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Growth is when people participate in the life of a church. But a lot of people aren’t likely to do that, and often, they have good reasons not to. What does the church do then? The same thing Jesus did for the world. Pastor Luke looks at Acts 8:4–8, 26–39 in “Jump Right In,” part 3 of his 4-part series “Now What?”
Talk It Over
WARM-UP. 1. If you are trying to operate a gadget, or want to prepare a new meal, do you follow the directions closely, a little, or not at all?
SIGNIFICANCE. Read about Philip’s story in Acts 8: 4–8, 26–39.
2. Was Philip one of the Apostles? (You might review his background in Acts 6: 1–7.) What was it that qualified Philip to proclaim the good news about Jesus?
3. Who told Philip to take the south road? Who told him to join the chariot? Who told him to ask the court official a question?
4. What question did Philip ask in v. 30?
What was the official’s response?
Is that still a problem today for people who try to evaluate Christianity?
5. If your translation includes v.37 or a footnote about it, what does it say? What concerns might have prompted later editors to add verse 37 to the story as Luke originally presented it?
6. How do you suppose Philip answered the official’s question in v. 36? Why didn’t Luke tell us? Based on how you answered question 2, how would Philip know that his answer was correct? If this happened to you today, what would be your response to the official’s question? Why?
IMPLICATIONS. 7. What are some of the standard questions to start a conversation?
How can the right icebreaker-type question get beyond trivia to help a person get to know someone else?
8. (a) In your experience, how do people typically respond when they hear the gospel or good news about Jesus Christ? Have you known people whose response was especially negative, or especially positive? (b) What is the response when Philip presents the gospel to the citizens of Samaria (8:8) and the Ethiopian Eunuch (8:39)? What does that tell you about your answer to the first part of this question?