Acts + Letters Lesson 11 Day 5

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Acts 14


They spoke “with such power that a great number… became believers.” (vs. 1 NLT)

11. Effective preaching


λαλέω laléō, lal-eh’-o; to talk, i.e. utter words:—preach, say, speak (after), talk, tell, utter. (Strongs Concordance)

Elements of their effective message (vs. 3)

Spoke “freely and fearlessly and boldly in the Lord” (Wuest)

Testified to the word of grace—”The grace of God is the Gospel (Romans 1:16, Acts 20:24, and Galatians 1:6-7).” (AWLC)

Showed grace through signs and wonders—”And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs. Mark 16:20 NLT)

Persistence—”They stayed there a long time” because of the persecution instead of running from it.

Good fruit of powerful preaching—revival

“A great multitude both of Jews and Greeks believed.” (vs. 1) So, the combined number of Jews and Greeks didn’t amount to a great multitude. The number of Jews and the number of Greeks each created a great multitude.

The word “great” in Greek

polýs, pol-oos’; including the forms from the alternate πολλός pollós; (singular) much (in any respect) or (plural) many; neuter (singular) as adverbial, largely; neuter (plural) as adverb or noun often, mostly, largely:—abundant, + altogether, common, + far (passed, spent), (+ be of a) great (age, deal, -ly, while), long, many, much, oft(-en (-times)), plenteous, sore, straitly. (Strongs, emphasis added)

The word “multitude” in Greek

plēthos, play’-thos; from G4130; a fulness, i.e. a large number, throng, populace:—bundle, company, multitude. (Strongs)

Writing the Greek words for great and multitude back-to-back creates a redundant expression, emphasizing the large response to their message.

The not-so-good fruit of revival—anger and violence

The city divided—One faction sided with the Jews and the other sided with the apostles.

Paul and Barnabas’ powerful message presented a choice. Those who sided with the Jews and their rulers “made a violent attempt to mistreat and stone Paul and Barnabas.” (vs. 5)

12. The people of Lystra attributed the miracle to man and not to God.

When Paul healed the man born with deformed feet, those who saw the miracle shouted,

The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” They called Barnabas “Jupiter”, and Paul “Mercury”, because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Jupiter, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have made a sacrifice along with the multitudes.

Paul and Barnabas had a hard time convincing them not to offer a sacrifice to them.

Temptation to idealize a person more than God

Paul wrote about a more subtle form of taking our eyes off Jesus.

When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?

After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 1 Corinthians 3:4-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Some modern teachers, ministers, musicians and others have huge followings in media. Even on a smaller scale, it’s tempting for the messenger to accept the glory and for the audience to get its eyes off Jesus.

When we promote our personality, products, platform, message, and results or fix our eyes on a person more than on Jesus, we take part in idolatry. It’s a challenge to remain humble and avoid jealousy, so we must check our hearts regularly.

13. Fruit

Salvations in family and others

Readers who find help

People encouraged

I hope I touch many people I don’t know about by my example, a smile, a kind word, a donation, or something else.

Rejection and

People who refused my offer to pray for them.

Several times when I tried to share Jesus or pray, the people just kept talking over me.

Rotten fruit

The many times I’ve set a bad example, said something unkind, held a grudge, gossiped, disobeyed, missed opportunities

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My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 11 Day 5