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Getting the Most Out of Acts, Chapter Eleven

Title: Getting the Most Out of Acts, Chapter Eleven

Objective: To delve into the significant events and lessons of Acts 11, exploring how the early church responded to including Gentiles in God's plan and examining the importance of unity, discipleship, and generosity in the church's growth.

Introduction:

  • Welcome and open with prayer

  • A brief overview of Acts 10 and the story of Cornelius

I. Peter's Defense: Embracing God's Plan (Acts 11:1-18) A. Peter's report to the Jewish believers (vv. 1-4) Scripture: Acts 11:1-4 Illustration:


A courtroom scene where Peter stands before his peers, testifying about his experience.


B. Peter's vision and the Gentiles' conversion (vv. 5-14) Scripture: Acts 11:5-14 Illustration: The sheet descending from heaven, filled with various animals, signifying the inclusion of Gentiles in God's plan.


C. The Holy Spirit's confirmation (vv. 15-17) Scripture: Acts 11:15-17 Illustration: The Pentecost event, connecting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles with the early church's experience.


D. Acceptance and praise (v. 18) Scripture: Acts 11:18 Application: How can we, as believers, embrace the inclusive nature of God's plan?



II. The Church in Antioch: A Model of Unity and Discipleship (Acts 11:19-26) A. A diverse and growing church (vv. 19-21) Scripture: Acts 11:19-21 Illustration:


A mosaic of different people coming together as one body, representing the church in Antioch.


B. Barnabas' encouragement and the call for discipleship (vv. 22-24) Scripture: Acts 11:22-24 Illustration: Barnabas as a spiritual mentor, investing in the growth of new believers.


C. Saul's involvement and the name "Christians" (vv. 25-26) Scripture: Acts 11:25-26 Application: What can we learn from the church in Antioch about unity, discipleship, and living as "Christians"?



III. Generosity in Times of Need (Acts 11:27-30) A. Agabus' prophecy (v. 27-28) Scripture: Acts 11:27-28 Illustration:


A scene depicting Agabus foretelling the famine demonstrates the importance of prophecy in the early church.


B. The church's response (vv. 29-30) Scripture: Acts 11:29-30 Illustration: The early believers collected and sent relief to their needy brothers and sisters. Application: How can we practice generosity and compassion as a church and individually?

Conclusion:

  • Review main points

  • Challenge participants to embrace God's plan for inclusivity, practice unity, and discipleship, and demonstrate generosity in their lives

  • Close in prayer

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