Bible Discussion — Acts 17-18

October 16, 2008, 12:30 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Connie, David, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com moves on to the next two chapters of Acts.

PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
11 | 12 | 13 | 14-15 | 16-17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
Esther: 1-2 | 3-5 | 6-8 | 9-10
Acts: 1 | 2 | 3-4 | 5 | 6-7 | 8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16

 
INTRODUCTION:
David:
We get to meet a man named Apollos, Paul’s chief rival for the claim of authorship of the book of Hebrews.

Connie:
As Paul evangelizes his way through the countryside, we get a fascinating look at early 1st-century life and philosophy. It sounds a lot like our country today. Substitute making the rounds on The View (NYC), Leno (LA), and Oprah (Chicago) for Athens, Berea, and Corinth, and you have a similiar situation.

Some receive him, listen patiently, and gain eternal life. Others mock and ignore, even going so far as to try to prevent others from hearing. Sounds a lot like the talk show circuit to me.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Steve:
When Paul was persecuted in Corinth, the story ended very differently than many other places — the ruling Greeks let him off scot-free and instead beat the troublemaking synagogue leader!

Connie:
Paul gets a haircut! Fulfilling a vow, Paul has his hair cut off (18:18). Matthew Henry says the reason was to celebrate God’s protection as he fulfills his mission from vv. 9-10.

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Josh: Jason’s House
Steve: Strange Ears
Connie: Apollos
David: O Ye Jews. Also, I don’t know about a title, but it would be hard to have a band without “fellows of the baser sort”…

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
Connie:
Like I said in my introduction, Paul’s experiences remind me of a conservative on the talk show circuit. He had lots of frustrations, but there were always people listening, agreeing, and receiving — so his work was successful. He certainly had frustrations and trials, but God spoke to him about that, telling him not to be quiet or stop sharing the Gospel. God Himself would take care of Paul, for He had “many people in this city.”

David:
I can\’t read about Apollos without remembering a pastor’s wife preaching here in Alabama, reading aloud that he was “an eloquent man.” She paused and said, “I don\’t even know what a eloquent man is. Reckon what that is, Brother Tommy (her husband)?”

“I don\’t know,” he answered, shrugging his shoulders. “I reckon he was a big man.”

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
David:
After consorting with Athenian philosophers (who loved nothing better than hearing or telling some new idea), Paul stood on Mars Hill in Athens and rendered obsolete the Socratic invitation to find the best teachings and tie them together like a raft to make it through life, until there appeared some more sure “word from God.” “These times of ignorance God has overlooked,” said Paul, “but now He commands all men everywhere to repent.”

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE?:
Josh:
“Not far from each one of us.”

David:
Being proven the Messiah through public use of the Scriptures by both Paul and Apollos.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Steve:
The Thessalonian Jews effectively made the local Christians pay bail money to promise that they wouldn’t “turn the city upside-down” with talk of the new king, Jesus.

David:
For all of Paul\’s liberty he still shaved his head, made vows, and observed Holy Days at the temple in Jerusalem.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Josh:
17:25 — “Nor is He worshiped with men\’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.”

Steve:
17:31 — “He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

David:
18:9 — “Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision,’Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent.’ ”

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Josh:
God knows the strength and encouragement we need to face the trials in our lives. Given the opposition Paul faced and the resulting transient nature of his ministry, the Lord knew it would take a direct word to keep him somewhere for an extended period — so that\’s exactly what He gave him.

David:
Apollos is a perfect example of why it is necessary to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not be satisfied with John’s baptism.

Connie:
God is in control. We sometimes think it all depends on us and our efforts, or lack thereof. We need to be obedient, but never think God is powerless to impact and affect situations. This is His battlefield.

 
PORTION YOU’D MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
Steve:
Paul’s well-reasoned, philosophical speech on the hill at Athens, tailored to its audience, yet universal in its theme, was — by the standards of his sermons — a clear failure. Apollos, one of my favorite Bible characters, had similar problems. Why must this so often be true?

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
Josh:
The relationship between Christianity and Judaism looks completely different depending on whether you\’re a Christian, a Jew, or neither. We see the rift developing during this time and these chapters capture all three perspectives. The Jews think the Christians are blasphemers; outsiders see it as a family dispute; and the Christians can\’t help but think the only rational course of action for a Jew is to accept Christ as the fulfillment of God\’s promise.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
After a swing through Corinth and a few other tasks, Paul will begin his farewell tour and head toward a date with destiny in the Eternal City.


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