Called to Live 

A series in the Book of Acts
House Group Leaders Notes
Called to Live
Intro to the series:
With a new chapter soon to begin in the life of the church we’re going to spend some time looking at a short section of the Book of Acts.  In particular we’re going to look at some of the ways in which the early church lived out their calling to a life of radical missional discipleship. 
As we read and pray through the passages we’ll take some time to stop and ask the question:
‘As someone with the same calling, how does the experience and way of life of the early church relate to and inspire my call to live as a radical missionary disciple?’
Week 1:  Living Outwards.  Acts 2:37-41
Housegroup leaders notes for this series will not involve a lengthy commentary on the passage.  Instead i’ll give a short outline commentary and then offer a number of questions that might work well as discussion starters.
I’d encourage housegroup leaders to keep the question above in mind and attempt to centre the bible-study around it.  Additionally I’d recommend spending some time in each session praying for members of the group, particularly with regard working out what it means to live as a radical missional disciple in their particular context and with the challenges and opportunities that they face. 

Commentary on the passage

In verse 36 we pick up the end of Peter’s frankly amazing impromptu sermon.  Everything that Peter has said points to one conclusion – that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah and the Lord.  This world changing fact has been underlined by the witnesses of his resurrection, the testimony of scripture, and the experience of the Apostles. 
Peter’s witness was clearly effective, about 3000 people came to faith.  As he spoke and witnessed to Christ, people found themselves convicted in heart and in mind.  Infact it seems that the inner conviction was so strong that it prompted people to cry out in desperation ‘what should we do’? 

Peter replies, given that there is only one conclusion to come to, there is likewise only one response that seems appropriate – Repent and be baptised into the name of Christ – that sin might be forgiven and the Holy Spirit poured out on them.  Ironically it’s likely that a good number of the people who accused the disciples of being drunk were, within an hour or two, taking great slugs from the New Wine of the Kingdom themselves as they go through a complete change of heart. 
Having sampled this ‘New Wine’ and having repented they are to find a way of outwardly demonstrating their change of heart and mind.  And hence Peter’s invitation to be baptised into the name of Jesus Christ. 

This remarkable transformation, from death to life, from darkness to light, is not just for those who are present at the time.  Instead this is the ‘beginning in Jerusalem’ that Jesus talks about in Luke 3:10-20 before the wonder of the Gospel is proclaimed to ‘all nations’. 
And so begins the life of the NT church.  It is no accident or surprise that the life of the church begins with a call out to others to receive what Jesus had offered, the church from day 1 is rooted in the missional mandate of the Kingdom.  The church began its life as a community of disciples by living outward.
Some questions to start us off…
What do you understand by ‘discipleship’?
In what ways do you consciously live as a disciple of Jesus?
Are there areas of life in which you find it difficult to live as a disciple of Jesus?
Is your life of discipleship deliberately and consciously outward looking?
If so, what does this look like day to day?
Where are the places in which, who are people amongst whom, you find it most difficult to live as a missionary disciple? 
Some prayer prompts:
Pray for members of the group that they may increasingly live as missionary disciples
            At home
            At work
            At school/college/university
            At leisure
Pray for specific situations / relationships which make it difficult for members of the group to live as a missionary disciple.
Pray for our church,that we may ‘live outward’, increasingly making Christ known, and proclaiming the Gospel.

Simon Butler, 08/06/2015