Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on November 14, 2021
Passage: Acts 11:19-30
This Sunday, Mike continued our “Live Sent” series by looking at the thriving church at Antioch.
Looking back at your notes from Sunday’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, or challenged you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Many in the early church were persecuted in Jerusalem scattered throughout the region. Some traveled 300 miles north to Antioch, the third largest city in the Roman empire. What is the farthest from home you have ever been? Why were you there?
LET’S GO DEEPER
The church at Antioch became the first church plant of Gentiles. It also became the base of operations for Paul’s missionary journeys. In the sermon, Mike listed five characteristics that were evident in the church at Antioch. Let’s take an introspective look at each of these and evaluate ourselves on whether these traits are present in our own lives.
1. They committed to live sent. In verse 20, we see that some of the believers who were persecuted for their faith in Jesus went to Antioch and “began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus.” Notice that no names are mentioned. It was just a group of committed followers of Jesus who decided to live with a mission.
- Who is someone you know that is living “sent”? What evidence can you point to in their life?
- What is one piece of evidence that others could identify in your life that would indicate you are “live sent” (living as one sent out by God to reach others for Jesus)?
2. They depended on God’s power. In verse 21, we read that “the power of the Lord was with them and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord.” These persecuted believers knew they couldn’t build a church in a pagan and immoral city through their own ingenuity and power. The depended on the Lord to move in big ways. Today, we do this by prayer.
- When have you seen or experienced the power of God in your life or in someone else’s life?
- How would you rate your prayer life on a scale of 1-10? Why did you rate yourself this way? What needs to change so you might rater yourself higher on the scale?
3. They benefitted from personal encouragement. In verses 22-23, Barnabas arrived in Antioch and “encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord.” Living a godly life in that pagan and immoral culture wasn’t easy. Today, we face similar pressure to conform to the values of this world. We need each other and we need each other’s encouragement to push through the times we are discouraged or dragging our feet spiritually.
- Who is a great encourager in your life as you follow Jesus? How do they encourage you to live in a godly way?
- How could you encourage a fellow believer this week to keep walking in godliness?
4. They anchored to God’s Word. In verses 25-26, we find Paul arriving in Antioch and staying with the church “for a full year, teaching large crowds of people.” Who better to disciple these Gentile believers than Paul! Paul was a Jewish scholar but also well versed in Greek culture, thinking, literature, and speaking. Paul could relate to them! Paul and Barnabas taught them for a whole year the truths of the gospel – truths about Jesus’ teachings. Today, we get find those teachings in the Bible!
- What steps are you taking to anchor your heart and life to the teachings of God’s Word?
- Where do you still need help in understanding and following the truths of God’s Word?
5. They were quick to help others. A famine was coming soon to the region. In verse 29, we find the believers in Antioch deciding to “send relief to the brothers and sisters in Judea, everyone giving as much as they could.” These believers not only claimed to follow Jesus, they lived with compassion toward others like Jesus did.
- Who is someone who has shown you compassion and given you help when you didn’t know what to do or where to turn.?
- What are some new and practical ways you (and your family or friends) can help others as the holiday season approaches?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?