Acts | Chapter 8

Friday, October 08, 2021

Read Acts Chapter 8 

For a printable version of this study, click HERE

What stands out to you as you read this chapter?

Are there any words or phrases that you feel are key ideas in this chapter?

What other features do you wish you knew more about (culture, religion, customs, etc.) in order to help you understand this chapter?

How do you think this chapter fits in the larger story of Acts and the Bible as a whole?

ACT OUT: How does the Holy Spirit want to use this text in your life, for others or for yourself?

At this point in the story, the reader should connect the word, “persecution” with Saul. Saul was introduced in chapter 7, where he was holding the coats of the angry Jewish leaders who were stoning Stephen. Saul, the zealous Pharisee, whose dramatic conversion to Christ will transform him into the great Apostle Paul, is assumed to be leading the persecution in Jerusalem at some point (see Gal. 1:13; Phil. 3:6). Can you think of a more unlikely person to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth?

The outline of Acts is geographical. Luke gives it to us in Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the gospel will progress from Jerusalem throughout the surrounding regions of Judea and Samaria, and then to the ends of the earth. In Luke’s gospel, everything moved towards Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified. The implication of the expansion out from Jerusalem in Acts is that the church, filled with and moved by the Holy Spirit, is fulfilling the commission of Jesus (Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8), who is now risen in power and ascended to rule through his church. Nothing can stop this mission, which spreads through Philip into Samaria and, through the Ethiopian eunuch, into the Horn of Africa. Paul will take it ultimately to Rome.

The Good News about Jesus (the gospel) isn’t just an experience. The sorcerer’s offer to buy the Spirit highlights that truth (Acts 8:18-24). As Philip showed the eunuch, the gospel is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Isaiah 53:7-8 points to Jesus’ saving sacrifice as the lamb of God, taking away our sin. Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior, allowed his sacrifice to cover your sin, and been filled with the Holy Spirit? God wants to continue His mission through you!

Prayer: Savior and Lord, help me to open my heart and life to you, so that you can use me to carry the power of the Holy Spirit into the mission field, wherever I am and whatever I do. Amen.

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