Small Group Study Guide for Acts: Lessons In Faith

You're reading ACTS: LESSONS IN FAITH, by Eric Elder, featuring thirty inspiring devotionals based on the lives of the very first followers of Christ. Also available in paperback and eBook formats in our bookstore for a donation of any size!

You’re reading ACTS: LESSONS IN FAITH, by Eric Elder, featuring thirty inspiring devotionals based on the lives of the very first followers of Christ. Also available in paperback and eBook formats in our bookstore for a donation of any size!

The following questions can be used for personal reflection, group discussion, or a combination of the two.  Each set of questions corresponds directly to each of the thirty lessons contained in this book, counting the Introduction and Conclusion.

For groups wanting a shorter study, with more time for personal reflection and preparation between group discussions, group members could study five lessons on their own each week, then come together and discuss the highlights of those lessons, for a total of six weeks.

For groups wanting a longer study with less study and preparation time during the week, they may choose instead to study just two,  three, or four lessons per week on their own, then come together and discuss those lessons over a period of seven, ten, or fifteen weeks.

For groups wanting to read and discuss each lesson together, without needing to do any study or preparation on their own during the week, they could complete this study together in thirty weeks.

Introduction

1. What did Mrs. Incredible mean when she said, “Doubt is a luxury we can’t afford anymore”?  Can you think of any situations where this might be true in your life?

2. From where did Paul get his confidence to say, “I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me”?  And from where can you get the same confidence?

Lesson 1 – Faith Waits

1. Which is harder for you:  to muster up the faith to do something, or to muster up the faith to wait for something?  How might God want to increase your faith in either area?

2. In your own words, what’s the difference between waiting idly and waiting expectantly? How could you apply these ideas to something you’re facing in life right now?

Lesson 2 – Faith Acts

1. How can exercising your faith make it grow stronger?

2. What evidence did the Apostle Peter give to show that he was really trying to exercise his faith?  What were some of the end results of his spiritual workouts?

Lesson 3 – Faith Heals

1. Whose faith seemed to be at work in the healing of the crippled man at the temple?  On whose name did they call for the healing?

2. Have you ever prayed for someone’s healing at the time they asked for it, right there in front of them, or on the phone with them, or in an email to them?  If not, are you willing to try it?

Lesson 4 – Faith Saves

1. Why did Jesus tell the woman who wiped His feet with her tears, “your faith has saved you”? And from what, exactly, had she been saved?

2. What is so unique about Jesus that caused Peter and John to say, “Salvation comes from no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”?  Why can’t we call out to some other religious leader to save us?

3. If you’ve never asked Jesus to save you, are you ready yet to put your faith in Him?

Lesson 5 – Faith Obeys

1. How did Peter and John display their faith when told to stop preaching in the name of Jesus?  Who did they decide to obey, even when faced with death?

2. What words did Jesus use as the ultimate model of a faith that is willing to obey God regardless of the cost?  Is there something in your life that God might be wanting you to step out in faith and obey?

Lesson 6 – Faith Fills

1. Stephen was described as a man who was “full of faith.”  What are some ways you can become “faith full,” too?

2. What role did C.S. Lewis’ friends play in helping him move from simply believing in God in general, to putting his faith in Christ specifically?  How can other believers help you to increase your faith in Christ as well?

Lesson 7 – Faith Speaks

1. Why did Jesus say we wouldn’t have to be afraid to speak when He calls us to speak (see Matthew 10:26-28)?  How did Stephen put this into practice?

2. Stephen’s words from 2,000 years ago are still echoing throughout the centuries, thanks to what biblical principle (see Isaiah 55:11)?  How can that principle encourage you to speak the words God has given you?

Lesson 8 – Faith Explains

1. Why do you think the Ethiopian eunuch couldn’t understand the scriptures he was reading by himself?  Was he just not smart enough, or was there some other reason?

2. How can you take encouragement to explain the Scriptures to others based on the eunuch’s response to Philip?

Lesson 9 – Faith Surrenders

1. Why are people asked to raise their hands when they surrender?  And why might God want you raise your hands when surrendering to His will?

2. What can keep people from surrendering completely to God’s will?  Is there anything holding you back from surrendering completely to Him as well?

Lesson 10 – Faith Gives

1. Why do you think God took notice of Cornelius’ gifts?  What did God do for Cornelius in response?

2. Why would an increasing faith and trust in God also lead to an increasing willingness to give?  Are there needs around you that God might want to meet through your prayers and gifts?

Lesson 11 – Faith Includes

1. Why did it take faith―and a vision from God―for Peter to be willing to go to Cornelius’ house?  Why might Acts 4:12 sound “exclusive” to some people, while to others it sounds supremely “inclusive”?

2. What is it about Jesus that makes Him unique among all other religious leaders, past or present?  On whose shoulders does the choice lie whether you’re included or excluded–saved or unsaved–in Christ’s kingdom?

3. If you’ve never made the choice to put your faith and trust in Christ, are you ready yet?

Lesson 12 – Faith Prays

1. What’s the difference between praying in fear and praying in faith, even though both can certainly be done “in earnest”?  What attitudes and actions might accompany your prayers if you were to pray in faith (like carrying an umbrella when praying for rain!)?

2. What might be different in your own prayers if you were to pray in faith rather than praying in fear?

Lesson 13 – Faith Fasts

1. Why might fasting help to intensify, deepen, or accelerate your prayers―and the answers that come from those prayers?

2. What role has fasting played in your own prayer life?  What role would you like it to play?

Lesson 14 – Faith Persists

1. What seemed to motivate Paul and Barnabas to persist in their faith, even in the face of tremendous opposition?  How might that same thing motivate you?

