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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Acts 11-14

Unity grows out of opposition.

The Heart of God: The Covenant People (5)

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

Read and meditate on Acts 11-14.
The more the Gospel spreads, the more those who oppose it strive for its undoing. The enemies of the Gospel can be violent, but they can also be subtle. The covenant community needs to be able to stand firm against all violence, and be vigilant against the lies and half-truths that threaten to undermine the truth that is in Jesus.

For reflection
1.  Describe the problem that arose in Acts 11.1-18. What did Peter need to clarify? Why? Why was it important that Luke recount this story before proceeding into the rest of his account in Acts 11?

2.  Barnabas “saw” the grace of God in Antioch. What did he see that persuaded him that the Spirit of God was at work there?

3.  Describe the role of the Spirit of God in Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13, 14). How did He prepare the covenant people for this new aspect of their mission? What evidences of His power at work in Christ’s witnesses do you see? What kind of leaders did the Spirit use to further this aspect of the covenant community’s mission?

4.  In what ways was Paul’s synagogue preaching different from how he preached to Gentiles (cf. Acts 13.13-41 with Acts 14.8-18. What differences do you note? What similarities? What lesson can we take away from this?

5.  Meditate on Acts 14.21-28. The church established in Jerusalem launched the Gospel into new areas, where new churches became established. Why were elders appointed in those churches? Do you suppose the duties of these elders were similar to those of the elders in Old Testament Israel? In what ways? What do you suppose life was like in these new covenant communities?

Precisely as Jesus had promised, His Spirit led His witnesses to take His Gospel toward the ends of the earth. The book of Acts is meant to validate Jesus’ instruction in Acts 1.1-8 and to establish a kind of template for the ongoing work of Christ in bringing His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. So far, from what we’ve seen in the book of Acts, what seem to be the most important aspects of that template for churches today?

Closing Prayer
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the LORD commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.

Psalm 133

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documentsprovides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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

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