Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord

This lesson highlights the superiority of Jesus Christ over the provisions of the old covenant. After establishing the fact that Jesus is the Son of God (chapter 1), the writer of Hebrews identifies the Son as Jesus in 2:9. In 3:12 the purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews is revealed as dealing with the issue of Jewish Christians contemplating “departing from the living God,” by forsaking their faith in Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of sinners. In this lesson, Moses is identified as the one who gave the old covenant, called the “law of Moses” (Luke 2:22; John 1:17); but Jesus is the maker of the new covenant (promise, agreement), which is far “better” (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6).

…….It’s much harder to obey the law when your desires are contrary. Salvation not only shows you the law and sin but also changes your desire to be against sin. The sinner says “I can’t help but do it”, while the saved says “There’s no way I’m gonna do it”. I’m not trading all of this for a little but if that. That’s what Jesus does!


A. Jesus Tasted Death for Everyone

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

……..The Son of God was created higher than any other being, but in a moment of time there was a decision made for Him to come to earth as a man (Jesus) to experience living in temptation and facing trials to show all creation that it is possible to overcome sin! It says “by the grace of God should taste death”. That grace was provision for us through His death. Think about that everlasting grace. The Lord knew it would take 1 death, 1 sacrifice, to save lost souls for all eternity!

Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain (commander, in charge) of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

…….”It became Him”. What became Him? That was the decision, that moment when He said enough is enough, I’ll do it! Though I was created to rule all things, I’m bringing myself into submission of a greater mission, to be that ultimate sacrifice.

…….We never know if something works until it is put to use. A tool is never considered a tool unless it’s used. God’s perfection was never understood until He proved himself! Jesus proved that He was and is the captain of perfection through His suffering!

Heb 2:11  For both he that sanctifieth (make holy, purify and consecrate) and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

…….We who were before infidels can now be made one with the most high!

Heb 2:12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

…….The writer in verse 12 explains that Christ will “sing praise unto thee”, or exclaim His proudness about what the church has become because of the mercy of the Father! The Lord is proud of His children! It is a lie from the enemy to feel otherwise!

Heb 2:13  And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

…….Matthew Henry’s commentary says this: Christ’s children were given him of the Father, in the counsel of his eternal love, and that covenant of peace which was between them. And they are given to Christ at their conversion. When they take hold of his covenant, then Christ receives them, rules over them, rejoices in them, perfects all their affairs, takes them up to heaven, and there presents them to his Father, Behold, I and the children which thou hast given me.

B. Victory Through Christ’s Death

Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

…….It seems like some of the most inspiring Christians come from the worst circumstances.

…….Every person at birth is subject to bondage and that bondage is sin. There is not one person that is born that does not experience temptation, even as children. Though all are “subject to bondage”, all can have deliverance.

Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

…….Though He could have chosen to come as an angel, miraculously sweeping through eradicating sin, He chose to come as a man for the sake of mutual understanding. We can never truthfully say, He doesn’t understand what I’m going through, because He has experienced all.

Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

…….He was born as a Jew and fulfilled all requirements to be a faithful high priest, the only priest who could actually bring people into a personal relationship with God.

Heb 2:18  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour (help, relieve) them that are tempted.

…….Have you ever been encouraged in a tough situation by someone who knew nothing about the battle? But then that right person came along and gave a pure sense of direction, and everything seemed like it would be ok? Side note: we wonder why we are exposed to certain trials (why me God) and at times thought it would cause defeat, and then months or even years down the road we understand why it all happened, and we become the encouragement! If He had not overcome, He wouldn’t know how to aid in our overcoming.


A. Faithful Moses Over God’s House

…….To the Jews, Moses was the greatest prophet and messenger of God; the man who gave Israel the law and organized the 12 tribes of Israel into one united nation under God. With this in mind, the writer of Hebrews made the bold assertion that Jesus was and is superior to Moses.

Heb 3:1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Heb 3:2  Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

Heb 3:3  For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

Heb 3:4  For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

…….Though it might be difficult to take in, the Jews must understand that Jesus is much greater than Moses. Not only is He greater, He must be known as creator. Though Moses in all his faithfulness and obedience to the Lord, bridging the gap of slavery and bondage, escorting freedom to those who trusted to follow him out of Egypt, still was no comparison to the one who created him and his ministry. The builder is and has to be counted more worthy than the building itself. The building can not perfect itself, only the builder can! Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (never can we say a particular prophet, apostle, or high priest lives in me): and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

B. In Christ, We Are God’s House

Heb 3:5  And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

Heb 3:6  But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

…….Although he is worthy of honor and respect, Moses came as a servant. Though Jesus served as an example, He came as a Son (or Prince) in His own house.

