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 17.5-9.
The actual charge levied here is that Paul and his team “practice another King, saying Him to be Jesus” (as the Greek actually has it). Their message, their way of life, the nature of their companionship – all these spoke to the people of Thessalonica. And what they lived and spoke was a threat to their comfortable status quo.
1. Paul and those who followed Jesus were different. They proclaimed a new Kingdom and a new King, and they lived as though what they preached was really true. How does their example encourage us in our witness for the Lord?
2. Jealousy has a way of showing up when leaders see their followers being drained away in devotion to something other then their cause. Jealousy can lead to lies and all kinds of nasty things. This time they couldn’t find the apostles in order to beat them, so they laid hold on Jason, who had harbored them in his house – the first house church of Thessalonica? – and extracted money from him – also a breach of Roman public policy. The fear is that these people and this message would transform the world as the Romans knew it. As it turned out, they were right. Should we expect our lives and churches to turn our communities upside-down? Explain.
3. What do you suppose it means to practice Jesus as King?
4. It’s interesting to see how the enemies of the Gospel frequently try to get someone else to do their dirty work. Someone is always appealing to “civic order” or “custom” or “Caesar” in order to take a whack at the believers. When arguments fail and hearts remain hardened, what can you expect? Jesus promised they would hate us. He didn’t say they’d have good reasons. Or the courage to face us on the strength of their own worldview. They can always find some court or statute to shut us up. Or so they think. What would tell you that the presence of the Gospel in your community was beginning to have an effect similar to what we see in Thessalonica (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1.1-10)?
5. What are some ways that the Gospel turns the world rightside-up? How have you experienced this? What evidence can you cite from history to explain and demonstrate the world-changing power of the Gospel? How might you include such things in your Gospel presentation?
What we’ve seen from the beginning continues to be the case: The Gospel is preached, people believe and are changed, but not everybody’s happy about it. What is it about the Gospel that threatens some people, even to the point of causing them to react violently against believers? Should every Christian expect at least some opposition to his or her faith? Explain.
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
“I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”
Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
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).
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