Here is the next lesson in this study through Acts. Feel free to email me any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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