Friday, December 02, 2011

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 8

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 8 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

8:1-3 – was this experience the thorn in Paul’s flesh? This was the beginning of his career as a persecutor of Christians.

8:5 – When Philip escaped persecution in Jerusalem (see verse 1), he went to Samaria to preach. Remember how Jews felt about Samaritans. They were considered half-breeds, outcasts, detestable. And Philip brought them the gospel. Sounds a bit like Jonah and the Ninevites. How have you been asked to serve God in such a situation?

8:6 – Philip performed signs.

8:7 – Philip drove out unclean spirits and healed the lame and paralyzed.

8:8 – Philip’s actions brought great joy to the city. How did Samaritans feel about Jews?

8:9 – Simon Magus was an arch-heretic of the church and is recognized as the father of Gnostic teaching. His sorceries probably included healing, astrology and magic tricks.

8:10 – Simon claimed to be either God or His representative. Some scholars say he claimed to be the Messiah!

8:12-13 – Philip wasn’t intimidated by Simon. He first preached to, and made believers of, Simon’s followers.

8:16-17 – see Luke 9:54. John finally got to rain fire down on the Samaritans!

8:18-24 – Simon tried to buy the ability to bestow the Holy Spirit at the laying on of hands, proving that his proclaimed belief in the gospel was false. Perhaps he simply wanted this ability to improve his act.

8:26 – God used an angel to communicate with Philip.

God gave Philip only one piece of information at a time to retain communication and dependence on Him.

8:27 – Candace – mother of Pharaoh. She ran the country.

8:29 – God used the Spirit to talk to Philip.

8:30 – Philip ran to the chariot in obedience. Then he listened to discover how to share with the Ethiopian eunuch.

The Ethiopian eunuch was “damaged goods”. see Leviticus 21:20; Matthew 19:11-12.

8:32-33 – see Isaiah 53:7-8; 56:3-5: 54:1…

8:34-35 – this is how the Gospel got to Africa.

8:39 – the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away – same word used in Thessalonians to describe rapture.

• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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