Acts

This Is Church

The Ascension, Judas, & Matthias

For The Sake Of The Gospel • September 6, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. How can you relate to the disciples in the moment that Jesus was taken into heaven? 2. Are we taking Jesus' command seriously to be His witnesses? If not, what would change in and about our life if we did? 3. What do we learn from Judas? Additional Scripture References: Psalm 103:19; Philippians 3:8-9; Isaiah 53:10

Tongues

For The Sake Of The Gospel • September 13, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What do you love about Pentecost here in Acts 2? 2. What challenges you or makes you feel a little uncomfortable? Why do you think this is so? 3. What about your life points to Joel's prophecy being true or fulfilled? Additional Scripture References: Philippians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:28; Galatians 2:20; 2 Kings 5:9-11; John 3:5-8; Acts 11:16-17; Ephesians 4:5; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Titus 3:5-6; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Corinthians 3:6

Day By Day

For The Sake Of The Gospel • September 20, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. To what (or whom) are you devoted? What proof is there? 2. What do you think of when you think about fellowship? What would change in our life if our "fellowship" paradigm was more in sync with the early church? 3. Why does Luke speak so much about the breaking of bread? Why is it significant that the people were receiving food with glad and generous hearts? Why is it so hard to embrace the day to day? Additional Scripture References: Mark 16:20

Healing

For The Sake Of The Gospel • September 27, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What are we supposed to take away from this particular story of healing? What does it tell us about Peter, the lame man, and God? 2. What are the common themes between Peter's sermon at Pentecost and his sermon in Solomon's Portico? 3. As believers, how does living by faith, wisdom, self control, and good stewardship come together? 4. What is the wickedness that Peter is referring to in verse 26? How can he use such a strong word? Additional Scripture References: 2 Timothy 4:2-4; John 5:42-43; John 14:6; Colossians 1:16; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Proverbs 16:9

Belief

For The Sake Of The Gospel • October 4, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What about your life over the last month gives you confidence that you actually “believe” in Jesus, hope in Jesus, trust in Jesus, worship Jesus,…etc.? 2. Consider the truths of the Gospel of Jesus. (Ephesians 1 is a great place to do this.) What is it that your heart has the hardest time believing? How does this manifest itself? 3. For what specific reasons in your life right now do you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit? What truths in the gospel, about God, about your relationship with God in Christ do you need to focus on? 4. How can our Missional Communities see to it that our doctrine is accompanied by fruit? What does this look like for our local body here in Alamo Ranch…San Antonio? Additional Scripture References: John 3:16; Romans 10:9-11; Luke 12:11-12; Luke 22:54-62; John 13:19; 14:28-29; 16:4; Romans 15:8-9, 13; Ephesians 1:17-19; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Ephesians 3:14-21

Prayer

For The Sake Of The Gospel • October 11, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What is your normal response when things go wrong in your life? Why? 2. What is a gospel-centered, Spirit-filled response to difficult and stressful situations? 3. What tends to keep you from praying? How do you judge the success of prayer? 4. How does the theology of the cross instruct or impact our prayer life? Additional Scripture References: 1 Peter 1:7; Psalm 115:3; Psalm 135:6; Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18:4-6; Psalm 2:4; Isaiah 46:8-11; John 12:32; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 1:3; Titus 3:3-4

Together

For The Sake Of The Gospel • October 18, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What is your view of community now and how is it expanded or further developed from this text? 2. What is your view of giving now and how is it expanded or further developed from this text? 3. How is community connected to worship? How is giving connected to worship? Additional Scripture References: John 13:35

Fear

For The Sake Of The Gospel • November 1, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What is your initial reaction when you read stories in scripture like the story of Uzzah in 2 Samuel and the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5? How does it stretch you in regards to what you believe about God and about you? 2. Do your experiences in life bring about a positive or negative view of “the fear of the Lord”? 3. How does the gospel help to create a positive or healthy view of this fear? 4. How does community foster a healthy fear of the Lord? Additional Scripture References: 2 Samuel 6:5-15; Hebrews 1:12; 13:8; 12:29; 10:31; Romans 9:15; Deuteronomy 4:10; 5:29; 6:2; 6:24; 10:12; Jeremiah 32:40; James 4:17; John 10:10

