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So far, a Christian disciple is…  a “student”  with a personal relationship to Jesus  and a commitment to live His message  Romero  Can you be a Christian.

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Presentation on theme: "So far, a Christian disciple is…  a “student”  with a personal relationship to Jesus  and a commitment to live His message  Romero  Can you be a Christian."— Presentation transcript:

1 So far, a Christian disciple is…  a “student”  with a personal relationship to Jesus  and a commitment to live His message  Romero  Can you be a Christian disciple by yourself ?

2 Christian Discipleship in Community

3 Two Starting Points Two Starting Points Matthew28:16-20John13:1-17 After the resurrection After the resurrection Mountain in Galilee Mountain in Galilee “Go!” “Go!” “all nations” “all nations” “I am with you” “I am with you” At the Last Supper At the Last Supper Act of service and humility Act of service and humility “example” — do as I do, for each other “example” — do as I do, for each other Servant leadership Servant leadership

4 What about Luke?  His telling of the story takes two volumes (Luke’s Gospel and Acts)  Gospel ends with the Resurrection/Ascension and a promise:  “And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49)  Acts of the Apostles tells the story of how God fulfilled this promise

5 Luke-Acts  Two books, same author …1 st generation Christian …Skilled Greek storyteller  Most likely written between 80-90 AD  Addressed to Theophilus …Lk 1:3; Acts 1:1 …Means “lover of God”

6 Main Themes of Luke-Acts  Give an “orderly account” (Lk 1:3-4) …Not historically sequential …Placed for most impact  The fulfillment of God’s promises in the ministry of Jesus and the life of the Church  Role of the Holy Spirit  God intends to bring all people to salvation

7 Chapter 1  Picks up where Luke left off …Read Lk 24:44-53 …Read Acts 1:1-11  Jesus tells his disciples …Mt—mission to the world …Jn—service to one another in the community  Acts—v. 8 …Key to Acts

8 Chapter 1  Vv. 21-22 Apostle …Is a disciple …Distinct from a disciple …Gk. Apostellein—“to send away, to send forth” …“one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.”  Reflection …Think of a group in which you are involved. …Name one time where you were called to tell others about your group, to be an apostle. …Where you nervous? Why or why not?

9 Homework  Read Acts 2:1-13, 32-42  Answer the following questions: …Name one thing that stands out to you in the reading. …What happens to the people gathered there? Explain what you think happened? …What two things does Peter say the people must do? What two things are they promised in return?

10 The Promised Spirit  Acts 2:1-13  An experience hard to describe, exactly  The disciples are changed …Acts 1:12-14 vs. 2:4-5 …leave the “safe house” …take bold action  Proclaim the good news: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (2:36)

11 What Does God Do With This Boldness?  37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”... 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” Peter tells them how to respond (two things) & how God will in turn respond to them (two gifts)

12 Let’s Be Clear…  The disciples are now transformed and filled with the Spirit as promised  Their apostolic work becomes God’s invitation to new followers …Repent = Gk. metanoia = change of mind(heart) …Baptism... “I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me”  The same Spirit fills all the baptized, who are now united in a new growing community

13 Pentecost   Feast of Weeks   50 days/7 weeks after Passover = Covenant at Sinai   Definitive of the Israelites identity   Definitive of the Church’s identity

14 The Community as Luke Sees It  Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-35  They are devout Jews (2:42) who are now …Dedicated to the teaching of the Apostles …To “breaking of the bread… …and the prayers” …To “fellowship” or “communion”, Gk koinonia  2:44—“All things in common”  Do you see any of this in the Church today? If not, should you?

15 The Earliest Disciples…  Gk. Ekklesia means “assembly”, “people”, and is translated “church”  Gk. Koinonia – one mind and heart; a common life  Role of Apostles? …Teaching …Stewardship A Christian disciple is a “student” with a personal relationship to Jesus and a commitment to live His message in communion with other disciples

16 Homework  Read Acts 6:1-7 …Who are the Hebrews? Who are the Hellenists? (Hint: Read the footnotes!) …What is the issue they are facing? …How does it pose a threat to the community’s koinonia? …How do they resolve the issue?

17 Your Life in Community  Name one group in which you had to work with people of other cultures, backgrounds, or beliefs towards a common cause/goal.  What made this experience difficult?  How did you overcome the difficulties?

