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The Organic Witness of the Gospel

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The Organic Witness of the Gospel 
Sermon Discussion
Acts 1:8


Peyton Jones stopped by this week so we took a short break from our study of Luke's Gospel to look at Luke's 2nd book, the book of Acts and learn about being witnesses. Peyton is a trainer of church planters and author currently living with us in Southern California. His latest book is called "Reaching the Unreached - Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art" takes a deep look at Acts 1:8, the passage he came to preach about this week. Before we get to that though let's check in a bit.

If you wrote a book about your summer so far, what would the title be?

Let's read through the passage and back up for some context, starting in verse 6:

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go inteaven."

-- Act 1:6-11

Let's jump right into it

Was there anything about that passage the you really liked? Or wonder about?

Jesus here spends His last moments with his disciples preparing them for the Holy Spirit who will come to continue His work. Peyton mentioned that in the past when he's begun to discuss the spirit, he's noticed people can get a little weird.

What are some words that come to mind when thinking about the Holy Spirit? Do you think we as a church discuss him too often? too little?

Jesus disciples know that He's asking them to go and tell His story and their anxious to do it, so anxious that Jesus makes a point of telling them to wait, wait for the Spirit who will soon be upon them.

Have you ever been so excited about something that you can't wait to tell others about it? What was it?

Why do you think Jesus asked the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit instead of just giving them the Spirit immediately or letting them go out on their own?

3 years Jesus had been living, eating, walking, and working with these guys. Pouring His life and knowledge into them, getting them ready for this day.

What do you think it's like to have been discipled by Jesus?
Have you ever been discipled by someone? What was that like? How would you know when it was time to start applying what you were learning?

Peyton shared from His own experience working in churches around the country, how frustrated he was that the more he seemed to be involved with church, the less he seemed to be spreading the gospel. It's something that many people in ministry and involved with church can feel.

How have you noticed that being really involved with a church can be a hindrance to spreading the gospel? Why do you think that is? What do you think could be missing?

Spreading the Gospel story is a core value of the Resolved Church family, and hopefully it's a core value of your family also. It can feel like such a large and scary thing though, to be out there in the deep end. Peyton made the point that it's similar to being in deep water, full of the unknown, but that's were all the really amazing stuff can happen.

How do you feel about sharing the gospel with friends and neighbors? Is it easy? hard? non existant?

One of the ideas that Peyton kept coming back to in this passage is that we have to depend on God for everything. Jesus tells his disciples to wait for the Spirit possibly to highlight how they should be dependent on Him. The story of the Gospel only spreads because of the Holy Spirit, no matter if you've lived with Jesus for many years or just met Him today.

Does that change how you feel about sharing the Gospel? How can you remind yourself to be dependent on God when opportunities to share the Gospel come up

Finally, even though most people would say this passage is calling us all to get out there and become evangelists, Peyton made a fine distinction and pointed out that it's actually telling us to go out and be witnesses

What could be some differences between an evangelist and a witness?

Witnessing could look a little different for different people. All the disciples ended up having diverse yet fruitful ministries

How do you think your witnessing might be different? Who has God sent you out to?

PRAYER

Pray as a group that you'd allow yourself to be dependent on God, and clearly see who and where you're being sent to.