Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Acts, “The Holy Spirit Unleashed in You” at the Women’s Bible Cafe™. We just completed Week Five, “Suffering–It Goes with Salvation.” This week we observed Acts Chapters 8 and 9, and saw that the believers in Acts were undergoing tremendous persecution. Their lives were threatened if they even spoke of Jesus, yet “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4). And lives were changed!
I find the most incredible story of a changed life in the life of Saul. Before he met Jesus, he threatened anyone who followed Jesus. Until one fateful day, he met Jesus himself, and his life changed forever. It was through his blindness that helped him see more clearly, and his life was radically changed when he saw Jesus for who He really is. His life was dramatically affected by Jesus and that affected others as well. Imagine what the people must have thought to see such a change in Saul.
“All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” Acts 9:21 NASB
Nothing was the same for Saul and it never would be again!
So what is your conversion story? I may not have been physically blinded by a bright light like Saul when I met Jesus, but the light of Jesus blazed brightly within my heart. And my life was never the same!
Until Jesus returns, there will always be persecution and suffering in our world today. There will always be division and conflict. But the good news is there is hope, because Jesus is for everyone. He is alive today, and He can change hearts!
Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week:
“Jesus didn’t come into the world to call “the righteous.” He came for sinners. He came for those who know they have sinned, for those who understand that they are not worthy of God’s mercy or His favor!”
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
- Complete your study of Week Six, “Baptized with the Spirit? Who…When…How?”
- Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
- Store in your heart Acts 9:15-16.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)
- Before Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was an enemy of God. Why do you suppose God chose Saul to be his witness to the Gentiles instead of choosing someone who was already a believer?
- Maybe you didn’t have a dramatic conversion experience like Saul. Think back on your decision to follow Jesus. How is your life different now than it was before you met Jesus? How has the Gospel changed you and what you talk about?
- What are some of the practical things we can learn from Saul’s life, conversion, and subsequent walk with the Lord?
- What did you learn about the Holy Spirit from this week’s study?
- BONUS QUESTION: Can a person know Jesus and not want to tell others about Him? Why or why not?