September 25, 2022 – Acts 4

Lesson Date: September 25, 2022

Focal Scripture Passage: Acts 4:1-37

AIM: To lead students to discover that the early church clearly proclaimed Jesus as the one way to be saved, and to commit to share that message with someone this week.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Acts 4 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the words “One Way” on the marker board or chalkboard.  For added effect, you could also bring a picture of a “One Way” sign.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the words “One Way” written on the board (and/or, show the picture of a “One Way” sign).  Ask: “What do those words mean?” (there is only one authorized direction of travel).

Ask: “Have you ever driven on a one-way street?” (yes).  Tell the students if they and other drivers obey the “One Way” sign, everyone travels the street safely.  Ask: “Have you ever driven the wrong way on a one-way street?” (most people have done that accidentally).  Ask: “What can happen if we drive the wrong way on a one-way street?” (we could get a ticket or have an accident).

Tell the class there are many things in life that are “One Way.”  Ask them if they can think of some things that must be done “One Way.”  Here are a few examples they might name:

  • Sports must be played by the rules, or else penalties and disqualification may result.
  • When approaching an airport, pilots must travel in prescribed flight patterns, or else a collision may result.
  • Doctors must follow certain protocols when prescribing medicine or doing surgery, to prevent illness, injury, or death.
  • Accountants must obey the rules of accounting, or else their bottom-line figures will be wrong.

