Little Way of the Family

What I Learned From Bible Study: Acts 8
January 31, 2011, 5:23 am
Filed under: Bible Study, Passing on the Faith, The Bible | Tags:

Yesterday, we studied Acts 8, which has so much in it, I was floored.
It starts with Paul’s persecution of the church, which was much more brutal than the short sentences described in Acts. By piecing together mentions in the Pauline letters, one sees that Paul was not only imprisoning Christ’s followers, but murdering them. He was following in the line of many of the great men of the Old Testament such as Moses, Saul, and David – being a murderer before achieving his greatness before God.
Why this brutal persecution of the Church so soon after Gamaliel had convinced the Sanhedrin to let Peter go? Gamaliel’s warning had concerned the leaders of the Way. This new persecution was against the followers. Note that the apostles were able to stay in Jerusalem while the followers had to flee.
This chapter contains two other critical points. The first is the preaching to the Samaritans. After Philip had baptized the Samaritans, it was required that Peter and John come and lay hands on them so that they might receive the Holy Spirit. This is the first example of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the scriptures.
The second critical point is the interaction of Philip with the Ethipian eunuch. The eunuch’s acknowledgment of being unable to understand scripture without a guide should be a caution to us all concerning our own personal interpretations of scripture.
This chapter also introduced the sin of simony as well as further established the roles of deacons in the church through the actions of Philip.
Our bible study is the Great Adventure Series, which I highly recommend.


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