Sermon Discussion for Acts 27

Question 1

The apostle Paul was a lowly prisoner onboard a crowded ship on a raging sea. Yet, even in that context, he was raised up as a leader — because, as Pastor David notes, the gospel is an amazing curriculum for leadership. He defines this gospel-shaped leadership as taking humble steps of initiative and sacrifice for the good of those around you.

He said, “Perhaps this is precisely what is needed at your job, or in your neighborhood, or wherever you find yourself in society. If you follow Jesus — the greatest leader of all-time — and have the help of his Spirit and are being increasingly shaped by the truth of his gospel, you are likely much better equipped than you might think to be the one who takes those small steps of initiative and make small sacrifices for the good of the group that people are waiting to rally to.”

What opportunities of this type of humble leadership have you seen recently, or might expect to see soon? Have you missed opportunities like this in the past? If so, why? How might the gospel equip you to lead this next time around?

Question 2

Aboard the ship in Acts 27, Paul received a message from an angel assuring him of his safety. He was told that he will make it to Rome, like God had promised.

The circumstances appeared to trump what God had said, and, as we can imagine, this additional assurance probably went a long ways. When do we feel like we need an additional word of assurance? What circumstances do we typically find ourselves in that seem to trump what God has promised?

If God were to send us an angel to remind us of a specific promise, what would it be? What might that angel say to us?

Question 3

Pastor David explains, “We are saved not because of us, not because of our vocations, not because of what we’ve done, not because of what could possibly “do” for God. We are saved because of Jesus. We are not the grounds for our salvation. Another is. Jesus is the hero. Salvation comes first to him, and we are saved so long as we are with him by faith.”

One way or another today, you have been tempted to believe that you are the grounds for your salvation. You either felt good about something you did and you were puffed up, or you felt frustrated by something not going your way and you were driven toward despair.

Describe a specific experience, if you can, and talk through which direction of unbelief you are typically pulled. How does the reality of Jesus rescue you out of either pride or despair?