Thursday, September 27, 2012

Acts 13 verses 40-48

Here is the next lesson in this study through Acts. Feel free to email me any questions to .

Verse 40-41  Note how St. Paul applies this OT passage that was delivered at the time specifically to Israel – note how he applies it now to the first century Israel (in context, this is Paul’s sermon to the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch – verse 14-15). Take a look at that passage in Habakkuk 1:1-11. If what Paul said about the passage in Habakkuk applying to 1st century Israel, might he say something similar to the Church today if he were to preach in our churches? Consider Romans 15:4 and 1 Cor 10:6-12 – both written to the Gentile church. How could Israel of Habakkuk’s day and of Paul’s day avoided God’s judgment?

If St. Paul’s comments are applicable to us, how do we avoid the judgment he warned about? Consider Cardinal Merry de Val’s Litany of Humility as part of your answer.

Verse 42-46  Isn’t it interesting that the people begged Paul to return the following Sabbath to teach them the word of God once again – even after he’d just warned them of God’s judgment (re-read Acts 13:16-41 for context)? Why do you think they wanted to hear it again? Might Paul’s charge to St. Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1-4) give us some insight into the apostle’s thought process, as well as why the people wanted to hear the full testimony of God and not just the warm-fuzzy message of their synagogue and Temple teachers? Consider also Jeremiah 23:16-17 and 25-29 along with Lamentations 2:14.

Verses 44-45          What is the defense against jealousy creeping into our own spirits when others prosper? What does Matthew 6:10 and Matthew 26:39 have to do with our answer? What about John 11:47-48? Or Luke 4:5-7? Or Philippians 2:3-7? (to mention only a few)

Verse 46       Interesting phrase,: “You reject (the word of God) and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life . . .”  Does this mean God does not condemn anyone, but rather they condemn themselves (or we condemn ourselves)?  Consider John 3:16-21, Ephesians 4:17-19; Romans 1:18-32 (note how often St. Paul writes, God ‘handed them over . . .”  See also Galatians 6:7-8 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Is there application for us?

We will continue chapter 13 next time and move into chapter 14


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Acts 13, verses 21-39

As we continue our online study through Acts, I hope you will consider contacting me with any questions you might have.


Acts 13, verse 21    Israel asked for a king.  See 1 Samuel 8:1-8 for background why they asked for a king. Now compare John 19:13-15. Application to our lives?  How do we know who or what is our king? See this address by Pope Benedict to the American Bishops in January 2012. Pay special attention to paragraphs two, three and six. What does the question, “Who or what is our king” have to do with Pope Benedict’s address?

Verse 22       “David, a man after my heart.”  How was David a man after God’s heart?  What did he do to demonstrate that heart? See 2 Sam 12:7 and 13 with Psalm 51. What could David have done to Nathan? That he didn't demonstrates what virtue in David's heart?

Verse 23       “From the descendants of this man . . . a savior”  Compare Matthew 1:6-16. Note the precision of God’s plan followed throughout a thousand years from David to Jesus. Application for us?

Verse 27       How much do we hear that we do not really understand? Consider Jesus’ meeting with His disciples in Luke 24:16 and 45. See also Matthew 13:13-16. How do we obtain eyes that see and ears that hear? See Psalm 119:18; Rev 3:18. Application?

Verse 30       "But God" . . .  . That phrase is worth its weight in eternal blessing and promise. See also Eph 2:4; Gen 45:8; 50:20,24; Psalm 73:26.  Application for us?

Verses 38-39    What does ‘freedom’ look like to you?  Compare Gal 5:1-2; Hebrews 2:9-15 with 1 Corinthians 15:50-57, especially verse 55. Take a moment to reflect on the times you felt a sense of ‘freedom’ from the penalty and judgment for you sin. If you have never felt that way, why do you think that is? And more important, what will you do about it?

We will continue this chapter next time.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Acts Chapter 13:6-41

13:6-12         Why did Paul get angry (v.8)? See also Acts 8:9-13. See also Exodus 7:8-12, 22; 8:7 (see also 8:18-19 and 9:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Matthew 24:23-25; Revelation 13:11-18.) What is the application of all these examples? How do we know a servant of God from a servant of Satan? (Consider also 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 with Deuteronomy 13:1-3). See also Galatians 1:6-10; 2 John 7-11; 2 Peter 2:1-2; 3:14-18.  Is there another way of salvation? Who would want us to think so?

What are St. Paul’s warning to the Galatians, St. John’s warning in his second epistle, as well as Peter’s in his second epistle? What might that teach us?

13:13-41 (read entire section)  Note Paul’s command of OT history and how he develops/applies/ bridges that history to NT theology. Remember St. Stephen's soliloquy in Acts 7. What does that suggest to us about the importance of having a working familiarity with Scripture?  See my essay (click here) for some recommendations.

13:15   Note the liturgical nature of synagogue worship -- including a reading from the Psalms and the homily (sermon). What might that suggest about worship in our churches today?

Verse 16  Paul is referring here to Gentile proselytes to Judaism. See also Luke 7:1-10. Note the Lord's comment in Luke 7:9. What lesson do you see here? What might that teach today's Christian?

Verse 18       God ‘put up with them’ in the wilderness. See Numbers 14:22-24, 27-33. See also Ezekiel 16:60-63 (it’s really important to read the entire chapter 16 for the impact of verses 60-63. See also Romans 11:1-5 & 25-29). What do these passages suggest about God’s relationship with Israel? What do these passages suggest about God’s relationship with YOU?

Is there a limit to God's patience?  Consider also 2 Chronicles 12:7-8. 

We will move further into this chapter next time.