Why do you think it was so important for Jesus to make sure the disciples knew what they had just experienced (his death and resurrection) was the fulfillment of scripture?
What result does Jesus say the Holy Spirit will have on them? Has God’s Spirit had this effect on you?
How would you have been feeling standing, looking up at the cloud after Jesus left?
Why do you think Jesus’ followers and family “met together and were constantly united in prayer” (verse 14)? Why might this have been important?
If you had been one of the disciples, how would you have felt toward Judas? Have you ever had to forgive and move on after someone betrayed you?
What was the purpose of choosing a new disciple in Judas’ place?
What would your reaction have been if you had been sitting in the room when the Spirit came?
What has your experience been with the Holy Spirit showing up in your life? What difference has it made?
Why do you think God’s Spirit gave them the ability to speak these other languages instead of some other “ability”? Why do you think people thought they were drunk (verse 13)?
Why do you think Peter teaches the people in Jerusalem (mostly Jews) that this Spirit (who they are experiencing) and Jesus (who they had experienced) was predicted by Prophets and King David?
If you had been there that day, what would you have thought of Peter saying “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” (verse 36)? What is their response?
What would we do as a church if 3000 people decided to be baptized and join the church in one day?
Of the things that the “believers devoted themselves to,” which do you think you would most benefit from in life right now?
How would our community be different if we all “shared everything” we have?
What about this description of the early Christians seems most foreign to how we experience church today? What’s one thing you could do this week to live more into this model?
The man begging never even thought to ask Peter and John to heal him. Are there any parts of your life that you have given up hoping for healing in?
When you think about what you have to offer someone (like Peter and John), what are the first things that come to mind?
If you had been in the crowd listening to Peter after the miracle, what part of his speech would have amazed, frustrated, confused you the most?
What do you think has changed for Peter, going from a few weeks ago denying Jesus 3 times to now standing in front of the people who had him killed and speaking boldly?
If you had been one of the council members, how would you have felt seeing these ordinary guys who had followed Jesus now doing the same miracles he had done?
Have you ever had to stand up to authority in order to live out who God was calling you to be? (verse 19)
Why do you think the first thing the “believers” did when Peter and John returned was pray? And why pray for boldness in the face of these threats?
If you had to describe what the Holy Spirit is doing in these first few chapters of Acts, what kinds of things would you say?
Why are the ideas of “sharing everything” and there being “no needy people among them” so central to this new community of “believers”?
What was so wrong about what Ananias and Sapphira did? Why might it have been so serious to this first small community of people following Jesus?
Do you think their deaths were a punishment? Something else? If so, does God typically punish people this way?
What effect did this incident have on the other people of the church?
What would you have done as one of the “high council” knowing Jesus’ followers had just escaped from a locked prison cell?
What is the wisdom in Gamaliel’s words in verses 38-39? Have you ever found yourself fighting against God?
Have you ever “rejoiced” because God “counted you worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus”? Why or why not?
Do the challenges going on here in the early church reflect your experience of church? In what ways? What does the apostles response show about their understanding of their own purpose? What is the importance of the criteria they set out for who they will choose to step up and take on the feeding program?
How does the response to Stephen’s teaching reflect how Jesus was treated? Have you ever had someone lie about you and cause you harm without you doing anything wrong?
Why do you think Stephen goes through a whole recount of the Old Testament in his defense? (especially in light of the accusations – verse 6:13-14)
Who does Stephen end up comparing his accusers to? What’s the significance?
On a scale of 1 (like Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit’s boldness, forgiveness, and peace) and 10 (the high priest – against the Holy Spirit at work, trying to silence it) where would you be today?
What is the result of this wave of persecution? What does this show us about how God can work through even the worst of circumstances?
How do we sometimes approach God like Simon the magician? What is the result?
What does the interaction between Phillip and the Ethiopian show us about how the news of Jesus was spreading and bringing about change in people’s lives?
Why do you think Jesus showed up to Paul the way he did? Why leave him blind for 3 days?
If you had been Ananias (knowing who Paul was), how would you respond to God’s direction to go find him because he will be His “chosen instrument”? Have you ever felt God leading you to help someone who was (or seemed like) an enemy?
What’s the most dramatic difference you’ve seen God make in someone’s life? What’s the biggest transformation you’ve seen God do in your own life?
How are the miracles happening through Peter (and the way he does them) similar and/or different to what Jesus did when he was teaching and healing?
How would you have reacted if you had been one of the townspeople seeing Tabitha alive again? Do you think it would strengthen your faith in Jesus? Why or why not?
When you think of the power of the Holy Spirit to heal, transform, and even bring life again through those following Jesus, how does that make you feel? (inspired? challenged? hopeful? inadequate?)