Questions for Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 21
“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers [siblings] live together in harmony!”
3. a. God’s gift of grace in Christ Jesus
χάρις cháris, khar’-ece; from G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):—acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(- ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy). (Strong’s)
Grace means that God gives freely, for His own reasons. (Guzik)
He enriched their whole lives.
- They now proclaim the good news about Jesus.
- They learned about Jesus.
- Supernatural gifts of the Spirit are in operation among them.
- They are excited about Jesus’ return.
b. Personal reflection
It’s difficult to pick one as the most meaningful. Each one challenges me.
How can I proclaim the good news aside from writing here?
When I devote extra time in Bible study, time spent in listening-prayer suffers. Besides morning prayer time, I’ve set phone alerts to remind me to break away mid-morning and mid-afternoon for a five to ten-minute pause to be still and draw near to His heart.
4. The goal is unity in our common faith.
Consider how serious divisions among believers are! (Phillips)
The Corinthians split up into parties/sects/cliques based on a favorite teacher. Others said they owe their faith to Christ alone.
Paul asks, “Is there more than one Christ? Was it Paul who died on the cross for you? Were you baptised in the name of Paul?” (v. 13 Phillips)
Spirit of Division
His gifts were made that Christians might be properly equipped for their service, that the whole body might be built up until the time comes when, in the unity of the common faith and common knowledge of the Son of God, we arrive at real maturity—that measure of development which is meant by the “fullness of Christ”. (Ephesians 4:11-13 Phillips, emphasis added)
Disunity conveys a bad message to unbelievers.
Focusing on our differences takes our eyes off Jesus and leads to disagreements, divisions, and offenses.
Spiritual growth grinds to a halt. Instead of spiritual maturity, we become critical, judgmental, gossips, divisive…
Talking behind each others’ backs
Instead of producing fruit of the spirit, we go back to producing the same rotten fruit we produced before we were born again.
5. Lift Jesus higher not others believers.
The celebrity has to deal with pride and other temptations.
We trade standing in awe of the majesty of our Creator, Savior, and Spirit. for awe of a fellow human believer’s charm, wit, eloquence, knowledge, testimony, charisma, wardrobe, physical appearance, etc.
The focus becomes them and us as if we can’t attain what they have. Our awe should be toward Jesus.
A song to bring you higher, by King David
How truly wonderful and delightful
to see brothers and sisters living together in sweet unity!
It’s as precious as the sacred scented oil
flowing from the head of the high priest Aaron,
dripping down upon his beard and running all the way down
to the hem of his priestly robes.[a]
This heavenly harmony can be compared to the dew
dripping down from the skies upon Mount Hermon,
refreshing the mountain slopes of Israel.
For from this realm of sweet harmony
God will release his eternal blessing, the promise of life forever!
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Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.
My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 21 Day 2