2. Is there a specific area in your life where you’re tempted to throw in the towel?  How can the words of Jesus (in Hebrews 12:2) and of Paul (in Philippians 3:14) encourage you to press on in your faith?

Lesson 15 – Faith Purifies

1. Why is it that all of our hand-wringing can’t wash away our own sin?  Why is it that putting our faith and trust in Christ can do it?

2. Although Christ has already died for our sins, what do we need to do in order to “purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)?  Is there anything you’d like to confess to God today?

Lesson 16 – Faith Sings

1. How might singing to God have influenced Paul and Silas’ prayers to God?  How might singing to God influence your prayers to Him?

2. Have you ever experienced a change of heart through singing, as King David seems to have experienced in Psalm 5?  Why not try singing to God today?

Lesson 17 – Faith Examines

1. What were the Bereans looking for in the Scriptures as Paul spoke to them about Jesus? While “examining the Scriptures” for some could be an indication of their lack of faith, why did it seem to be a demonstration of faith on the part of the Bereans?

2. Do you have questions about Jesus that you’d like to have answered more fully?  How could examining the Scriptures help you to discover your answers?

Lesson 18 – Faith Works

1. What role did making tents seem to play in Paul’s commitment to preaching the gospel?  How does secular work compare to ministry work in your own mind?

2. Why did Jesus tell His disciples to “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field”?  How do you feel God might want you to balance―or shift the balance―of secular work and ministry work in your own life?

Lesson 19 – Faith Baptizes

1. What did Paul say was the difference between John’s baptism and Jesus’ baptism?  In what ways did God change and empower the twelve men who Paul baptized that day?

2. What level of importance do you place on baptism when sharing the good news of Christ?  In light of Jesus’ “great commission” to His disciples, and the example of the various stories cited throughout the book of Acts, what what level of importance does God seem to place on baptism?

3. Have you been baptized?  And if not, would you like to be?

Lesson 20 – Faith Resurrects

1. Why might Paul say so confidently in Romans 8:10-11 that the Spirit of God can give life to our mortal bodies?  If God’s Spirit can resurrect those who have physically died, what other kinds of “resurrections” could perform?

2. Is there any area of your life where you could use a dose of God’s resurrection power? How can Paul’s experience of praying for Eutychus encourage you to pray for your situation?

Lesson 21 – Faith Dies

1. Is it contradictory to say that faith in Christ can both raise people from the dead, as well as lead people to their deaths?  How can such different results come from the same faith?

2. How does Paul reconcile these two outcomes, according to his words in Romans 14:7-8? As difficult as it may be to answer, are you ready―as Paul was ready―to die for the name of the Lord Jesus?

Lesson 22 – Faith Testifies

1. What could have happened, and did happen many times, when Paul shared his testimony with others?  Why didn’t he stop?

2. When considering sharing your testimony, what might be the response of some of the listeners, both positive and negative?  What role can “timing” and “audience” play in determining when to share your testimony?

Lesson 23 – Faith Keeps A Clear Conscience

1. How can sand in your shoes eventually turn into a big problem?  What other kinds of things can creep into our lives, perhaps even in relatively harmless ways at first, but could eventually turn into big problems?

2. In what ways can having a clear conscience help you in your life?  Are there any areas where sand is getting in your shoes, and it’s time to dump it out?

Lesson 24 – Faith Flees

1. While faith often calls us to take a stand for what we believe, what are some examples from today’s lesson that suggest that it can sometimes be just as faith-full to flee a dangerous situation?

2. Have you ever had to exercise your faith to flee from a fight, rather than stand up to it? How did you know which way God wanted you to go?

Lesson 25 – Faith Appeals

1. Was Paul defying authority, or exercising his authority, by appealing to Caesar?  What did Paul say in his speech in Acts 25:10-11 regarding his willingness to submit to the decision?  If you’re willing to appeal, are you also willing to submit to the decision?

2. How did God say He would use this appeal process for His glory in Acts 23:11?  How could God use an appeal for justice in your life?

Lesson 26 – Faith Models

1. While Paul could have sounded prideful by hoping that King Agrippa would become like him, what was at the heart of what Paul said?  How can asking others to follow your lead be helpful to them, as Paul asked in 1 Corinthians 11:1?

2. How does your life model what Christ has done for you?  How can your words help others to understand the changes that have taken place within you?

Lesson 27 – Faith Warns

1. How did Paul’s first warning to his shipmates help him when he had to give them a second warning, even though they ignored the first?  How can your warnings to others help them eventually, even if they ignore your warnings at first?

2. How was Paul able to have such a strong faith in God that things would happen just as God had said?  Are there people in your life who could use a good warning right now, based on what you know about God’s will and their lives?  

Lesson 28 – Faith Supplies

1. Why were the people of Malta willing to supply Paul’s needs as Paul continued on his way? In what ways had Paul invested in their lives prior to this point?

2. Have you been touched in a special way through someone’s life or ministry?  In what ways might you want to offer your thanks to them and help to  supply their needs for the future?

Conclusion – The Power of Faith

1. Although the book of Acts doesn’t recorded what eventually happened to Paul, what do you think happened to him?  Do you think he made it to Rome to testify before Caesar?

2. What are a few of the things that faith helped the earliest believers do, as recorded in the book of Acts?  What did Jesus say would be impossible for us, if we put our faith in Him today?

3. In what ways has your faith grown during the course of this study?

Share a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s