[Lesson 1] Acts 1:1-11
So teach us to consider our mortality, so that we might live wisely.
Psalm 90:12 (NET Bible)
God gives each of us a certain number of days measured in years. Each year is a new beginning, a new opportunity to become God’s woman and to overcome past obstacles. Today is your new beginning! As you begin a new venture, it is wise to assess your goals for the year as well as possible hindrances. What is your Bible study goal for the year? What do you foresee as possible obstacles? What has hindered you in the past? How can you be an overcomer? A wise woman carefully considers how she will spend the time God gives her each day. This study is designed to work for women in a variety of circumstances. The three levels allow you to choose what will work best for you.
Open your Bible to Acts chapter 1. Before you begin each lesson, pray that God would open your heart to the truths He has for you from this text.
As you study, observe that each lesson contains different kinds of questions.
Observation Questions-- Some questions will ask you to make simple observations from the text. You may be tempted to think this a waste of time. However, scholars emphasize the importance of observing what is happening in the text before you try to understand what the text means or how to apply it to your life. If you are careless with the observation step, you may easily misinterpret the meaning and then apply erroneously. God forbid! The questions will lead you methodically through the text, asking you to observe thoroughly, interpret wisely, and apply passionately. This method trains you to be a diligent Bible student.
Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NET Bible)
Opinion Questions--Some questions will challenge your thinking or cause you to articulate an opinion and back it up. If you will take your time on these questions, you will train yourself to better express your views and convictions. Soon you will notice that you can defend what you believe with greater clarity and insight. Developing your mind will open doors of opportunity where God can use you.
Application Questions--Some questions will challenge patterns in your life. Your initial response may be resistance or water-skiing over the question. DON’T! Again, take your time. Give the Holy Spirit a chance to work in you, to refine and teach you. God’s Word is designed to change you and enable you to use your days wisely.
Above all, rejoice that you have the Bible in your hands, God’s love letter to you. As you study wholeheartedly, he will change you into the woman He wants you to be!
Acts of the Holy Spirit
The New Plan
Acts is a fast-paced, action adventure book which chronicles the birth and growth of the early church from the Jewish center of Jerusalem to the Gentile capital Rome. In addition, it is a bridge-like sequel to the Gospels that precede it and background for the epistles that follow. But most of all, Acts is a tribute to the transforming power of God, as evidenced in the Apostles’ lives. Observing the changes in their lives from fearful weaklings to irrepressible dynamos gives us hope and encouragement today.
Read Acts 1:1-11
1. A. What did Luke deal with in his first book? (1:1)
B. Where did that book end? What was the last thing Jesus did on earth? (1:2)
C. (Digging Deeper) Who is Theophilus? What does the name mean? What is his ethnic background? How does his background relate to the purpose of the book?
2. Now Luke gives us a more detailed account of those last 40 days on earth.
A. What was Jesus doing? (1:3)
B. What command did the risen Lord give His disciples in verse 4?
3. Jesus said He had talked to His followers about this “gift” previously.
Read John 16:5-16.
A. Why was it good for Jesus to physically leave them? (John 16:7)
B. What are some of the ministries of the “Counselor”? (John 16:8, 13, 14; John 14:16-18, 26)
C. (Summit) The Holy Spirit is the main character who dominates the whole book of Acts. Look up “Holy Spirit” in a concordance and study the verses. Do a character study on Him. How is he different from the Father and the Son? How is he the same?
D. Can you recall a specific experience when the Holy Spirit ministered to you? If so, please share.
4. A. With Jesus vindicated as the Messiah by His resurrection, the Apostles’ question in Acts 1:6 is natural. What was the question? What kind of kingdom do you think they had in mind?
B. Jesus did not deny that he would one day establish that kingdom in 1:7. However, who did he say would determine its timing? (See also Mark 13:32)
C. Are you anxious for God to fulfill a desire of your heart in your timing? If so, how might Jesus’ answer in verse 7 help you?
5. A. In the meantime while they were waiting for the kingdom, what were Jesus’ followers to do? Who would be their source of strength and power? (1:8)
B. What is a “witness”? Have you ever been someone’s “witness”? Is so, what did you do? In what ways can we be a “witness” for Christ? Discuss.
C. (Summit: Personal Project) Prepare yourself to be a witness. Write out your personal testimony. Choose a tract such as “The Four Spiritual Laws” or write your own. Learn to use it. Practice presenting the gospel to a family or group member. This preparation will equip you to be a “witness” for Christ when the opportunity arises.
D. (Digging Deeper) List the places where the Apostles would be witnesses in 1:8. Look at the map. Do you see any significance in the order? What can you learn about missions and/or evangelism from this list?
Locate a first century map. Where is Jerusalem? Judea? Samaria? the ends of the earth?
Note: Acts 1:8 is actually an outline of the book:
Acts 1:1 through 6:7 describes the believers’ witness in Jerusalem.
Acts 6:8 through 9:31 describes the believers’ witness in all Judea and Samaria.
Acts 9:32 through 28:31 describes the believers’ witness to the ends of the earth: Rome.
6. A. What happened in verse 9? Try to envision the event. What do you think the Eleven were feeling as Jesus left them?
B. Who joined the Apostles as they watched Jesus ascend? (1:10) What question did they ask? (1:11a) In your opinion, why?
C. What assurance is given the Eleven in 1:11b?
D. (Summit) When and where will this happen? Relate any interesting insight concerning this event. (Revelation 1:7; Luke 21:25-27; Zechariah 14:3-11)
7. According to the account in Luke 24:50-52, what was the emotional state of the Apostles after the Ascension? What did they do as a result? Picture yourself as one of them. How would you have felt?
8. (Summit) Read the book of Acts, or view “Acts--the Visual Bible” by Visual Entertainment, or listen to an audio tape of the book. Make a chart of major divisions or chapters. Label each to help you see the book as a whole.
9. (Optional personal assignment) “Acts” chronicles the history of the acts of the Holy Spirit in the first century church. What are the “acts of the Spirit” in your personal history? Make a time line of your life highlighting the “acts of the Spirit.”
10. (Optional group assignment) Choose a scribe to keep a record of the “acts of the Spirit” in your group this year. Periodically ask the scribe to review what God is doing in the life of your group. This is your praise journal.
11. (Optional group assignment) Choose a scribe to keep a record of the prayer requests of the group as well as answered prayer. Periodically ask the scribe to review how God is working through prayer in your group. This is your prayer journal.
12. This study, “Acts of the Spirit,” is calling you to a spirit-filled life. Self-sufficiency and independence are great sins against God. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing self reliance and 10 representing dependence on God, how do you rate? Choose a situation this week and analyze your response according to this scale.
The Call of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot sustain you.