Decisive Moments

January 22, 2017 | Tom Swanson | Acts 10:9-16, 36-48


Getting Acquainted  

1) What is one of the decisive moments in the world that you have personally lived through? These would be things that really had a profound impact on the world or our country. 

2) What is a decisive moment that has happened personally to you? Think about things that really changed the trajectory of your life, how you looked at life or something like that.

Getting into the Bible

3) Some of the final instructions Jesus gave to his followers are contained in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). The one command in the passage is that the Church is to make disciples (19). What is included in that command (hint: it is contained in the words ending with –ing in 28:19-20)? Why are these two things so important? What do they have in common? How are they different? 

4) The followers of Jesus clearly wanted to follow up on the marching orders given to them in the Great Commission. Look up the following passages in Acts (2:41, 8:12, 8:35-38, 10:47-48, 16:14-15, 16:30-33, and 18:8). When were people baptized in those early days of the church? What did all the people who were baptized have in common (even though it might have been expressed in different words)? 

Working it out in Life

5) Pastor Tom reminded us of the work of the Trinity in salvation through the Acts 10 story of Peter bringing the gospel to Cornelius (we are accepted by the Father, forgiven through the Son and come under new ownership by the Holy Spirit). Have you experienced these things for yourself? Tell about a time when one of those truths really made an impression on your heart. 

6) In the story recounted in Acts 10 Peter had to go through a seismic shift in his understanding of how God worked in order to stay in sync with God’s plans. What made it possible for Peter to experience such an about face? Have you ever had to go through a paradigm shift like that in your thinking? What was it like? What makes it difficult for us to consider that kind of change? 

7) Think back on Pastor Mike’s conversation with the young woman who was baptized. What was there in her story that resonated with you? Was there something in particular that encouraged you or touched your heart? 

  Digging Deeper

8) Baptism services are a great opportunity for a person to tell others what God has done in their life. Of course, telling others about what God has done in your life doesn’t need to be restricted to a church service! Tell about a time when you told your story of faith in Jesus to someone else. Sometimes this is hard for us to do. What do you think would help you feel freer to talk with others about Jesus?