What characterised those in the early church upon whom the Spirit came so powerfully - and how was that worked out in their practical lives? We have recently completed a mini series of three studies on 'Inside the early church'. We took a close look at the questions raised above and considered how this applies in our churches today.
See below for 'points to ponder' and the recordings for each study.
Inside the early church
Wednesday 8th June - Inside the early church (part 3)
Read: Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37 Points to Ponder: Some ‘Points to Ponder’ from the previous study are relevant this week so they are included again. 1. Acts 2:42 tells us that the believers ‘devoted themselves’ to those four-fold characteristics of church. What thoughts and ideas come to mind with the concept of devoting yourself to something? 2. What do you think devoting themselves to the ‘apostles’ teaching’ looked like in the Early Church and what should it look like today in our churches? 3. They also devoted themselves ‘to fellowship.’ What do you think this means and how is that demonstrated in such passages as Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37? Does having ‘everything in common’ have anything to do with devoting themselves ‘to the fellowship’? 4. How do you devote yourself to the ‘breaking of bread’? 5. What does the ‘breaking of bread’ refer to – a meal, a communion service? 6. If we devote ourselves to prayer, what will this look like in our churches today?
Wednesday 25th May - Inside the early church (part 2) - Recording available below
Read:John 17; Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37
Points to Ponder: 1. What can we learn about the nature of church from such passages as John 17:11;20-26? 2. What can those passages teach us about how we treat one another as members of the Body of Christ? 3. Acts 2:42 tells us that the believers ‘devoted themselves’ to those four-fold characteristics of church. What thoughts and ideas come to mind with the concept of devoting yourself to something? 4. What do you think devoting themselves to the ‘apostles’ teaching’ looked like in the Early Church and what should it look like today in our churches? 5. They also devoted themselves ‘to fellowship.’ What do you think this means and how is that demonstrated in such passages as Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37?
Click here to download the Bible study recording.
Wednesday 11th May - Inside the early church (part 1) - Recording available below
Read: John 14; 17; Revelation 21:1-5; Acts 1-2; Romans 8:1-17 Points to Ponder: 1. If you had to put the message of the Bible into one sentence, what would that sentence be? 2. Why do you think that Jesus did not make the most of the time between the resurrection and ascension and spend every minute that he could with his disciples? 3. Do you agree that the Early Church would not exist if the Spirit had not been sent by the Father and Son to indwell the disciples? 4. Do you think the church would continue if God removed his Spirit from it? 5. As you read through the first two chapters of Acts, what is it about the Early Church that really excites you?
Use these questions to get yourself thinking about what that Early Church looked like. We will be making our studies practical and asking how we can experience in our churches what it means to live out the life of the Spirit and thereby continue the presence and ministry of Jesus on this earth.
Some time ago John wrote three Bible studies on the Apostles John, Peter and Thomas. The studies focus upon their temperaments and how Jesus walked with them and encouraged them to live in all of who they were - see below for the studies.
The disciple Thomas was a Double Introvert. We know very little about Thomas, but what we do know gives a real insight into his character. Jesus chose him to be one of his disciples and entrusted the ongoing work of the church to him. This should encourage all Double Introverts who can so easily doubt their value. Thomas' Trust contains a biblical study of Thomas' character and how Jesus taught him to trust. Click the graphic of the letter 'T' to go to the study.
The Apostle Peter, whom Jesus called the 'rock' upon which the church would be built, was a Sanguine Phlegmatic. Peter's Pain contains a biblical study of Peter's character and how Jesus walked with him and strengthened his Phlegmatic to enable him to live in all of who he was and lead the future church. It is a great encouragement to all Sanguine Phlegmatics and those who seek to help them live in the whole of who God created them to be. Click the letter 'P' to go to the study.
The Apostle John, author of John's gospel, the three letters of John and the Book of Revelation, had the Choleric Melancholic temperament. John's Joy presents a biblical study of John's character and how Jesus walked with him and encouraged him to live in all of who he was. It is a great encouragement and source of hope for those with the Choleric Melancholic temperament, and for those who know and love someone with this temperament, as they seek to serve the Lord. Click the letter 'J' to go to the study.
During lockdown we held regular Bible studies via Zoom.
We held two studies on the important subject of suffering - click here for details, to listen to the recordings and to read the ensuing discussion notes.
Our previous study topics were prayer and 'What really happened at the Fall in the Garden?' Click here for details and the recordings of the studies.
Earlier Bible studies have been recorded - click here for recordings of our studies from April - July 2020 and here to go to details of our studies on 'The foundational principles of church' and Romans 14, which were held from October 2020 - January 2021.