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DISCUSSION GROUP (2)


THE CONCEPT OF DISCIPLESHIP

In groups discuss the significance of discipleship as see by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles. For example, you may want to ask how the believers as "disciples" relate to the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures and to each other.  A word search on "disciple(s)" is supplied. References are taken from the New International Version.

The Lucan teaching on discipleship

The early followers of Jesus confessed him as Lord, and became his devoted followers or disciples (Acts 2:36;22:10).  The Holy Spirit was present in the charismatic communities and in the church's mission.  In the following references the study words are italicised.

Acts 6:1,2.  "In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.  So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables'."

6:7. "So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith."

9:1.  "Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples.  He went to the high priest..."

9:10.  "In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias.  The Lord called to him in a vision, 'Ananias!' 'Yes, Lord', he answered."

9:19. "After taking some food, he regained his strength.  Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus."

9:26.  "When he came to Jerusalem, he [Saul] tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple."

9:36.  "In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor."

9:38.  "Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, 'Please come at once!'."

11:26.  "When [Barnabas] found him [Saul], he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch."

11:29.  "The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea."

13:52.  "And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."

14:20.  "But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe."

14:21,22.  "They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. 'We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God', they said."

14:28.  "And they stayed there a long time with the disciples."

15:10.  "Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?"

16:1.  "He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where adisciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek."

18:23.  "After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and travelled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples."

18:27.  "When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him.  On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed."

19:1.  "While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus.  There he found some disciples..."

19:9.  "But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way.  So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus."

19:30.  "Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him."

20:1.  "When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for thedisciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia."

20:30.  "Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them."

21:4.  "Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days.  Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem."

21:5.  "But when our time was up, we left and continued on our way.  All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray."


Notes on discipleship


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