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Acts 9/31 – 10/8

INTRODUCTION.

We finished our last session by noting that things settled down considerably when Paul was removed from the scene! This seemed to be a regular event wherever he went!! But noticed what else 10/31 says. Take time to discuss what happened to the Church. To what does Luke attribute the growth?

 

 The section began with savage persecution (8/1) and ends with “…..the church then had peace….” With Paul back in Tarsus, Peter now comes to front and centre stage. What do you remember about Peter in the gospels? What kind of person is he? Peter is about to have his whole world turned upside down (or maybe that should be right side up!)

 

[1] AENEAS  (vs.32-36)

a. After the events of Acts 8/25, Peter travelled to various groups and eventually got to Lydda.

b. We can be pretty sure that Peter’s mind went back to an event recorded in Mark 2/1-12.  Read the account and share together the similarities. Peter did what he saw Jesus do in a very similar circumstance.

c. Compare what Jesus did in Mark 2 with what Peter did in Acts 3/1-11 and now with Aeneas.

d. v.34 “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you….” Interesting way to put it. Peter wanted Aeneas to know who it was that healed him…and it wasn’t Peter! So Jesus was still present and active through the disciples.

 

[2] DORCAS  (VS.36-42)

a. Dorcas became ill and died. Why did they send for Peter? To raise Dorcas or to conduct the funeral?

b. Read Mark 5/21-24, 35-43. What similarities do you note between the two events?

c. Again, when Peter faced the same kind of situation, he did what he saw Jesus do.

d. Is there anything by way of insight that comes to you as you read these accounts?

 

[3] CORNELIUS (vs.1-8)

a. Peter is about to undergo the most radical shift of his life….and so is Cornelius. We will have to break this encounter into two sessions. It is a very strategic event in that it brings the gospel to the gentiles. Up to now it has been reserved only for Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria (recall Acts 1/8)

b. Prepare a profile of Cornelius. What kind of person was he? What did he need that he didn’t already have? (v.43).

c. Notice how obedience to God usually results in perfect timing. Peter’s vision and the arrival of the delegation from Cornelius = beautiful timing!

d. Are there any lessons regarding  guidance for you in this encounter?

e. Angels, visions, healings…what is this supernatural stuff all about?

NEXT SESSION: What took place in the household of Cornelius was both exciting and confronting. Sooner or later they would run into opposition from their own people. But not before a marvellous transformation took place that released the gospel to become universal.

 

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