Questions and going deeper resources
Connect Think of a way that you could creatively share the Gospel with a person on your frontline.
- Have you ever been offered a gift with ‘strings attached’? How about a gift with no strings attached?
- What does “salvation by grace alone” mean? Why do you think our culture can have trouble accepting that?
Read Acts 15:1-5
- What were some of the Jewish believers from Judea teaching Gentile believers in Antioch?
- Did the Jewish believers believe that salvation was through Jesus? What else did they think was required?
- Why did this bring them into ‘sharp dispute and debate’ with Paul and Barnabas? What’s the question at the heart of this issue that has been exposed? Why is accuracy in answering this so critical?
- Have you ever experienced a type of “Gospel + _______” being preached or encouraged? What are the particular things that we’re likely to add onto the Gospel as a requirement for salvation?
- What types of theological topics are most likely to cause debate today? Are there any theological topics in particular that you’re likely to end up debating? Why do you think that’s the case?
- How is it evident that the people in Acts 15 weren’t just causing conflict for malicious reasons?
- When you face disagreement with people, what’s your typical response? What type of assumptions do we sometimes make about people with whom we disagree? What can we learn from Paul and Barnabas?
Read Acts 15:6-21
- What seems to be the main points of agreement between the Jewish believers and the others?
- Have you ever enjoyed serving alongside someone with whom you disagreed on matters that weren’t central to salvation? What do you think it looks like to share generously but faithfully in community?
- Does meeting with—and listening to—one another always result in resolution? What’s different here?
- When debating aspects of faith, why should we start with what God desires? What is the standard by which we assess that? Why is it helpful to do that in the context of community?
- What is likely the context of the proscriptions in verse 28-29? Are these sneaky ‘Gospel + __” add-ons?
- How does Acts 15 make it crystal clear that salvation is by grace alone? What does it mean to you to know that you are completely saved by grace? What does that free you from?
Apply What’s a generous act of grace that you could show towards someone this week?
On Your Frontline This Week: Which of your friends haven’t you caught up with this year? Invite them for a free dinner at our Alpha Launch Party! Monday 6 Feb, 7:30pm.
Listen, Watch, and Read:
- LISTEN: “God’s Word Alone” by William Taylor
- LISTEN: “Clarifying the Gospel” by Tim Keller (PAID)
- LISTEN: “Through the grace of Jesus we are saved” by John Stott
- READ: “Finding the Right Hills to Die on” by Gavin Ortlund
- LISTEN: “What was Paul about?” with John Dickson, Douglas Moo, and Lynn Cohick
- Series Overview (PDF & Audiobook)
- WATCH: “Bible Project: Acts”
- LISTEN: “Lecture: The Book of Acts” by John Stott
- READ: “Acts for Everyone” by Tom Wright
- READ: “Acts: A Visual Guide” by Kevin DeYoung”
- READ: “Acts: A Commentary” by Bruce Milne
- READ: “Acts: A Devotional Commentary for Study and Preaching” by Loveday Alexander