The Chain Reaction of Grace

Questions for Reflection and Group Discussion: 

Richard Wallace - June 30, 2024

The Chain Reaction of Grace

The Gospel Unbound

Scripture References: Acts 13:1-3, Acts 11:19-30

From Series: "The Gospel Unbound"

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Read Acts 11:19-30, 13:1-3 (ESV): 

Acts 11:19-30: 

     Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.  27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul. 

Acts 13:1-3: 

     Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. 

  1. Explain the concept of a “tipping point.”  Give some examples of “tipping point” situations.  
  2. Talk about some tipping point moments in this passage and in the rest of the book of Acts that were catalysts for the gospel movement that took place in the 1st century.  
  3. Imagine how Jesus’s followers felt when they heard his words in Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  How do you think they felt about this assignment?    
  4. If you’ve ever experienced what seemed like an unlikely person giving their life to Jesus Christ, tell how that happened and the changes you saw in their life.
  5. How would you define “grace”?  What are some ways you’ve experienced God’s grace in your own life?
  6. How did grace fuel the 1st century gospel movement?  What are some indications that God’s grace was at work in the Christians described in today’s passage? 
  7. Note the diversity of the Antioch church described in Acts 13:1.  How do you think this diversity impacted people within that church?  How do you think it affected people outside the church?
  8. Talk about how the Christians in this passage lived out a spirit of generosity.
  9. Share your ideas of potential catalysts that could help us experience the fulfillment of our church’s mission to see a gospel movement on the North Shore.
  10. How could you be part of a gospel movement on the North Shore?  What role could you play to help this happen?
  11. What did you sense God saying to you through this passage and this message?