REACH, OFFENSE, AND POWER: Acts 14:1-7

REACH, OFFENSE, AND POWER: Acts 14:1-7

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SCRIPTURE

ACTS 14:1-7
1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. 

BIG IDEA

As Paul and Barnabas preach the gospel of God’s grace, some respond with love for Jesus and some with hate. We learn at least six things about the gospel in this passage: it reaches, restores, offends, outrages, empowers, and emboldens. The finished work of Jesus reaches all kinds of people because it reveals and restores what’s broken inside of all people—sin. It offends and outrages because it attacks our want to be autonomous and our desire to be our own savior, telling us the very things we’re looking to for our worth are in fact false gods that can’t deliver what they promise. Lastly, the finished work of Jesus emboldens and empowers us because it says our safety and eternal life are ultimately controlled by our sovereign Creator, who loves us so much He came and died on a cross to save us. Like Paul and Barnabas, we too can be bold in telling people the gospel in spite of persecution because our ultimate worth and destiny are secured by Jesus’ life, not ours; Jesus’ death, not ours; and Jesus’ resurrection, which will be ours.

DISCUSSION

The finished work of Jesus reaches all kinds of people because it reveals and restores what’s broken inside of all kinds of people—sin.

1. Have you ever heard someone say something like, “The only reason people are Christians is because they learned it from their parents” or “Christians are people who don’t think for themselves”? Do you think either of those claims are true (why or why not)? 

2. Was there anything from the sermon or Acts 14 that stood out to you, challenged you, or confused you? 

[The gospel] offends and outrages because it attacks our want to be autonomous and our desire to be our own savior, telling us the very things we’re looking to for our worth are in fact false gods that can’t deliver what they promise.

3. What do you think it means that the gospel attacks our want to be autonomous? What about our desire to be our own savior? What things have you looked for worth that the gospel says is in fact something that can’t give you what it promises? 

Lastly, the finished work of Jesus emboldens and empowers us because it says our safety and eternal life are ultimately controlled by our sovereign Creator, who loves us so much He came and died on a cross to save us. Like Paul and Barnabas, we too can be bold in telling people the gospel in spite of persecution because our ultimate worth and destiny are secured by Jesus’ life, not ours; Jesus’ death, not ours; and Jesus’ resurrection, which will be ours.

4. What typically makes you bold or confident? How does the gospel give us power and boldness to tell people the gospel even in spite of persecution? 

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