NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups on Sun., Sept. 16. This guide will enable your follow-up the third (and final) installment in The Gospel You Never Have Heard Before sermon series. The primary text for tomorrow morning’s sermon, and this discussion, is Acts 2.36-39. You’ll find LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title “LIFE group guides.”
To declare, and delve into, the promise of God’s Spirit as a gift to all of God’s people.
“Therefore, let all Israel know beyond question that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.” (Acts 2.36-39 CEB)
Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.
1. What gift do you recall receiving as a child that you considered a favorite?
2. Would you say (or do others say) you’re “gifted” at doing something? If so, what?
3. Tell us of a time you received a great promise from someone, but you didn’t realize the full import or wonder of that promise, until quite sometime after its fulfillment.
These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.
1. To whom is this promise of the Spirit as a gift given?
2. What are the commands in this passage? What are the promises?
3. God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit are noted in this text. What do they each do?
4. Someone asks you: “Since the Spirit empowered the apostles to speak as they did earlier in Acts 2 (vs. 1-21), doesn’t that mean the Spirit the apostles promised to all Christians (vs. 38-39) will do the same for them?” How would you respond?
5. What exactly do humans do as depicted here in Acts 2.36-39? Make a list.
6. From what you know of the rest of Acts, did anyone ever receive the Spirit who had not been baptized? Similarly, could a person be baptized and not receive the Spirit?
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.
1. How have you previously understood the meaning of “the gift of the Holy Spirit?”
2. What would it mean for you as a Christian to not have the Spirit as a gift in your life?
3. What connection does receiving the Spirit have with acknowledging Jesus as Lord, changing your heart and life, and baptism?
4. What does the Spirit do, or how is the Spirit involved, in a Christian’s life? Build your answer(s) on direct statements in Scripture found in Acts or elsewhere.
5. Complete this sentence: “Because God has given me his Spirit I am ____________.”
6. How can you communicate this promise of God’s Spirit to others?