Sermon Notes

Upside Down: Week 1

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Big Idea: The earliest followers of Jesus grew from a small band of outsiders to the largest global movement the world has ever seen, and the book of Acts records the beginning of that process. Over the next several weeks we’ll see how the story of Jesus continued to unfold after the resurrection, and how we have a place in that story as it continues to unfold today.

Passage: Acts 1:1-11

Discuss It:

  1. Think of a time when you were eager to get started with something and had to wait. What was the value of waiting?
  2. In his message, Phil talked about the experience of the disciples who had seen Jesus raised from the dead and now ascended to heaven. They had to be asking, “what’s supposed to happen next?” Many Christians today still ask that question. We know Jesus rose from the dead, but now what? Our journey through the book of Acts will help us answer that - but for now, how would you describe the “now what?” for someone who has come to know Jesus? What are we supposed to do today in light of the fact that Christ is risen?
  3. Read Acts 1:1-5. Jesus reminds the disciples that the Holy Spirit is coming to help them carry the story forward. In other words, whatever the “now what?” is, it’s going to have something to do with the Spirit. Would you say that you personally experience the activity of the Holy Spirit in your life? If so, how?
  4. Read Acts 1:6-11. Jesus explains that he won’t give the disciples a timetable for the future, but that they will receive power. What does it seem that they’re supposed to use that power for? What might be the implications for us today?
  5. In his message, Phil shared this quote from Charles Colson, an accomplice in the Watergate scandal who later came to faith in Jesus: “I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world - and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.” What do you think about this quote? What other evidence do you find compelling for the truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection?
  6. Jesus’ followers all made the decision to reorient their lives around the task of witnessing about Jesus to the ends of the earth. Phil concluded his message by challenging us to consider what in our own lives might need to be reoriented around the Kingdom of God. How would you answer that question?

Apply It:

  • What is the one thing you need to take away from this study?
  • What will help you remember it?
  • Is there anything that needs to change in your thinking, actions, or relationships as a result?

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