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[Lesson 2] Acts 1:12-26

The New Power
Acts 1:12-2:41

After Jesus’ ascension, the eleven Apostles walked less than a mile back to Jerusalem to await the promised gift. Ask God what “gift” He has for you in this lesson.

Read Acts 1:12-26

    1. A. Where were they? What groups were present? Note the total number of people. (1:12, 13, 15)

    B. Why do you think it was important that they be together?

    The New Power
    Acts 1:12-2:41

    After Jesus’ ascension, the eleven Apostles walked less than a mile back to Jerusalem to await the promised gift. Ask God what “gift” He has for you in this lesson.

    Read Acts 1:12-26

      1. A. Where were they? What groups were present? Note the total number of people. (1:12, 13, 15)

      B. Why do you think it was important that they be together?

      C. (Summit) Do a time line, labeling the key events from the most recent Passover to Pentecost.

      D. (Digging Deeper) What woman is specifically mentioned in verse 14? Chronicle her life over the last two months.

      E. Jesus had given the Eleven a colossal mandate in 1:8, and then what seemed to be a contradictory command in 1:4. Why do you think they needed to wait? What are the implications for us? Share an experience in God’s “waiting room”?

      F. What were they all doing as they waited? (1:14) Have you ever prayed with others toward a common goal? If so, describe the experience. How do you feel about praying together with your group?

      2. A. During the ten days of waiting, Peter raised the issue of a replacement for Judas. (1:15-17, 20) Why did Peter see the need for another Apostle? (Matthew 19:28)

      B. What do 1:18 and 19 (which is an explanatory parenthesis) tell us about the way Judas was remembered by the people?

      C. (Summit) Do a character study of Judas. In a concordance find and study the related references. Why do you think God allowed one of the Twelve to betray Jesus?

      D. What is the specific qualification for apostleship, according to Peter? (1:21-22)

      E. (Summit) What is the difference between a disciple and an Apostle?

      F. Who chose the original Twelve Apostles? (Mark 3:13, 14) Who then should logically choose the new Apostle? Who chooses leaders today?

      G. What part did the group play in choosing Matthias? List the three steps involved. (1:21-23, 24-25, 26)

      (Note: The practice of “casting lots” was common in the Old Testament (Proverbs 16:33), but this is the only time the Apostles did this in the New Testament. The name of each candidate was written on a stone which was placed in a vessel and shaken. The first to fall out obtained the office.)

      H. (Digging Deeper) Compare the general attitude of the Apostles before the resurrection with their attitude now.

    Read Acts 2:1-13

      The celebration of the Hebrew feast of Pentecost meant Jerusalem would be bustling with a huge, cosmopolitan crowd of Jews from all over the Mediterranean world and the Middle East. Pentecost means fiftieth. It has been 50 days since the Passover when Jesus was crucified.

      3. A. When the gift of the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles as Jesus promised in Acts 1:8, there were three kinds of supernatural evidence. Describe each.

      Audible evidence (2:2)

      Visible evidence (2:3)

      Oral evidence (2:4)

      B. What do the words “like” or “as” in verses 2 and 3 seem to indicate about this event? Pretend you are there and try to envision the scene.

      C. (Digging Deeper) Describe the crowd that gathered. On a map, find the areas represented by those present that day.

      D. What were these “other tongues” described in verse 4? (2:5-11) How would this affect the spread of Christianity? How might these “other tongues” relate to Jesus’ command in 1:8?

      E. What was the specific message that reached each hearer? (2:11b) Describe the reactions of the hearers. (2:12, 13) How do people today react to evidence of God’s power? Discuss.

      F. (Summit) Can you do everything the Apostles did? Why or why not? Consider this question throughout the year as we study signs and wonders, the baptism of the Spirit, and tongues. Do you believe tongues are a real language or ecstatic utterances? Is the gift of tongues operative today? Read John MacArthur’s The Charismatics or Norman Geisler’s Signs and Wonders. As our study of Acts unfolds, we will tackle these kinds of questions.

    Read Acts 2:14-41

    Now the Twelve stood up together and Peter addressed the crowd. This is the same sniveling coward who denied Christ three times two months earlier---and this is his first sermon.

    Peter gives four reasons to come to faith in Jesus.

      4. A. Peter’s first reason is found in 2:16-21. How did Peter explain the events taking place before their eyes? Which part of Joel’s prophecy (written eight centuries earlier) quoted by Peter was fulfilled at Pentecost?

      B. (Summit) When will verses 19 and 20 occur? What is “the glorious day of the Lord?” (Verse 20)

      C. (Summit) Why is Joel’s prophecy significant for women who hear a call to serve God? In your opinion, are there Biblical limitations on a woman in ministry? If so, what are they? Support your answer.

      D. According to 2:21, what is the purpose of the events at Pentecost and other future, catastrophic events described in prophecy? Who does Peter identify as the One Joel calls “Lord”? (2:36)

      5. Peter’s second reason to come to faith in Christ is seen in 2:22. What is it?

      6. A. Peter’s third reason is found in 2:23-32. What is the reason?

      B. (Digging Deeper) Peter insisted that David knew and wrote about the resurrection of Christ in Psalm 16:8-11. (Acts 2:25-28) Explain his reasoning.

      7. Peter’s fourth and final reason to come to faith in Jesus is seen in 2:33-35. According to Peter, where is Jesus now? (2:33a) What has Jesus just done? (2:33b) Since Jesus is there, who is He?

      (Note: Peter again calls on David as a witness to this truth in 2:34. David was recording God the Father welcoming God the Son into heaven at the ascension to sit as His right hand. The first “Lord” is the Father and the second “Lord” is the Son.)

      8. A. What was Peter’s logical conclusion to these four arguments? (2:36)

      B. How was his audience affected? (2:37)

      C. How could they obtain salvation? (2:38) Who was eligible? (2:39) How many believed? (2:41)

      D. (Digging Deeper) Why do you think Peter referred to the Old Testament so often in his sermon? What does this tell us about communicating with people?

      E. Evaluate Peter’s first sermon. Keep in mind that he was an uneducated fisherman. What difference did the Holy Spirit make in Peter? What difference can the Holy Spirit make in you? Choose a fleshly habit that you want to change. Ask the Holy Spirit to change you. Observe your actions this week, and when you are tempted to fall back into that habit, immediately call on the Holy Spirit to work within you. Share the results.

      9. (Summit) Reread 2:22 and 23. Keys to understanding the relationship between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man are revealed in these verses. Can you discover the relationship? See also Acts 3:18 and 4:28)

      The golden nugget God taught me this week is ____________________________.

Related Topics: Pneumatology (The Holy Spirit), Curriculum