September 11, 2022 – Acts 2

Lesson Date: September 11, 2022

Focal Scripture Passage: Acts 2:1-47

AIM: To lead students to discover that God used miraculous circumstances to offer salvation to anyone who will trust in Jesus, and examine themselves to see if they have ever truly been saved.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Acts 2 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the word “Miracle” on the marker board or chalkboard.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the word “Miracle” written on the board.  Ask: “How would you define the word miracle; in other words, what is a miracle?”  Allow time for some responses, then tell the students that one dictionary defines the word miracle as, “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.”[1]  Tell the students that a miracle is something that defies natural explanation.

Ask the students to name some miracles recorded in the Bible (the parting of the Red Sea, Jesus feeding the 5,000, Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, etc.).  Ask: “Does God still do miracles today?” (yes).  Ask the class if they can name any modern-day miracles.  Their answers could include things like the following: a person with a cancerous tumor is scanned and doctors discover the tumor is no longer there; most of a family is killed in a deadly car crash, but one child survives without any injuries; a deadly tornado utterly destroys a home, but the person inside is completely unharmed, etc.  Tell the class that today is the 21st anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.  The fact that anyone escaped the World Trade Center buildings alive is miraculous.

Tell the students that God is still in the miracle-working business.  One of the greatest miracles we see today is when the Lord saves a soul.  Tell the class today as we study Acts 2, we are going to learn about The Miracle of Salvation.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that we are studying the New Testament book of Acts, which tells about the spread of the Gospel in the years after Jesus returned to heaven.
    • Be sure everyone has a new Sunday School Member Quarterly.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Jesus’ final instructions to His followers).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Acts 1:8).
    • Ask if anyone got to share the Gospel with a friend this week.
  2. A Spectacular Revelation.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:1.
    • Explain the following:
      • The day of Pentecost was a Jewish feast that fell 50 days after Passover.
      • Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection for 40 days (Acts 1:3).
      • The day of Pentecost, then, was just 10 days after Jesus’ ascension.
      • Before His ascension, Jesus told His disciples to stay in Jerusalem and “wait for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:2-4.
    • Ask: “What happened?” (the promised Holy Spirit filled the disciples, causing them to miraculously speak other languages).
    • Read Acts 2:5-11.
    • Tell the class that since Pentecost was one of the three Jewish “pilgrim feasts,” Jews from all over the known world, including Europe, Asia, and Africa, were in Jerusalem.
    • Ask: “According to verses 6-8, why were these foreign Jews amazed?” (they all heard the disciples speaking in their native languages).
    • Ask: “According to verse 11, what were the disciples speaking about?” (the “wonderful works of God” – the resurrection of Jesus).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:12-14.
    • Explain the following:
      • Many observers were amazed, but some were skeptical.
      • Peter got the attention of the crowd, to explain the miracle.
      • Peter told the crowd that what they were witnessing was a partial fulfillment of prophecies spoken by the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-32).
    • Ask: “According to verse 21, what did Joel prophesy?” (that whoever called upon the name of the Lord would be saved; in other words, salvation is available to everyone).
    • Summarize: Through the miraculous filling and manifestation of the Holy Spirit, Jews from all over the known world learned that salvation is available through Jesus Christ.
  3. The Savior’s Resurrection.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:22.
    • Ask: “What showed that Jesus was ‘approved of God’?” (the miracles He performed proved that He was God).
    • Read Acts 2:23.
    • Ask: Why was Jesus delivered over to be crucified?” (in fulfillment of God’s plan).
    • Ask: Who was responsible for delivering Jesus to crucifixion and death?” (the Jews).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:24.
    • Ask: “What did God do?” (raised Jesus from the dead).
    • Explain the following:
      • The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the central message proclaimed by the apostles and the early church: Jesus died, was buried, and rose again (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
      • In verses 25-31, Peter quoted Psalm 16, in which King David prophesied about Jesus’ resurrection.
    • Read Acts 2:29-31.
    • Ask: “According to verse 29, where was David?” (dead and buried).
    • Ask: “According to verse 31, what did David predict?” (the “resurrection of Christ”).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:32-36.
    • Ask: “According to verse 32, what miraculous event were the disciples witnessing about?” (the resurrection of Jesus).
    • Ask: “According to verse 36, what did Jesus’ resurrection prove?” (that He is “both Lord and Christ” – that He is God).
    • Summarize: The miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ was the most important message the early church proclaimed, because it proves that He is God.
  4. Salvation’s Requirements.
    • Read Acts 2:37.
    • Ask: “What happened when the Jews heard Peter’s message about the resurrection of Jesus?” (they were “pricked in their heart” – they fell under conviction of their sins).
    • Ask: “What did they ask?” (what they should do).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:38-40.
    • Ask: “What did Peter tell them?” (repent and be baptized, placing faith in Jesus Christ).
    • Tell the students Peter promised if they repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus, their sins would be forgiven, and they would receive the Holy Spirit.
    • Ask: “According to verse 39, to whom is salvation available?” (anyone the Lord calls).
    • Tell the class verse 40 says Peter continued to preach, urging the Jews to be saved.
    • Write the words, “Requirements for Salvation” on the left side of the board. Beneath them, write the words, “Conviction,” “Repentance,” and “Faith.”
    • Tell the students for a person to be saved, he or she must experience conviction, repent of (turn away from) their sins, and believe in Jesus by faith; everyone whom God calls to salvation (v. 39) meets those requirements.
    • Summarize: The miraculous salvation Christ offers is available to anyone who experiences conviction of sin, repents of their sin, and places their faith in Jesus.
  5. Salvation’s Results.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:41.
    • Ask: “What happened to those who received and believed Peter’s words?” (they were saved and baptized).
    • Ask: “What happened to the church?” (3,000 souls were added).
    • Tell the students that when a person receives Christ as Savior, one of the first things they should want to do is be baptized and unite with the church.
    • Write the words, “Results of Salvation” on the right side of the board. Beneath them, write the words, “Baptism” and “Church Membership.”
    • Ask the class to listen for more results of salvation, as you read Acts 2:42-47.
    • Ask them to name some of the results of salvation. They should identify the following:
      • Continuing faithfully in Teaching, Fellowship, and Prayer (v. 42).
      • Unity (v. 44-45).
      • Faithfulness to church and to one another (v. 46a).
      • Joy and single-mindedness with God’s people (v. 46b).
      • Praising God (v. 47a).
      • Church Growth (v. 47b).
    • Summarize: Miraculous salvation through Jesus produces visible results, such as baptism, church growth, unity, and praising