…….If the Jews or any other believers in Jesus as the Messiah abandon Him, they will cease to be members of the household of God. “If” we hold fast! Galatians 6:9  And let us not be weary (faint, weak) in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, “if” we faint not. It’s never too late to become more committed, more devoted, and more on fire for the Lord! We can not live insecurely (deficient in assurance), feeding off crumbs and stale water. Jesus is too available to settle for tid bits!


A. Do Not Quit Now

Heb 3:12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Heb 3:13  But exhort (comfort, intreat; ask) one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Heb 3:14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

…….We have to finish the way we started!

Heb 3:15  While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation (irritation).

…….Don’t let the trial defeat you!

Heb 3:16  For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

Heb 3:17  But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

Heb 3:18  And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

Heb 3:19  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

…….Just as the generations that were prevented in the wilderness, the same will happen to all who lose the faith and become hardened in unbelief.

B. Rest for the Faithful

Heb 4:1  Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

Heb 4:2  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Heb 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Heb 4:9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Heb 4:10  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Heb 4:11  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

…….There are two sides to the same gospel – blessing and judgment. For those who remain faithful to Christ, an eternity of blissful rest is waiting, a place where we will no longer have to labor to overcome the tests of our faith in this life. On the other hand, for the unbeliever with a hard heart, there is no rest for the soul, not in this life nor in his or her continuing existence after death. Our decision regarding Christ brings either our salvation or our condemnation (John 3:16–19). It is wise to believe in Jesus Christ, and to never stop believing in Him.

All humans are descendants of Adam and Noah

The first 11 chapters of Genesis are an account of early human history, beginning with God‘s creation of Adam and Eve, and continuing until the birth of Abraham, about 2000 BC. The rest of Genesis (chapters 12-50), is about the beginning and early history of the nation of Israel. This lesson briefly examines the table of nations descended from the three sons of Noah (Genesis chapter 10). Then, attention is given to the building of the tower of babel, and God‘s scattering of people over the earth by confusing their language, as the means to having the earth populated with people. In conclusion, the lesson looks at the ancestral roots of Abraham.


A. Descendants of Japheth and Ham

Gen 10:1  Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

Gen 10:2  The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

Gen 10:6  And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

…….There is one God who made all people of one race. Act 17:26  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

There is one God who made from one race of people all Nations, with a common ancestry going back to Noah and Adam. This truth rules out the evil notion there are several different races of humans on earth.

In the Table of Nations in Genesis 10, Inrwin’s Bible Commentary says: “many of the names in this genealogical table are plurals; and several have the formal termination used to designate a tribe. Hence it has been thought the greater part of them are names of nations; which may, however, have been so called from their founders. These nations were early and frequently intermixed; but it is probable the descendants of Japheth occupied Armenia, the Caucasus which have 3 language groups, and Asia minor, spreading from there through Europe and the northern part of Asia and India, and perhaps to [pre-Columbian] America. Hams family took possession of the south of Mesopotamia and Arabia, and passed from there to what later was the land of Israel, and to Africa”.

The places where the descendants of the sons of Noah settled, indicates nothing of superiority or inferiority of any nation. The Bible nowhere makes skin color, or any other physical feature of humans, indicators of either the superiority or inferiority of any person. God‘s will has always been that humans should live together on earth as one people with one God-the Creator of all people as one human race. Adherence to this truth could have eliminated much human suffering in the past and could eliminate much suffering in the present.

B. Descendants of Shem

Gen 10:21  Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

Gen 10:22  The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.

Gen 10:32  These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

…….The purpose in Genesis of calling attention to the descendants of Shem was not to suggest that they possess some innate superiority to the descendents of Japheth or Ham, but in preparation for telling that Abraham and the nation of Israel (the Jews) were descendents of Shem. The Jews, whose ancestors were known as Hebrews, were descended from “Eber”, one of the descendants of Shem. In addition to the Jews, other nations descended from Shem were the Assyrians and the Syrians. The ancient descendants of Shem lived in what we call now “the Middle East.” The Canaanites, descendants of Canaan, the fourth son of Han (Genesis 10:6), were already living in Canaan when Abraham arrived there.

