Posted by: Kelli
Name of Book: Acts Part 1, Jesus’ Witnesses Empowered by His Spirit (A Precept Upon Precept Bible Study)
Author: Kay Arthur
Why I decided to read this book: Almost a year ago, a good friend and I started meeting once a month to talk about the Bible and each others’ lives. We were initially part of a larger Bible study group, but we decided to branch off and continue studying together at a bit of a slower pace. We had been in the Old Testament for a year, and we decided to try a New Testament book together.
Who do I recommend to read this book (study): I recommend this study for anyone (Kay Arthur gears her studies specifically for women), desiring a thorough, practical, guided, and expository approach to studying the Bible.
My biggest take away from the book: The book of Acts talks much of the early church in Jerusalem. The early church faced horrid persecution (think Stephen and Saul), but the early church spread rapidly despite the persecution. The leaders of the time were unkind (to say the least) of Christians, but the Holy Spirit kept moving and working, and the church continued to increase and spread.
This study was a timely and encouraging reminder that God works in amazing ways. Despite any fear or concern I have for our church today, I can rest in God’s sovereign hand knowing His Holy Spirit is working in lives that I will only someday understand. His Church is still growing.
What I think the author wanted me to take away from the book: Kay spent a lot of time driving home the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe she wanted us to know over and over again that it is the working of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives that brings them to know Jesus. The first part of the book of Acts talked over and over again about the work of the Holy Spirit in Peter’s life, in Saul’s (Paul) life, and in the life of the many in the early church.
My favorite aspect about this book: Over and over again, I see the early church working in unity and one accord. They encouraged one another and provided for one another. I love the picture of the early church.
Acts 3:46-47 ‘Day by day coutinuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.’
My least favorite aspect about this book: Like I mentioned above, Kay did an in depth study on the working of the Holy Spirit. While this is extremely important to understand, I felt it almost became too repetitive. I spent a little more time in commentaries and outside sources this time around instead of sticking right to Kay’s guiding questions. There were other portions of Scripture I felt I wanted to dive deeper into, instead of the ones Kay guided us through most thoroughly.
Any additional thoughts: Precept Bible Studies can take LOTS of time to complete thoroughly, but like most things in life, you can decide how many hours you want to put into the study. I complete the studies at about half the pace as Kay Arthur recommends. On average, I spend twenty to thirty minutes a day to complete two lessons per month.
That being said, I encourage everyone to study the Bible verse by verse (expository studying). And when I say study, I mean study. I have been blessed immensely as I discover new Truths as a result of really digging in to the Word, understanding Biblical history, researching the original language of key words, cross referencing, reading commentary, and talking with other believers.
The New Inductive Study Bible – I highly recommend having a Bible specifically dedicated to the precept study courses.
Twistable Colored Pencils – I like the convenience of never having to sharpen my pencils. Be sure to have a good variety of colors. If you find value in marking words, you will want a good variety.
How To Study the Bible in 28 Days – This book is an excellent precursor to prepare you for any of Kay Arthur’s precept studies.