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Texts: Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:14-41, Acts 17:15-34, Acts 18:1-16, I Corinthians 13

This week in our discussion, we are invited to look beyond the time of Jesus to the very early years during which time the Christian church was very young and tender. There are some indications in the Bible as to how things were in that era, including how things were in terms of worship. From the experiences of the very early church we may gain some additional insights into worship.

  • Acts 1:1-11 – a very important passage that speaks of Jesus’ future return one day.
    • What does this passage say about the mission Jesus left for his followers?
    • Do you see a role for worship in this cause?
  • Acts 2:14-41 – this documents the great sermon at Pentecost. The grand unfolding of events there suggests a significant role for preaching in worship.
    • What do you see the role of preaching to be?
    • Notice the various topics touched on by Peter in his sermon – sin, guilt, gospel, Christ, prophecy, salvation, to note a few.
    • Do you have any comments about Peter’s preaching technique?
    • What do you think was the cause of the spectacular results of his sermon?
    • What can we learn from Pentecost to help inform our worship today?
  • Acts 17:15-34 – a record of Paul’s sermon and discussion on mars Hill in Athens. This is often held up as a great failure on the part of the Apostle because he used philosophy and reason and argument in his sermon rather than the Bible and appeals to the Bible.
    • Do you think this experience was a failure in the life of Paul?
    • What effect does an audience and its ideas have on a sermon?
    • Notice that the Athenians were not without faith. But they were without faith in the God of scripture.
    • When Paul sought to turn their attention to repentance, judgment, and the resurrection, they refused to follow. Why do you think that was so?
    • What lessons do we learn from Athens?
  • I Corinthians 13 – a chapter written to a very contentious and misbehaving church.
    • What do you learn about worship in this chapter?
    • Do you see any implications arising from the verses that talk about partial knowledge, about seeing dimly?
    • What do you think about love and worship? Are they connected? How would you connect them?
    • Do you think fascination with self has an effect on worship? How might that be adjusted to aid worship.
  • Acts 18:1-16 – here is record of an interchange between Paul and the Corinthians, both Jew and Greek. There was a considerable amount of tension in the interchange, but of particular note is v. 13 where the synagogue leaders charged Paul with “persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.” This is a very interesting phrase.
    • What do you think this phrase means?
    • How readily can human interpretations and expansions rise to the level of pre-imminence!

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