As the account of human history is presented in the Old Testament, from Genesis 12 onward, the man focus is on the history of Israel. This does not mean the other nations of the world were less important to God than the nation of Israel, but God chose the nation of Israel to be the people who would bring Jesus the Messiah into the world to be the Savior of all nations. Without the Old Testament and the Biblical history of Israel, there would be no Jesus the Messiah, no New Testament, and no Gospel to proclaim.


A. Self Will Expressed

Gen 11:1  And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

Gen 11:2  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

Gen 11:3  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

Gen 11:4  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

…….As a child I was taught that these people were literally trying to reach heaven by means of a tower. Though the scripture states heaven, it probably meant the sky since the meaning of heaven is sky. The principal of the scripture to me is, “and let us make a name, lest we be scattered”. Questions: What kind of name were these people trying to make? What would cause these people, the soul descendants of the flood to be scattered? Another flood? The Lord Himself?

…….If we truly think about it prior to reading the next portion of scripture, and not knowing the Lord’s reaction, it’s easy to judge that these people were not relying on whatever trust they had, or should have had, in the Lord. The commentator of this lesson said, they were “Acting with arrogance and irreverence toward God, they were driven by self-will, seeking self-glory.”

B. God’s Disapproval

Gen 11:5  And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

Gen 11:6  And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

…….It is almost as if the Lord said, I have blessed them with the ability to communicate and do great things, and this is what they had rather do with their time. Would they spend their time trying to make themselves great? And if so, greater than who since they were one people? The answer would be, greater than God. They know that the human race had been destroyed by the Lord because of sin. Is this why they wanted to make themselves great, so they could go back to sinning and have a means of protection by a great city?

Gen 11:7  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

Gen 11:8  So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

Gen 11:9  Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

…….Scattered is exactly what it feels like when the child of God is in rebellion. When people are living contrary to what the Lord has planned, everything feels like it’s out of balance and out of control.

…….Human self will can never, ultimately, triumph over God’s will. Whatever their final goal would have been by building this great city, the Lord knew it would have caused greater arrogance and sinfulness. God does not tolerate rebellion in any form. When the Lord places His blessings on our lives, if not used with the intention of blessing and honoring Him, those blessings will be stripped. After all is stripped away, the individual and everyone around can easily see that the Lord does not let His favor spoil. These people were blessed with the means of communication and used it in a way of self gain and pride. Thankfully, that didn’t last forever.


A. Descendants: Shem to Terah

Gen 11:10  These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:

Gen 11:11  And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.

…….If you read on from here to verse 26, you will find that Shem is the great grandfather of Abraham. This genealogy is important, because Abraham was the first patriarch (father) of the nation of Israel (the Jews), and Jews today respectfully regard Abraham as “the first Jew”. Christians regard Abraham as the ancient spiritual father of all who live by faith in God (Galatians 3:7). So knowing about Abraham‘s life and relationship with God is significant for both Jews and Christians.

B. Terah’s Family

Gen 11:26  And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Gen 11:27  Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

Gen 11:28  And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

Gen 11:29  And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

Gen 11:30  But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

…….It is important to correlate the following verse with this story to have an understanding of what is going on.

Jos 24:2  And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

Jos 24:3  And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.

…….History has it stated that the land that Abraham came out of, Ur, worshipped false gods in extremely perverted ways. It is said that Abraham refused to worship these gods and because of that his family came under great pressure, and his father Terah made a way of escape to save his family’s life.

Gen 11:31  And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

Gen 11:32  And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

…….God blesses those who take the stand against sin!

God desires us to live in covenant relationship with Him.

This lesson is about events on earth immediately following the Flood, after Noah and company had departed from the ark. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and after the flood, humans, land animals, and the birds had a God-given new beginning on earth. This lesson is focused on what Noah did in relation to God, and what God did in relation to Noah, his family, and the animals and birds, immediately after the flood. The covenant God made with Noah on this occasion is still in effect, and it’s spiritual and moral requirements have been folded into God’s covenant of grace, made with all who are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.