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students that the title of today’s lesson is The Miracle of Salvation.  Tell them the following:

  • In Acts 2, we learned that God used a miraculous event to fill the disciples with the Holy Spirit and to spread the message of salvation available through Jesus to Jews from all over the known world.
  • Peter preached to thousands about the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ, which proves that He is God.
  • The miraculous salvation of thousands of Jews taught us that to be saved, one must feel conviction for their sins, repent of their sins, and place their faith in Jesus; everyone who is called by God does those things.
  • Miraculous salvation through faith in Jesus Christ produces visible results, such as baptism and church membership, faithfulness, and unity; these things naturally follow for those who are genuinely saved.

Read Romans 3:23.  Ask the students to silently answer this question: “Do you admit that you are a sinner?”

Read Romans 6:23.  Ask: “What does sin produce?” (death).  Ask: “What is the gift of God?” (eternal life through Jesus Christ).

Direct the students’ attention to the list of “Requirements for Salvation” on the board.  Ask them to silently answer this question: “Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt conviction over your sin, you repented of your sin, and by faith you believed in Jesus for salvation?”

Direct the students’ attention to the list of “Results of Salvation” on the board.  Ask them to silently answer this question: “Are those results evident in your life?”

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Tell them if they have not ever met the requirements for salvation and they don’t see the results of salvation in their life, they need to be saved today.  Urge them to talk to God right now, repenting of their sins and placing their faith in Jesus Christ.  Tell those who are already saved to thank God for saving them and to pray for those who might be dealing with conviction right now.  Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Offer to stay after class and speak to anyone who might have questions.  Ask everyone to memorize Acts 2:21.

[1] Merriam-Webster online dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miracle

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