1. Persecution is a theme our modern day, Westernized Christianity often neglects; yet, is a daily reality for much of Christendom. Read the following texts regarding the topic of persecution and then discuss in your group over-arching principles these texts portray and how we can be more closely involved and supportive of the persecuted church. And, why should Christians rejoice in suffering? Psalm 119:157; Matthew 5:10-12; Mark 13:9; Luke 6:22-23; Acts 14:22; 1 Corinthians 11:23-27; Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 4:12-16.
2. Look at the phrase in v. 20 “whole message of this Life” and consider the significance of this brief description of what the apostle’s were to proclaim. What does God’s word say about this message and its significance? What principles does Scripture teach regarding this idea? Read the following texts as you respond: John 1:4-5; 3:36; 6:68; Philippians 2:16; 1 John 1:1-3
3. Read the following texts and discuss what they illustrate regarding God’s enemies and opponents. How do they provide encouragement for us? Job 5:12-13; Psalm 33:10; Isaiah 40:23, 41:11; Jeremiah 20:11; Matthew 16:18; Romans 8:35-39.
4. We read in this account (5:17-21) of the first of three miraculous prison escapes in Acts. Read through the three accounts and discuss similarities and differences. What encouragements do we receive from them, and should we expect such deliverances today? Why or why not? The other two are found in Acts 12:6-10 and 16:25-28.
5. Acts 5:29 is a grand statement of faith regarding how believers are to respond to forces that oppose or are hostile to the things of God. How has this been evidenced in your own life, or in the life of someone you know? How might you see this impacting your life in the future, or what is an area that this may occur in your life? What blessing have you come to know from standing on God’s side?
6. What is the ultimate authority in your life? How has this impacted your life? How would you feel if you were sent to jail for your beliefs, and how would your response compare to the disciples in the circumstances described in 5:40-42?
We are a Christ centered community, whose heart is to be a place where individuals are knowing Jesus Christ, growing in Christ, and going out into the world with Christ, in order that lives would be transformed by the gospel and God would be glorified.