A. Noah Worshipped God

Gen 8:20  And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

…….The scripture says Noah “took of” meaning took a portion of the 7 pairs of each animal that he brought on the ark with him that was acceptable to God for offering. This scripture shows a trust that Noah had with the Lord, to take from such a small reserve and knowing that the Lord would cause to multiply. As hard as the days of the flood must have been, Noah’s faith in the Lord had to have grown while experiencing the promise of saving him and his family in such a time! Everything God said would happen happened, and because of Noah’s faith and obedience to God Noah’s and his family was saved!

Gen 8:21  And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

…….The earth was in bad shape. Though it may have grieved God to destroy it, I don’t believe He regretted His decision. The imagination of the heart may be evil, but the decision to sin does not have to happen and it does not have to be accepted. Thankfully, He gave His very presence to accompany us in the valley of decision!

Gen 8:22  While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

…….After making known what He would not do again, He gave assurance that there would be a time for all days, seasons, and growth.

B. God Blessed Noah

Gen 9:1  And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

Gen 9:2  And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

Gen 9:3  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

…….With this fear (vs. 2) comes dominance and rule. God didn’t make man for animals herbs, but the opposite. We are superior because He created us to be, not for the sake carelessness, but for the sake of keeping relationship with Him.

Gen 9:4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Gen 9:5  And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

Gen 9:6  Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

…….Pre flood, there must not have been a punishment for murder (Cain and Abel). Post flood, God commanded that the penalty for murder be the death of the murderer.

Gen 9:7  And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.


A. Parties to the Covenant

Gen 9:8  And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

Gen 9:9  And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

Gen 9:10  And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

Gen 9:11  And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

…….God made this promise to all creation that never again will the entire earth and all that inhabits be destroyed by a flood.

B. Sign of the Covenant

Gen 9:12  And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations (All Eternity):

Gen 9:13  I do set my bow (rainbow) in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

Gen 9:14  And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

Gen 9:15  And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Gen 9:16  And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

Gen 9:17  And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

……. God gave to Noah a “token” (sign, evidence), of the covenant he made with him “for perpetual generations”. The rainbow, that often appears against the backdrop of sunlit clouds after rain, is the sign of the covenant. Were there no rainbows before the flood occurred? Some Bible scholars think it never rained on the earth before the flood, and vegetation was watered by heavy do use. Others think the rainbow may have been visible before the flood, but had no particular significance until God made it the sign of the covenant with Noah and company. Whether the rainbow was or was not visible before the flood, after the flood, God gave it as evidence of his covenant with every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth, that the flood will never be repeated.


A. One Race; Many Nations

Gen 9:18  And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

Gen 9:19  These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

……. all humans on earth today are descended from the three sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. While the table of nations descended from the sons of Noah is given in Genesis chapter 10, we should understand that humans are not divided into three races, descended from Shem, ham, and Japheth. Neither are the many nations descended from the sons of Noah different races. The fact is, from a biblical standpoint, there is only one human race, and all humans are of the same race, regardless of their skin color or ethnic origin.

People with various skin tones and various colors of eyes and hair are descended from all the sons of Noah, and are identified with the various nations descended from the sons of Noah. The Bible testifies to the unity of the human race as humans, descended in the first instance of from Adam and Eve, and in the second instance from Noah’s sons. The division of humans into races, based on their skin color and ethnic origins is an evil intention of humans, not something God devised.

Many people misunderstand the reference made to Canaan, in verse 18. This is a retrospective explanation of why the Canaanites, who were descendants of Ham were so sexually immoral. They invited the judgment of God against them, and God gave their land, the land of Canaan, to the Israelites, who were the descendents of Shem. Noah’s curse on Canaan had nothing to do with skin color nor race, but with morality.

B. Human Sinfulness Prefigured

Gen 9:20  And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

…….This verse alone shows that there had been some time from the flood being over, to the point of a vineyard being mature enough to produce.

Gen 9:21  And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

…….Noah’s first mistake was allowing his mind to get to the place of premeditating his drunkenness. The second mistake was preparing the fermentation of the grape juice to produce the wine. The fact that it takes several weeks for wine to ferment tells us there was plenty of time to change mind, but he didn’t. Here was the third mistake in action, he drank of the wine.

