Thursday, April 12, 2012

Study through Acts: Lesson Six

Chapter 3

(Continued from last time chapter 3:17-26) --

3: 17-26     The gospel proclamation. Note the key words: repent, conversion, sins wiped away, refreshment, don’t listen à cut off from the people, turn from evil ways.  Consider now John 14:6 and John 8:24.

What might we expect to see in repentance and conversion?  Consider Matthew 3:8 and  St. Paul’s conversion –
                  A changed mind: Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:1-2;
                  A changed life: Col 3:3-14; Rom 12:9-21;
                                           Rom 13:11-14
                  A changed attitude: Phil 2:1-8; Rom 15:1-3;
                                                  Rom 14:1-4

Chapter 4

vv. 1-12     Note the focus of the apostles in verse 2. Note also: Acts 1:22; 2:31; 4:2; 4:33; 17:18,32; 23:6; 26:23; Rom 1:4; 6:5; 1 Cor 15:13,20; Phil 3:10; 1 Peter 1:3 What might be the application for us?

Compare verse 7 with Matt 21:23. Consider what is OUR authority.   (See Mat 28:19-20; 1 Peter 2:9; Consider this paragraph from the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1270 "Reborn as sons of God, [the baptized] must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church" and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God.

Now see Pope Benedict and Pope Paul VI paragraphs below. Consider the questions I embedded with those references.

Pope Benedict, in his address on May 30, 2011, stressed the urgency of evangelizing modern society, saying that Christians today face the task of reaching a world that grows increasingly apathetic to the message of the Gospel.  . .  “It is important to make them understand that being Christian is not a type of outfit that one wears in private or on special occasions, but something living and totalizing, capable of taking all that is good in modernity.” The entire Christian community “is called to revive the missionary spirit in order to offer the new message that persons of our times are hoping for.” The “lifestyle of believers needs real credibility," the Pope said, adding that Christians should be "much more convincing" because the "condition of the persons to whom it is addressed" is dramatic.

Taken from:

Questions to consider:

1. What does the expression, “Walk the Talk” mean to you when you consider the Pope’s comments above?

2. What do you think he means when he talks about the “lifestyle of believers needs real credibility”?

3. How can believers give greater credibility to the gospel and conversion?  

Now Read Pope Paul VI’s comments in Gaudium et Spes.

Believers can thus have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion.” Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope) Pope Paul VI Dec 7 1965 (Paragraph 19)  found at:

4. What similarities do you see with Pope Benedict’s comments above?

5. What is Pope Paul’s challenge to believers today?

We continue this chapter next time.

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