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Group Guide

This Week's City 7:

7. How can I trust that the Bible is still God’s Word today? I trust the Bible is still God’s Word today because Jesus rose from the dead, proving He was God and said His words would never pass away. Through the Holy Spirit, God inspired the writing of the Scripture, determined the canon of Scripture and protected the copying of Scripture so that we might know Him and worship Him to this day.
(Matthew 24:35; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Revelation 22:18-19)


What's one of the biggest life lessons you've learned the hard way? 

Discussion Questions:

Have someone read Acts 4:32-5:11 aloud.

  • In Acts 4 we see Pentecost 2.0, as believers are praying for more boldness, are filled with the Holy Spirit, and the meeting place is shaken. And, once again, the result is boldness, power, unity and GENEROSITY. It's interesting that there is no sermon about being generous, Peter doesn't have to exhort them to help one another financially. They are just so moved by the Spirit and their passion for the Gospel that generosity is a natural byproduct. What do you think it is about an outpouring of the Spirit that produces generosity? Have you ever noticed a connection between oneness with God and a spirit of generosity in your own life?

  • Luke gives us an example of what this spirit of generosity among the believers looks like in Barnabas. He was so committed to this cause and to God that he sold some land and gave all the proceeds to the apostles. This is God's design - GENEROSITY and AUTHENTICITY. God is showing us that this is what the family of God can look like when everyone in it is sold out to the Gospel. Jesus said that the world would know who belonged to him by our love for one another, and this group is definitely living that out. They had a "what's mine is yours" mentality. Think about what a community like this would look like in our world today? What kind of impact might Jesus followers have in the world if we lived that way?

  • But one thing that satan loves to do, and he's good at it, is take what is good and pure and of God and distort it. He is the father of lies. He operates through deception and distortion and all he needs is a little crack of daylight to step in and confuse things. He's like a prowling lion, seeking someone to devour, and he found that someone in Acts 5... a married couple that was a part of this community. They also sold some land, but only gave part of the funds. It's important to remember that they were under no obligation to either sell the land or give ANY money, but they sought to deceive God and the church by pretending they were something that they were not. So God struck them down. This is Satan's distortion - GREED and HYPOCRISY. But it wasn't just a little greed or a little deception, it went way deeper than that. It was Satan's attempt to infiltrate the family of God. The Father subtracted them to keep his church pure and protect the movement. It's easy to point the finger at them, but we can do the same thing in our lives. Are you ever tempted to try to look better to others than you actually are? Do you ever bend the truth in order make people around you think more highly of you?

  • The first challenge from Sunday was to live OPENHANDED. If we are going to be faithful followers of Jesus, we must realize that all we have comes from God. This was the attitude of the first church, but seems to run counter to our current culture of individualism and self-reliance. Ajith Fernando said, "So, we should see this as a challenge to us regarding our attitude toward each other in the body of Christ and our attitude toward wealth. We should not regard anything we have as belonging exclusively to us but as belonging primarily to God; as his stewards, he expects us to use it wisely. We should ensure that there is no one in need in the body of Christ." Would God say that you live your life this way? If not, where is the disconnect?

  • The second challenge was to live SET APART. We are to live differently than the world. We are called to live holy lifestyles, to aim high. Not out of some kind of striving to earn God's approval, but out of love and reverence to the One who calls us his own. After the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira, everyone was filled with the fear of the Lord. We serve an infinitely holy and righteous God. The biggest reason we struggle with verses like these, about God's judgement and wrath, is because we tend to fail to realize how bad our sin actually is. Here is the truth: Your sin is worse than you think. We undervalue our own sin, which causes us to undervalue God's grace, justice and wrath. Where is YOUR fear of the Lord? Do you undervalue your own sin? Is there any hint of hypocrisy in your life, pretending to be something you're not?

Prayer Topics:

  • That we would live lives of generosity.
  • That we would live openhandedly. 
  • That we would strive for holiness. 

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