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19. Converted persecutor becomes teacher, plus different persecution!

Leader's page and Student's page best viewed left/right side together


Leader’s notes: Acts 11:19-12:25


Lead from the front again, keeping the whole class together.

For the map search, remember there are two towns named ‘Antioch’.


11:26 Paul had studied Jewish law under Gamaliel in Jerusalem. He was a very knowledgeable man. When he realised the truth about Jesus, he had to reorganise his own thinking. He now knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the fulfilment of lots of Old Testament prophecy. He had to work his own way through to a Christian theology.

We find it in his letters.

Peter wrote of Paul’s writings in 2 Peter 3:15-16.

Difficult things are not wrong – they simply need to be studied well.


For discussion: ‘Is encouraging infectious?’ ‘Why?’ Ideas ladies, please!


Revise

Ananias encouraged Saul, Acts 9:10-19

Barnabas encouraged Saul, Acts 9:26-30

Barnabas is encouraged by what he sees happening in Antioch,

He also encourages all of them with his teaching, Acts 11:22-24

Barnabas goes to Tarsus to find Saul and brings him back to Antioch so they

can teach together and encourage the new believers.

Ask

Do you find it easy to accept encouragement? and absorb it?

Do you find it easy to see if someone is discouraged?

Do you then find it easy to encourage someone?


Share your experiences, or use this one of mine. (Also in the opposite notes)

A long time ago, when I was less experienced in having folk stay with us and when our two children were still little, we had a man and his wife coming to stay. I was scared at the thought. She always seemed so in charge and they lived on a more expensive level than we did. Before they arrived I was reading my Bible and talking to the Lord about this. It came into my mind – I believe God put the thought there – ‘she needs help and encouragement – reach out’. I asked God to help me have the right things to say. He did, of course.

We had a good and helpful time together. We are still good friends.


Challenge

Encouragement is not preaching or having all the answers – it is coming alongside. Encouragement is a job all of us can do.




Student's page:

Lesson 19 Converted persecutor becomes teacher, plus different persecution!

Acts 11:19-12:25

Acts 11:19-24 Help each other find some of the places mentioned, map page 4.

11:19 God used the persecution! Where did people go with the message of Jesus? Who did they speak to?

11:20-21 Other people went where? and spoke to? with what result?

What happened to Peter in the previous Bible chapter?

11:22-23 From Jerusalem the church leaders – the apostles – heard news, and sent Barnabas to investigate. Barnabas, the encourager, encourages and is himself encouraged. He is strengthened as he tries to put strength into others.

Acts 11:23-24 A wonderful summary about Barnabas.


What four or five things are said about him? Change the words to ‘she’ and ‘woman’. Then ask, is this true of you?


Acts 11:25-26 Barnabas has a job for Paul.

11:25 Where was Paul? See again the map on page 4.

11:26 What was the job?

The Christians in Antioch lived so like Christ, and/or talked so much about Him, that the locals call them ‘christianoi’ - Christians. Now that is a definite challenge for us.


Discussion about encouraging. It does not say so in the Book of Acts but I am sure some of the encouraging and teaching was not in the formal meeting times but in personal conversations Paul and Barnabas had with individuals around them.

Group teaching and one to one chat encourages.


What do you think? How and where does your encouragement happen?

A long time ago, when I was less experienced in having folk stay with us and when our two children were still little, we had a man and his wife coming to stay. I was nervous at the thought. She always seemed so in charge and they lived on a more expensive level than we did. Before they arrived I was reading my Bible and talking to the Lord about this. It came into my mind – I believe God put the thought there – ‘she needs help and encouragement – reach out’. I asked God to help me have the right things to say. He did, of course.

We had a good and helpful time together. We are still good friends.

Encouragement is not preaching or having all the answers – it is coming alongside another.

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Leader's page:

Acts 11:27-30 two issues.

Try reading the Bible’s true story aloud together. It may be a challenge!


1. Prophets, prophecy and gifts

The office of prophet was a recognised gift to some in local churches, as were many others .

Ephesians 4:11-12 says Christ gives the gifts to build up believers and churches

Romans 12:6-8 we have different gifts according to God’s grace

1 Corinthians 12:7-11, and 12:28-30 say the Holy Spirit gives the gifts

the two Givers mentioned are both within our God – the Trinity

of Father, Son and Holy Spirit – so God gives.

1 Peter 4:10-11 gifts are given by God’s grace so we can serve others and bring

God praise


Notice carefully these guiding truths about spiritual gifts:

1 Corinthians 12:11 the Spirit distributes each gift as He determines

“It is the same and only Holy Spirit Who gives all these gifts and powers, deciding

which each one of us should have”, Living Bible.

1 Peter 4:10a use the gift you have received to serve others

Ephesians 4:12 gifts are given to build up the local church


2. Social gospel.

Emphasise that this is not an ‘either/or’, but ‘both together’ for all genuine Christians. We must live out and love with the gospel; show and speak the gospel; demonstrate and declare the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord.


As the ladies look up these verses, ensure they answer the questions in section 2:

Mark 12:29-31

Matthew 25:31-40, 45

Matthew 28:18-20

John 13:34-35


Read the story Acts 12:1-19a to the class or have ladies read it out loud.

Then work in pairs or groups to answer the questions opposite.

Share the answers.


Advance news for Lesson 20 and further on:

Rather like the work we did on the gospels – the ladies need to find information for each of Paul’s three missionary journeys.




Student's page:

Acts 11:27-30 raises two issues to think about.


1. Prophets, prophecy and gifts

Notice the difference between Old Testament prophets - working directly from God and answerable only to Him - and New Testament prophets - working under the leadership of the apostles and church leaders. Look up Ephesians 4:11-12 Christ gave the gift of prophets – why?

Romans 12:6-8 Do we all have the same gifts? 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 12:28-30 How does the Holy Spirit give gifts?

1 Peter 4:10-11 Find two ways any gift we are given must be used?


2. Social gospel

In the last two centuries some Christians have said that the social gospel (helping people physically) is the true gospel. Some have responded by saying we should only preach the gospel. Jesus taught us very clearly the truth that ‘gospel action’ and ‘social gospel action’ have to go together. Look up Mark 12:29-31 What were Jesus’ two priorities?

Matthew 25:31-40, 45 How did Jesus value helping people?

Matthew 28:18-20 What is this command of Jesus? John 13:34-35 What is this command of Jesus?


11:29-30 Who took the gift from the Antioch church to Jerusalem?

Acts 12:1-19a

Who is attacking the church now? See Appendix 2 page 65 – Knowing which Herod is which.

Who was the second Christian martyr? why?

Who did Herod Agrippa arrest and imprison next?

What happened in the middle of the night before the planned trial? When Peter realised what had happened, where did he go? Why? Would you want Rhoda as your doorkeeper? Why?

Peter shared what had happened and told the assembled group to tell who?

What a carfuffle next morning at the prison! According to the Justinian Code which applied to all prison guards, if a prisoner escaped, whatever his sentence was then applied to the guards responsible - beating, scourging, crucifixion, beheading. Compare Acts 16:22-34.


12:19b-23 Herod went back to Caesarea. There he was involved in a problem with the people of Tyre and Sidon who disliked his new trade arrangement for the wheat they needed. They needed the food so they worked hard to placate Herod. He made an amazing entrance, was acclaimed by people as ‘a god’, collapsed, and reputedly took five days to die.


12:24-25 Summary - God’s Good News flourished. What does that mean? Barnabas and Saul/Paul finish their business in Jerusalem (see 11:25-30) and return to Antioch with Barnabas’ nephew/cousin, John Mark, later the author of the Gospel of Mark.

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