Whatever

For The Sake Of The Gospel • November 8, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. Would Jesus consider you a disciple of His? 2. What stands out to you the most from this text? 3. Why were those four qualities given in verse 3 as the standard for those who would serve? How would you describe someone who is a true servant? 4. Why is the “ministry of the word” so important for the Church? Additional Scripture References: Luke 22:26; John 12:26

Death

For The Sake Of The Gospel • November 15, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What things stuck out to you from this text? Is there anything in this text that challenges you? 2. How does this text push us towards the gospel? 3. What parallels do you see between the nation of Israel in this text and the American nation? 4. What practical application should we as individuals take from this text? …as the church collective? Additional Scripture References: Philippians 3:8

Forgiveness

For The Sake Of The Gospel • November 29, 2015 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What things stuck out to you from this text? Is there anything in this text that challenges you? 2. How would you describe the opposite of forgiveness? What does your un-forgiveness tend to look like? 3. What are some cultural norms that make it difficult to live a life characterized by forgiveness? 4. How does doing life in community help with the process of forgiveness? Additional Scripture References: Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; Matthew 6:14; Philippians 3:7-8; Mark 10:29-31; Ephesians 6:12

In Review

In Review • January 3, 2016 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What things stuck out to you from this text? Is there anything in this text that challenges you? 2. If the Holy Spirit is the distinguishing mark of a true Christian then what are the implications for us individually? Does that change the way we view the “Church”? 3. In what ways is God calling you to “witness” to your family, your neighbor, your city, your nation, your world? With this in mind, what fruits of the Siprit (Galatians 5:22-24) seem glaringly missing from your life? This is probably a great place to start with regards to New Year’s resolutions. Additional Scripture References: Matthew 24:14

Conversion (Part 1)

For The Sake Of The Gospel • January 10, 2016 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What things stuck out to you from this text? Is there anything in this text that challenges you? 2. “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” What does this quote by John Piper make you think of with respect to your own life? 3. Can you think of a time in your life where your suffering or loss meant the possibility of joy for another? 4. What does Simon’s experience teach us about the theology of baptism? 5. Read and meditate on Matthew 13:1-9. What does the parable of the sower teach us about salvation? Additional Scripture References: 1 Corinthians 1:26; Matthew 13:1-9; Hebrews 6:4-8; Revelation 2:7,11,17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:4-6; Luke 11:11-13

Conversion (Part 2)

For The Sake Of The Gospel • January 17, 2016 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What things stuck out to you from this text? Is there anything in this text that challenges you? 2. Knowing yourself, what are some practical glimpses of you walking and being filled with the Spirit? What are glimpses of you not walking and being filled with the Spirit? 3. How can “community” and “discipleship” foster life lived in step with the Holy Spirit? 4. What does John the Baptist mean by “bear fruit in keeping with repentance”? (Matthew 3:8) Additional Scripture References: 1 John 2:18; Matthew 3:8; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:4-6; Romans 5:18; Luke 11:11-13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13; Romans 8:16; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:25

Salvation (Part 1)

For The Sake Of The Gospel • January 24, 2016 • Michael McCracken

Study Questions: 1. What things stuck out to you from this text? Is there anything in this text that challenges you? 2. Share of times when you felt the Holy Spirit calling you to do something. What can you point to that makes you know it was the Spirit in you? 3. What does it look like to love America from a biblical worldview? 4. What does it look like to be in relationship with Jesus? (Recommendation: Read any 10 chapters of the Psalms in succession and discuss what it looked like for David.) Additional Scripture References: 1 Peter 2:1-3; Romans 8:29

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