18 First “Crisis” of the Church  Acts 6:1-7  Hellenists …Jewish Christians primarily from the Diaspora who spoke Greek  Hebrews …Jewish Christians primarily from Jerusalem who spoke Aramaic  Different languages, differences in culture

19 First “Crisis” of the Church  What’s the issue? …Hellenist widows …The 12—word of God vs. waiting tables  Solution? …Unity in difference—how? …Share authority; leadership that is familiar  Job requirements? (v.3)  Diakonia, Gk.  service; deacon

20 Detour: The Marks of the Church  One …In Christ and the Spirit, in the common tradition and the common life  Holy …Called by God, “personal relationship,” common prayer  Catholic …Katholikos, Gk. = “universal”  Apostolic …Founded on the apostolic witness and tradition

21 2 Questions  Which one haven’t we seen yet in the early Christian communities?  How well does our Xavier community measure up as a community of Christian disciples?

22 Homework  Read Acts 10:1-11:26  How do these passages begin to reveal the catholic, or universal, element of the early church?  Why might the Gentiles be rejected from the Jewish-Christian community in the first place?

23 BEFORE AND AFTER ACTIVITY Imaging the Growing Early Christian Church

24 What does the community look like at…   The beginning of Acts   After Pentecost   During the first crisis of the Church

25 Conversation Starters  Create a profile of Cornelius.  What is he called to do in his dream?  What happens in Peter’s dream?  Why won’t Peter eat the food placed before him?

26 Peter’s Problem  The Sinai Covenant required that the people make themselves God’s... To let God make them “holy” as God is Holy (inexpressibly ‘Other’)  To ritualize this inner state, they were required to maintain an outer state of ritual purity or “cleanness”  Certain washing practices; separation from non-Jews; avoiding blood; avoiding certain foods; Kosher foods  Might the food in Peter’s dream symbolize something else?

27 The Community’s Problem  Acts 10:28—Jews and Gentiles  Can Jewish Christians interact with Gentile Christians without violating their faith?  Can you be a Christian disciple without being a Jew? …Do we have to be circumcised?

28 Peter’s Solution  What conclusion does Peter come to? (Hint: 10:34-43) …“I truly understand that God shows no partiality…” …Evidenced in Jesus’ example and the prophets’ testimony  Why can some call this the Pentecost for the Gentiles? …Foundation of the Gentile Christian community

29 The Jerusalem Community’s Solution—Ch. 11  Peter has to justify his actions; how?  All he does is report what God is doing!!  These visions and their repetition demonstrate that this event occurs solely at God’s initiative and under God’s direction  What’s the conclusion? (11:18)  First signs of separation of Judaism and Christianity…but it’s not over yet!

30 Council of Jerusalem—Characters  Paul and Barnabas …Encounter teachers in Judea saying Christians must be Jewish  Pharisees …Argue to follow the law of Moses; circumcision  Peter …Converts one of the earliest Gentiles  James?!? …“Brother of Jesus” …Offers a solution

31 Council of Jerusalem—Timeline  Paul and Barnabus  Peter testifies to God’s action, God’s initiative…again  Paul and Barnabas testify (more on Paul tomorrow)  James offers a solution …Salvation is for anyone …All must maintain some sense of ritual purity, with a focus on avoiding idolatry (15:28-29)

32 So What?  Pentecost—the moment when we truly identify ourselves as Christians—calls us into a community  This community had and still has issues …Hebrews and Hellenists—7 Hellenistic Deacons …Gentiles and Jews—Council of Jerusalem …Contemporary issues??  Discipleship calls us to work with one another to discover what God wants for the community

33 Paul An Apostle to the World; Making Our Church Catholic

34 Who was Saul?  He is “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord…” (9:1) …Pharisee …Hell-bent on capturing and imprisoning these blasphemers (8:3)  Particular name of the group he is after?

35 How Does Saul Become Paul?  Encounters the resurrected Lord  What does Jesus tell Paul? …“Why are you persecuting me?” (9:4)  Paul’s blindness—symbolic of his lack of faith in Christ


37 How Does Saul Become Paul?  God calls Ananias …Hell no! …9:15 God’s response  “bring/carry my name” …martyros, Gk = martyr …“witness” …Why be a martyr, a witness?

38 Paul’s Cyclical Apostolate  Proclaim Jesus in the synagogues (Jews)  Get rejected/threatened/imprisoned  Proclaim Jesus in the marketplace (Gentiles)  Get amazing results; converts thousands  What does Paul’s story tell us about discipleship?

39 NT Discipleship?  Not just “me ‘n Jesus”  Our lives witness in word and deed; the communal life is important  What Jesus handed over needs to be applied to here-and-now issues  The gift of the Holy Spirit keeps the Church steady as it navigates the issues

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