Sermon-Based Study Guide
For the message on October 2, 2022
Passage: Acts 21:27-40
In Part 3 of our Influencers series, Casey highlights three principles from Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem for how to keep our influence when doing right goes wrong.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
In the message, Casey reminded us that sometimes doing the right thing will sometimes cause us temporary affliction. Can you think of a time when you did the right thing even though it was uncomfortable and difficult?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. Before traveling to Jerusalem, Paul had followed the Lord’s direction in taking the good news about Jesus throughout many Gentile territories where many came to know Christ. In coming to Jerusalem, Paul sought to bring the gospel to unbelieving Jews. He was met with false accusations, fierce opposition, and physical beatings. What do the following verses tell us about what we should expect when following the Lord and doing the right thing?
2 Timothy 3:10-13 (ESV)
10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
John 15:19-20 (ESV)
19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
Matthew 5:10-12 (ESV)
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
What encouragement do the above passages give you for persevering in your faith when doing right goes wrong?
2. As Paul was being beaten and close to being murdered for doing the work that God gave him, Roman soldiers ran to his rescue. What timing! In the middle of it all, Paul believed God would rescue him and eventually bring him to Rome. What encouragement do the following verses give us for trusting in God’s direction when life gets tough?
Matthew 6:25-33 (ESV)
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 10:12-14 (ESV)
12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
Which one of the above passages speaks most personally to you right now? How does that passage encourage you?
3. After Paul was rescued from his Jewish persecutors, he sought and gained permission to speak the good news about Jesus to them. What amazing grace Paul extended to his enemies! What standard does the following passage give believers for how to respond to those who are antagonistic towards us because of our faith?
Romans 12:14-21 (ESV)
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
When have you responded in an opposite manner to others in the way prescribed by Paul in the passage above? How did that turn out?
When have you followed the prescribed response by Paul to those who have opposed you in some way? How did that turn out?
In light of the sermon and today’s study, what has challenged you the most personally?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?