February 10th ,2019
1. Note that in verse 1 the persecution of the Jerusalem church was followed by scattering of the believers to Judea and Samaria (the surrounding regions). Compare Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19-20. WHY DOES PERSECUTION HELP THE CHURCH GROW? WHEN HAVE YOU HEARD OF PERSECUTION BRINGING ABOUT SPIRITUAL GROWTH—IN YOUR OWN LIFE OR IN OTHERS?
2. WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT THAT THE APOSTLES PRAY AND LAY HANDS ON THE NEW BELIEVERS BEFORE THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT, verses 14-17? How would you answer someone who told you the same is true today, and that to have the Holy Spirit you must receive it through the apostles’ successors (priests, bishops, etc.) or by manifesting some particular spiritual gift (for example, tongues)? Be sure to use Scripture. See John 15:26, Romans 8:14-16, and Ephesians 1:13.
3. In verses 18-24 we see the strange case of Simon, who tried to buy the power to give the Holy Spirit. Based on the text in verses 9-24 WHY DO YOU THINK SIMON WAS A TRUE BELIEVER WHO SLIPPED INTO HIS OLD WAYS, OR WAS NEVER A TRUE BELIEVER AT ALL? Document your opinion with Scripture texts from Acts 8:1-24 and use other Scripture texts as well.