Posted by Murray Smith

Sunday message available at www.summerstrandunitedchurch.co.za)

  1. Baptism of the Holy Spirit

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized withthe Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5

  • What was the significance of John’s baptism?
  • How would Jesus baptism differ to John’s?
  • In light of the Sunday message what does this word baptism really mean in a gathered Community of God’s people and how is it lived out?
  • Why would some need a second baptism? (Acts 19:1-7)

 

  1. Significance of Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tonguesas the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4

  • The day of Pentecost has its own unique history and it is important to place the events of that day within that reality. The people were gathered to celebrate what was often called the feast of weeks (7 weeks after Passover)associated with harvest and the giving of first fruits. In early Jewish tradition, Pentecost was a day that Jews associated with God giving the law to Moses.
  • What are the similarities between the two events?
  • What are the differences?
  • In light of the Sunday message what is significant about the fire & new forms of communication? How would these new realties dramatically shape the development of the emerging church & how should they shape our congregations today?

 

  1. Purpose of the Spirit being poured out

 

  • What was the purpose behind the giving of the Law (Exodus 19:3-6)
  • What does Peter say is the purpose of giving the New Law (1 Peter 2:4-12)
  • What do you think is the significance of the Ethiopian eunuch’s question in Acts 8:36? (think about the old law and the new and the teachings from Isaiah on eunuchs)
  • Acts 15 is a significant turning point in the expansion of the early church. Take a closer look at vs. 1-21 and get a grip on how they were ‘working out’ the fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. How should we apply this to our Community life together in the 21st Century?