Sermon Bible Study Guides

in Acts

Acts 21:1-16 - 3rd September 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read Acts 21:1-6 (It may help you to read the previous chapter or two to catch up on what's been happening).
  2. What locations or settings are mentioned?
  3. Who is "we" in verse 21, 22, etc.?
  4. What other characters are mentioned? How are they described?
  5. What are repeated words/phrases?
  6. What problem arises in this narrative?

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1.  In verse 4, what do you think it means that "through the Spirit" they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem?
  2. Where else do we see Agabus in Acts? What was he doing? (see 11:28)
  3. Something about the prophecies from the disciples and Agabus was wrong because we also see the Spirit guiding Paul to go to Jerusalem (v. 14).
    1. Are these contradictions? How can we make sense of this?
    2. Is it possible that there is simply a mistake in the interpretation of the prophecy? 
    3. Does 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 help us here?
  4. Why was Paul so determined to go to Jerusalem?
    1. Do you think that Paul should have listened to the warnings?

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. We see the love between Paul and the disciples at Tyre by their solemn goodbye.
    1. Do you have deep friendships with Christians, especially in our church?
    2. How can you make your Christian friendships deeper and more meaningful?
  2. Do you think the gift of prophecy continues to today? 
    1. Are your convictions based on experience, scripture, or something else?
  3. How do you see God's Spirit working in your life? (perhaps to convict, comfort, help, or guide you)
  4. How can we grow in our zeal for the Lord's will to be done, like Paul and the disciples in verses 13-14?
in James

James 5:13-20 - 20th August, 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read James 5:13-20.
  2. Who does James address?
  3. What are the repeated words/phrases/ideas?
  4. What commands are given?
  5. What reasons are given?
  6. Do we see anything that connects to other sections of James?
  7. What does this text teach us about God and how he works in the world?

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. What are some common ways that people respond to suffering?
    1. How should Christians respond?
    2. If we are suffering, what should we pray for?
  2. Why is it important for Christians to sing praise in their cheerfulness?
    1. What does it say about our hearts if we do not praise God when we are joyful?
  3. What is the prayer of faith in verse 15?
    1. Whose faith is being described, the faith of the sick person or the faith of the one praying? 
    2. What do you think it means that this prayer will "save the one who is sick"? (physical healing, spiritual salvation, both, or something else?)
  4. Healing, when it comes, is always a gift from God. Why might God choose not to heal someone?
    1. Why does James give us the example of Elijah?
  5. Is verse 19 talking about a believer or a non-believer?
    1. What does it mean to "bring back a sinner from his wandering"? (cross-reference Matthew 18:15-20)

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. Are you suffering? Pray!
    1. What would it look like to be faithful in praying through your suffering?
    2. Are there other people in your life who are suffering? What can you ask God for on their behalf?
  2. Are you cheerful? Sing praise!
    1. What are some ways things that have made you happy this week? How can you praise God for those things?
  3. Are you sick? 
    1. Have you ever called the elders of the church while you were sick? Why or why not?
    2. Is there sin in your life that you need to confess? Is there someone in your life that you can regularly confess to?
      1. God promises healing and forgiveness if we confess our sins to one another and pray for one another.
  4. Do you know someone who is wandering from the truth?
    1. How might God be able to use you to bring them back?
    2. Church members have a special obligation to their local assembly. If someone in your church was wandering, would you know?