Good News: Power From Above / Session #5
Good Questions: These Lessons Have Groups Talking
Acts 22: 1 - 16 (1)
- What three fellowships do we have planned for the next three months? Who would invite every member? Who would invite every prospect?
- Let's each share your name and one adjective that could be used to describe your childhood.
- As we read this passage, look for the before, how and after of Paul's testimony.
- Let's write three columns on the board: before, how and after. What do you lean about each of these categories from this passage? Let me ask one of you to jot some notes/ summaries on the board.
- Who was Gamaliel?
- See if you can locate Damascus on a map.
- How did Ananias help Paul out?
- What kind of pronouncement did Ananias make about Paul's future?
- In verse 16 we read of Paul baptism. Why is baptism important?
- What did your baptism mean to you?
- Look at verse 16 carefully. Did the baptism wash Paul's sins away?
- Let me ask you to take a piece of paper and make three columns on it. At the top of each, write, "Before, how, after." Then, write some notes as to what was true of your life without God, how you came to faith and what was true of your life afterwards."
- I'd like to take 15 minutes or so to ask several of you to share your testimony based on this sheet. Who would go first? (2)
- What are some examples of advertisements that use personal testimonies?
- Why is a testimony such a powerful thing?
- Were any of you persuaded to come to Christ because of a testimony?
- Imagine you are not a Christian. Ten reasonable, normal people say to you, "I am a Christian and I just love it." How do you think that would impact you?
- How do you share the before section of a testimony if you were saved at a young age?
- Has anyone had a chance to share their testimony in recent weeks?
- Do you know anyone who, as far as you know, is far from God and has not heard your testimony. Is it within the realm of something you could do to ask them, "Could I share a story with you?"
- What keeps us from being more brave in sharing our testimony?
- Let's make a list of the first names of people we know that, as far as we know, do not know Christ.
- We want to pray for these in a moment, and for ourselves that we would have the courage to speak up for Christ. What else would we pray about?
1. "Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense."
 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.
Then Paul said:  "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.  I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,  as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
 "About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.  I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?'
 " 'Who are you, Lord?' I asked.
" 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,' he replied.  My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
 " 'What shall I do, Lord?' I asked.
" 'Get up,' the Lord said, 'and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.'  My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.
 "A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.  He stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very moment I was able to see him.
 "Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth.  You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.  And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.' Acts 22:1-16 [NIV]
2. You might go first yourself. If the group is small, you might ask if everyone is willing to share. If the group is bigger, you might divide the group into sub groups of 4 or 5 and have then each share with each other. Spend some time letting the group practice this.