Acts 4:23-31 Boldness In The Face Of Persecution

Welcome back the group and acknowledge any new members. Share with them that the purpose of the group is to help people discover more about God and how He relates to their lives. Explain that anyone is welcome, and if they have other friends that they would like to invite to join, they are welcome.

Care

Begin the session by asking:

· What are you thankful for this week?

· What are you struggling with and how can we help?

Spend time praying for their concerns

Accountability

· How did you apply the lesson from last week? How did it go for you?

· Who did you share the story with, and what was their response?

Story: Acts 4:23-31

Relate the Purpose: To encourage those facing persecution to stand firm and boldly proclaim Christ in spite of the risk.

Relate the Background: Peter and the Apostles had been used by God to perform a great miracle: healing a man born lame who used to beg at the city gates of Jerusalem. Because of this great miracle, Peter preached a message explaining that it was in the name of Jesus that the man had been healed. So many people responded to the message, and so many heard about the miracle, that the religious leaders of the city arrested Peter and John. The religious leaders threatened them and told them not to speak any more about Jesus. But instead of being afraid, they praised God for the opportunity to experience persecution, and continued to speak boldly about Jesus.

Read the Story: Either the facilitator or members of the group can read. Read it once with Bibles open with the members following along, and once with Bibles closed.

Acts 4:23-31

23 As soon as Peter and John had been set free, they went back and told the others everything that the chief priests and the leaders had said to them. 24 When the rest of the Lord’s followers heard this, they prayed together and said:

Master, you created heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. 25 And by the Holy Spirit you spoke to our ancestor David. He was your servant, and you told him to say:

“Why are all the Gentiles
so furious?
Why do people
make foolish plans?
26 The kings of earth
prepare for war,
and the rulers
join together
against the Lord
and his Messiah.”

27 Here in Jerusalem, Herod[a] and Pontius Pilate got together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel. Then they turned against your holy Servant Jesus, your chosen Messiah. 28 They did what you in your power and wisdom had already decided would happen.

29 Lord, listen to their threats! We are your servants. So make us brave enough to speak your message. 30 Show your mighty power, as we heal people and work miracles and wonders in the name of your holy Servant Jesus.

31 After they had prayed, the meeting place shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and bravely spoke God’s message.

Footnotes:

  1. 4.27 Herod: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Retell the Story: Have a group member retell the story in their own words. If they miss parts or misunderstand, ask the rest of the group to help them, or fill in what they have forgotten.

Ask Questions for discussion and clarification: These are sample questions you might use for this story. Also use your own. Let their answers to your questions do the teaching.