Christ and His Church - Lesson 2
Christ: The Lord of His Church
The Beginning of the Church
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can relate the story of the birth of the church on Pentecost.
- The student can tell how Peter built to the climax that Jesus is Lord in Acts 2:36.
- The student can explain the various expressions in Acts 2:38.
- Each person needs a Bible.
- Access to a chalk board, marker board, or use the PowerPoint provided.
- Each person should have a song book or song sheet to sing "Jesus Is Lord" and"Victory in Jesus," especially verse one and the chorus.
On the day of Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus death, Peter preached the first gospel sermon which declared Jesus as Lord and which called on those who believed this to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction: (10 minutes)
- Call the roll, note visitors, and have an opening prayer.
- Tell the class that today's lesson is on Christ, the Lord of His church.
- Read the words to "Jesus Is Lord," and then sing the song.
- Ask the class how the first verse of "Victory in Jesus" connects with the lesson of last week about the mystery and the church, and how the song calls on us to accept Jesus, repent, and be baptized (plunged) to victory.
Learning Experiences: (30 minutes)
- Read Acts 2:1-4. Q: What is the special significance of this event when the Holy Spirit comes on the apostles? A: Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit would come on the apostles to guide them into all truth (John 16:13). He had also told them to wait in Jerusalem until they were "baptized with the Holy Spirit" at which time they would receive power to be His witnesses (Acts 1:5, 8). So when the Holy Spirit came, the apostles could begin their work of spreading the word about Jesus and the plan which He came to fulfill.
- Read Acts 2:36. Q: What evidence did Peter presented to prove that Jesus is both Lord and Christ? A: That Jesus worked miracles (v. 22), that God raised Him from the dead (v. 24), and that He fulfilled the prophecy from David that theHoly One would not see decay (vss. 27, 29-31).
- Q: Of what did Peter accuse those in the crowd? A: Of crucifying their own Messiah whom God had raised up and made both Lord and Christ. (v. 36).
- Q: What was the response of the crowd? A: They were cut to the heart and cried out, "What shall we do?" (v. 37). Q: What does their response indicate? A: Regret for their deeds. Belief in what Peter has said about Jesus. A desire to take some action to show their change of heart. Q: To what might you compare what they felt at this point? A: The feeling that you have made a terrible mistake which is irreversible. That you thought you were right to kill someone but have now found out that you were wrong about everything.
- Read Acts 2:38. Let's note the various parts of this verse. Q: What does Peter mean by "repent?" A. The word means to "turn around." So Peter tells them to reverse course, do an about face, to change their lives. Q: What does Peter mean when he says for them to "be baptized?" A: Immersed in water. Q: Would this have seemed like a strange thing for them to do? A: No. The Jews had occasions when they were to dip themselves in water to symbolize their cleansing. John the Baptist had called on people to "repent and be baptized for forgiveness of sins" (Mark 1:4). The idea of going under water as a sign of cleansing would have been very familiar to them. To comply with the Law of Moses, for example, there were, at the south end of the temple grounds, forty-six pools for people to use to cleanse themselves before they came to the temple area.
- Q: What does Peter mean by "in the name of Jesus Christ?" A: By Jesus' authority, to follow His command, to submit to Jesus as Lord. A person becomes a Christian by believing in Jesus, desiring to change his/her life to be a follower of Jesus, and then by being baptized to mark the burial of the former life and the beginning of the new life.
- Q: Why does Peter tell the crowd to be baptized? A: For forgiveness of sins. Q: Are there other passages in the New Testament that teach this? A: Acts 22:16-wash away your sins; Galatians 3:27-be baptized into Christ and put on Christ;Romans 6:4-be buried with Christ and raised to in a new life; 1 Peter 3:21-baptism does now save you.
- Q: How many do what Peter has asked? A: 3,000. Read Acts 2:47. Q: What is happening daily? A: Others were being saved. Q: What does the expression "added to them" mean? A: There was now in existence a body of saved people to which those just saved were being added. Q: What would this group later be called? A: Christ's church, Christ's body, God's family, Christ's kingdom. Q: Who does the adding and what does this mean? A: God, for He is the only one who truly knows if a person have believed, repented, and been baptized for the right reason.
- Q: Is there a passage that refers to the events of this day as "the beginning?" A: Yes. In Acts 11:15 Peter says that when he saw the Holy Spirit come on the household of Cornelius and they could speak in tongues, it was like when the Holy Spirit had come on the apostles "at the beginning." So, Peter called the day of Pentecost, "the beginning."
Application and Evaluation: (5 minutes)
- Q: Who made Christ to be the Lord? A: God.
- Q: What did the people on Pentecost do to show their belief in Jesus as Lord? A: They asked "What shall we do?" to indicate their faith and then they obeyed in repentance and baptism.
- Q: Who added the saved to the body of those already saved? A: God.
- Q: If we do what the people on Pentecost did, will God add us to the same body of the saved? A: Read Acts 2:39. So the promise of salvation is extended to all who will follow Peter's command to repent and be baptized.
- Q: Why is it important to consider Pentecost as the beginning? A: Because it shows when Jesus began to be preached. Because it tells us that on that day people were given a new Lord in which to believe and new commands to obey.
- Q: What would one do today to be added to that same church? A: The same thing they did-believe, repent, and be baptized. If the Lord added such to the church then, He would do the same today.
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