Tell the students that many people today want to be “broad-minded” and throw out the rules, but there are some things in life that must be done “One Way.”  Today’s lesson from Acts 4 is about one of those things.  The title of today’s lesson is One Way.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that we are studying the New Testament book of Acts.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (pointing people to Jesus).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Acts 3:19).
  2. One Name That Saves.
    • Remind the students that in Acts 3, Peter and John called on the name of Jesus to heal a lame man, after which Peter preached the Gospel to a large crowd at the Temple.
    • Read Acts 4:1-3.
    • Explain the following:
      • As Peter and John preached to the crowd about Jesus, the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and the Sadducees came to them.
      • They were very upset that the disciples were preaching about Jesus’ resurrection.
      • The Sadducees and many other Jewish leaders did not believe in supernatural things such as miracles and the resurrection of the dead.
      • They arrested Peter and John and held them overnight.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 4:4.
    • Ask: “What happened as a result their preaching about Jesus (in chapter 3)?” (thousands of people were saved).
    • Tell the students that in the morning, Peter and John were questioned by the Jewish rulers.
    • Read Acts 4:5-7.
    • Ask: “What did they ask Peter and John in verse 7?” (by what power, or by what name was the lame man healed?).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 4:8-10.
    • Ask: “How did Peter say the lame man was healed?” (by the name of Jesus Christ, whom they had crucified).
    • Read Acts 4:11-12.
    • Explain that Peter quoted Psalm 118:22 to tell the Jewish rulers that Jesus Christ is the stone they rejected, but God chose to be the chief cornerstone – the foundation of our faith.
    • Ask: “What did Peter say about Jesus in verse 12?” (there is salvation in no other name but the name of Jesus; He is the “One Way” to salvation).
    • Tell the students that Peter and John said there is only one name that saves.
    • Summarize: Peter and John were arrested and questioned by the Jewish leaders for preaching about Jesus. They made it clear that Jesus is the only way to be saved.
  3. One God to Obey.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 4:13.
    • Ask: “How did the educated Jewish leaders react when they heard Peter’s words?” (they marveled, because they knew these men had not been through their education system; they could tell that the men had been with Jesus – a wonderful testimony).
    • Read Acts 4:14-16.
    • Ask: “Why couldn’t the Jewish leaders deny that the miracle took place?” (because the previously lame man was standing before them and everyone in Jerusalem knew about it).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 4:17-18.
    • Ask: “What did the Jewish leaders do?” (they threatened Peter and John, and commanded them not to speak or teach in Jesus’ name anymore).
    • Read Acts 4:19-22.
    • Tell the class that in verse 19, Peter and John challenged the Jewish leaders to decide whether it is right to obey man or God.
    • Ask: “What did they tell the Jewish leaders in verse 20?” (they could not help but tell people about the things they had seen and heard.
    • Tell the students the Jewish leaders then released Peter and John.
    • Ask: “Why couldn’t they punish them?” (because all the people were glorifying God for the miracle of healing the lame man).
    • Tell the students that Peter and John said there is only one God we must obey.
    • Summarize: Peter and John made it clear to the Jewish leaders that we must obey God, rather than men.
  4. One Object of Praise.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 4:23.
    • Ask: “What did Peter and John do?” (went to the other believers and told them what the Jewish leaders had said to them).
    • Tell the students when the church heard what God had done, they broke forth in praise to God.
    • Read Acts 4:24-28.
    • Ask: “What did they praise God for in verse 24?” (creating everything).
    • Explain that in verses 25-26, they quoted Psalm 2:1-2, praising God that He had prophesied the things they were witnessing: the opposition of the rulers to Jesus.
    • Ask: “According to verse 27, who opposed Jesus?” (Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles [Romans], and the Jews).
    • Ask: “According to verse 28, what did those who opposed Jesus actually do?” (carried our God’s predetermined plan for Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 4:29-30.
    • Ask: “What did the church ask God for?” (boldness to speak the Word and to do signs and wonders in the name of Jesus).
    • Read Acts 4:31.
    • Ask: “What happened?” (the place where they were assembled was physically shaken, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness).
    • Tell the students the example of the early church reveals that there is only one object of our praise: the God who created everything and  sent His Son to pay for our sins.
    • Summarize: The church praised God and asked for boldness to speak and serve. God answered their prayers in a clear and undeniable way.
  5. Oneness Among Believers.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 4:32-33.
    • Ask: “How does verse 32 describe the church?” (there was great unity among the believers, and they shared their possessions to meet each other’s needs; see Acts 2:45).
    • Ask: “According to verse 33, what did the apostles do?” (they boldly witnessed about the resurrection of Jesus; this was their one message).
    • Read Acts 4:34-37.
    • Tell the class the church was so unified that if some had needs, others sold houses and lands and brought the money to the apostles, so everyone had enough).
    • Tell the students the early church was a great example of oneness among believers.
    • Summarize: The believers were unified in their heart, soul, and message, and they shared their possessions to meet one another’s needs.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention once again to the words “One Way” written on the board (or the picture of a “One Way” sign).  Remind them that at the beginning of class we talked about one-way streets and other areas of life in which there is only “One Way” to do things.

Tell the class that our modern world often rejects absolutes as narrow-minded and bigoted.  Regardless of modern opinions, there are some things that can only be done “One Way.”  Review the lesson by telling the class that today we learned that:

  • There is only one name that saves.
  • There is only one God to obey.
  • There is only one object of praise.
  • There must be oneness among believers.

Direct their attention once again to the words “One Way.”  Stress the fact that the Bible makes it very clear that there is only “One Way” to salvation: faith in Jesus Christ.

The apostles clearly said, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Tell the students that going the wrong way on a one-way street might cause embarrassment, an expensive ticket, or even an accident; but trying to go to heaven any way other than through faith in Jesus results in eternity in hell.  Knowing that Jesus is the “One Way” is very important.

Ask: “Who do you know that needs to learn that there is only one way to salvation?  Are you willing to tell that person this eternally important truth?” Encourage everyone to make a commitment to tell someone this week that Jesus is the “One Way” to be saved.  That may be a friend, relative, or co-worker, or even a casual acquaintance.  Everyone needs to know that faith in  Jesus is the only way to be saved.  Voice a closing prayer of commitment.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Acts 4:12.  Urge them to follow through on their commitment to tell someone that Jesus is the “One Way.”

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