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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

God desires to encourage us forwards in life; He desires us to grow and develop.  At times this can mean challenging our comfortable status quo or challenging our wrong behaviour or perceptions.


Mostly God uses subtle methods to break into our lives.  He brings to our attention a passage in the Bible, or He introduces some teaching through another person.  If we cannot hear that, then he brings circumstances to bear.  In the examples below God breaks into life in quite dramatic forms.  These are not normal, but they do illustrate the manner in which He desires to engage with us for our development.


Bible Zone

The Bible zone takes us to three passages, each one an encounter with God.


Encounter with God Almighty

The first is God meeting Abraham.  This is a man who grew up in a culture with very little idea of who God is.  At this point he has not had the child that God has promised him  in his agreement.  This then is our encounter with God the Father.

The passage is Genesis 17v1-2.  Some questions to help engage with the text.

  1. Imagine yourself in this place.  How might you feel about what God says?
  2. What does the title Almighty tell us about who God is?
  3. What does God ask of Abraham in the light of His revelation of who He is?
  4. What faith would Abraham need to believe that God could fulfil His agreement?


Genesis 17v1-2  1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am El-Shaddai—'God Almighty.' Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants."


Encounter with Jesus the Son

Next we go to an encounter with Jesus the Son.  This is an encounter between Jesus and Saul (also called Paul) who was at that time on route to the city of Damascus to take prisoner all the Christians he could find and take them to Jerusalem for trial.

The text is Acts 26v9-18

  1. What do you notice about how Jesus reveals himself to a key enemy of the time?
  2. Imagine yourself as Saul.  How do you think you would feel about this encounter?
  3. What does Jesus ask Saul (later called Paul) to do?
  4. What does Jesus promise to do for Saul?


Acts 26v9-18    "I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the very name of Jesus the Nazarene.*10 Indeed, I did just that in Jerusalem. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers* there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death.11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus.* I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.

  12 "One day I was on such a mission to Damascus, armed with the authority and commission of the leading priests.13 About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions.14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,* 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.*'

  15 "'Who are you, lord?' I asked.

  "And the Lord replied, 'I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting.16 Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. You are to tell the world what you have seen and what I will show you in the future.17 And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me.'


Encounter the Holy Spirit

Our final encounter is with the Holy Spirit.  This is at a time 50 days after Jesus’ execution on the cross.  The night before He died Jesus promised that He would not abandon His disciples but would send “another counsellor to be with them forever.”  This other counsellor was indeed the Holy Spirit who turns up in a powerful and strange way.

The passage is Acts 2 and here we find the disciples hiding in a room for fear of the Jewish authorities who after killing Jesus wish to stamp out any last trace of his teaching or followers.

  1. How did the Holy Spirit appear to Jesus’ followers?
  2. What was the effect on Jesus’ followers?
  3. What did those people who saw the followers think had happened to them?  What does that imply about their physical state?


Acts 2   1 On the day of Pentecost* all the believers were meeting together in one place.2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,* as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

  5 At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem.6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

  7 They were completely amazed. "How can this be?" they exclaimed. "These people are all from Galilee,8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages!9 Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia,10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!"12 They stood there amazed and perplexed. "What can this mean?" they asked each other.

  13 But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, "They're just drunk, that's all!"


GOD DEVELOPS US