).
Read and meditate on Acts 17.1-4.
Paul and his team moved on to the west and south, stopping in Thessalonica. Because a Jewish community was there, they resorted to the synagogue. Even though he had turned to the Gentiles as his primary mission field, Paul never gave up on the Jews.
1. We note Paul’s patient and deliberate approach: reasoning, explaining, demonstrating from the Scriptures – the Old Testament – for three Sabbaths, and we can imagine, during the weeks between those Sabbaths. Evangelism is about communicating, and communicating involves all the tools and methods of reason and human relations. In what ways would you like to improve your witness for the Lord?
2. As we’ve seen, and will see again, Paul was a master at adapting his message to his audience, without compromising the message in any way. We also note that the focus of his message was the historical facts regarding Jesus, not – as we might expect these days – the felt needs of the people or the moral and social issues of the day. The Good News is Jesus and His Kingdom. Get Jesus, like that Philippian jailer, and everything falls into place over time. What does it mean to keep Jesus central when we’re sharing the Gospel?
3. We also note that Paul’s arguing from the Old Testament Scriptures was persuasive, not merely to Jews, but to devout Greeks and high-born women. The Word of God is living and powerful. We must keep it in the forefront of our witness for the Lord at all times. How do the Scriptures fit into the way you share the Good News?
4. We note that Luke seems to be focusing especially on the cities to which Paul would later write epistles – Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus. Luke would have had the advantage both of Paul’s companionship and his writings in putting his history together in a way that would complement Paul’s ministry. What are some of the most important lessons Luke seems to have wanted us to learn?
5. What do you consider to be the most important historical facts and Biblical references to include in a Gospel presentation? Talk with a Christian friend about this question.
The ongoing work of Christ goes on, as more people hear the Good News, and more people believe. Is there a pattern here? One we should be seeking to emulate in our own churches and communities? Explain.
Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
And His praise in the assembly of saints.
Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.
Let the saints be joyful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand…
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.