Verse Mapping Acts: Session One – The Fellowship


Welcome to Bible Study of the Week, where every Sunday we give you the free first sessions of new video Bible studies from leading authors, pastors, and Bible teachers.

This is session one of Verse Mapping Acts, our upcoming FREE online Bible study with Kristy Cambron starting May 24th!

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. ACTS 2:1-4

OPENING REFLECTION

The book of Acts is a portrait of COMMUNITY + UNITY. The fellowship of the early church — and the believers who gathered — show us we were never meant to walk our faith journey alone. And because of the actions of the Holy Spirit in an upper room, believers gathered around a feast table were forever changed.

What if we could learn God’s promises, understand, and apply the Word in our community, believing the feast makes us stronger? Verse mapping is just that; it’s thriving in community, pulling out a chair at the table made ready for every heart to unlock the feast of God’s Word.

What if we were never meant to walk our faith journey alone?

FEASTING AND GETTING STARTED

Welcome to the first session of Acts: Feasting on the Abundance of God’s Word.

Whether you’ve gathered in a favorite coffee shop corner, a church fellowship hall, in your home, or even on your neighbor’s porch, this is meant to be a feasting study. The book of Acts is perfect for a verse mapping journey like this, because at its core, it’s all about two things:

  • The thriving COMMUNITY of the newly formed church — its beginnings and the gospel’s spread from Jerusalem to Rome,
  • And still a part of that word COMMUNITY — the believer’s UNITY with the Holy Spirit.

This is our invitation to the table — to talk faith, life, and story roads — to pull out a chair at the place set for us and invite the Holy Spirit into our every day.

To get things started, discuss the following questions:

  • What do you know about verse mapping? What do you hope to learn on this verse mapping journey?
  • What’s your biggest barrier to overcome in studying God’s Word? Is it a lack of time? Knowledge? Or something else?

FEASTING: VIDEO STORY

Play the video segment for session one. As you watch the first video, follow the verse mapping guide points starting on the next page and refer to the completed map on pages 24–25. Take brief notes or record questions that might lead you to further research in your independent study time this week.

NOTES

1 – VERSE

What makes the book of Acts (Acts of the Apostles) unique:

Out of twenty-seven books in the New Testament — the Gospels (Matthew to John), the Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s letters (Romans to Philemon), the remaining general letters (Hebrews to Jude), and a book of prophecy known as Revelation — Acts is the outlier as we place categories to the books.

Acts is the only sequel written by a Gospel author (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1) and the only book (with the Gospel of Luke) to offer a detailed account of Jesus’ ascension

In the book of Acts, Luke builds a foundation of faith for the early church — based on accounts of Jesus’ majesty and authority, His atoning death and resurrection, and the arrival and empowering work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers (Acts 2:1-4)

2 – DESIGN

There are two defined acts of the Holy Spirit in this passage: “the blowing of a violent wind,” and the “tongues of fire that separated and came to rest” on all those in the room

The New King James Version describes “a rushing of mighty wind” and “divided tongues, as of fire”

Other translations: “a sound like a strong wind, gale force” (MSG) and “a violent, rushing wind” (NASB). And of the fire, these translations describe it as “what seemed to be tongues of fire” (MSG) and “tongues of fire, distributing themselves” (NASB).

Violent wind FILLED the room and then the disciples were FILLED with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit FILLED the COMMUNITY — and each believer — to individual completion.

3 – DEVELOP

In the Greek, pléroó (S. 4137) [S. is an abbreviation for The NIV Exhaustive Concordance] is used to describe the violent rush of breath in the room, meaning “to fill or amply supply; to complete, or fill to individual capacity”

In the Greek, the word used for “fire” is pýr (S. 4442), meaning “fire, a spark or flame.” It’s used figuratively here, describing God’s Spirit as a holy fire, light or lightning, or an eternal flame.

In the Greek, glóssa (S. 1100) means “speech or language.” The believers in the upper room were each made individually complete… by the BREATH of GOD filling their lungs… to thereafter speak the LANGUAGE of LIGHT.

4 – ACTIONS

Holy Spirit’s ACTIONS to establish the church:

Violent wind FILLED the upper room (Acts 2:2)

Disciples were FILLED with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3-4)

Holy Spirit FILLED the COMMUNITY — and each believer — to individual completion (Acts 2:4)

Resulting actions:

“Every nation” of those gathered hear the rush of WIND (Acts 2:5)

Crowds are “utterly amazed” to hear disciples speaking foreign TONGUES (Acts 2:7)

Peter stands up to explain what is happening — some three thousand people come to believe in Christ that day (Acts 2:40-41)

5 – OUTCOME

Acts is a portrait of COMMUNITY among believers + UNITY with the Holy Spirit. We have the same access to the Holy Spirit that the disciples did, and the same empowering actions for the church to grow.

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Your Turn

Let us know what you think of Verse Mapping Acts: Feasting on the Abundance of God’s Word.  We want to hear from you!

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