Gen 9:22  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

Gen 9:23  And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

Gen 9:24  And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

Gen 9:25  And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

Gen 9:26  And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Gen 9:27  God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Gen 9:28  And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

Gen 9:29  And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

It was good that God provided Noah and his family a new beginning with a new covenant assurance of God‘s care for them. It was bad that, not far into this new beginning, there began to be signs that human sinfulness would eventually return to where it was before the flood. The whole history of the human race on earth is this tension between God‘s goodness, and his goodwill for humans, and the tendency of humans to persist in setting, rejecting God‘s good will. The right choice for every person is to make the decision to embrace the goodness of God and his Goodwill for our lives, and to stay with that decision for a lifetime.

Though it seems like the human race made a full circle in their actions, even after the flood, that is not an accurate statement. Pre flood, the sinfulness and crime was out of control, and it was only by the grace of God that Noah and his family made it out alive. An accurate statement is this, we need Jesus and His Spirit to live a moral life!

God is merciful, but persistent sinning invites His judgement.

The book of Genesis reveals that the earliest history of humans was characterized by increasing sinfulness, producing a thoroughly evil society. And those ancient times before the flood, most humans did not pursue a life of righteousness by faith in God, but degenerated into wickedness until their lives reflected nothing of the image of God in which humans were created. This evil became so extensive, God made the decision He would stop the evil doing by destroying the sinners with a great flood. However, one man, Noah, found favor with God, and by faith in God, and following God‘s direction, he prepared an ark to the saving of his house. (Hebrews 11:7)

Golden Text: Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

If God destroyed all evil in the past, why doesn’t he get rid of every evil person today? Answer at the bottom.


A. Human Wickedness

Gen 6:1  And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

Gen 6:2  That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

…….The scripture here shows us that the Righteous sons of God, which were the sons of Seth, the 3rd child of Adam and Eve, began to marry the daughters of men, or the daughters of Cain. When righteous people interact with unrighteousness, it can only equal compromise and compromise results to sin. We can not be unequally yoked and still plow a straight line. 2Co 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Gen 6:3  And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

…….God’s spirit is The Holy Spirit. If His Spirit will not always strive with man pre-flood, what makes us think it will continually strive with man after His greatest sacrifice provided a way out of temptation. God’s mercy is immeasurable, but what makes us think He is more merciful today than what it was then? My point is simply this: man can not get caught up in the thought of God now understanding the struggle of man because His Son Jesus experienced it and testifies that it really is heard to live righteous. Absolutely Not! Because He overcame the world, He made it possible to live a spotless life and overcome the world! God mercy is everlasting, but don’t think He won’t let us do what we chose!

Gen 6:4  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty (powerful) men which were of old, men of renown (shame).

…….These mighty men were men with power and influence, and like today, these influential men were causing more evil, and making sin seem casual.

Gen 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

…….Mankind of the pre-flood had become reprobate, with their minds completely fixed on sinning and worldly pleasures.

B. God’s Displeasure

Gen 6:6  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Gen 6:7  And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

…….Could you imagine something you created that in the beginning seemed so perfect, turn out to be a tool used in the hands of a murderer that causes mass destruction?! I can only imagine that the Lord felt this very same way.


A. Noah Received God’s Grace

Gen 6:8  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

…….Noah, a righteous man like Abraham, found (or received) the grace of God. Something was different about Noah, and that difference was, He loved and appreciated the presence of God.

Gen 6:9  These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect (upright) in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

…….Noah’s faith and obedience was complete. The word perfect here means complete, or whole. Noah walked with God because God walked with Noah, and God walked with Noah because Noah desired His presence!

Gen 6:10  And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

…….Because Noah and his wife, and their three sons and their wives, were the only humans to survive the earth, all the nations on earth are descended from Noah and his three sons.

B. Corruption of Society

Gen 6:11  The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

Gen 6:12  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

Gen 6:13  And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

…….In sharp contrast to Noah’s godly character, the world he lived in was “corrupt [rioting, decaying; spiritually, morally, and socially],” and was filled with violence (v. 11). Crimes of violence then were the same as now: assault, robbery, rape, and murder. God hates all sin, but violent crimes strongly invite God‘s judgment to stop humans from doing serious physical harm to one another and committing murder. Verse 12 says the pre-flood inhabitants of the earth had willfully, intentionally, and with determination, corrupted themselves with every imaginable evil.


A. God’s Instructions for Noah

Gen 6:14  Make thee an ark (box) of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

…….God literally told Noah to build a box. This command came immediately after the Lord said He would destroy all flesh. Can you imagine the thoughts that run through Noah’s mind at this moment. He has a relationship with the Lord and knows His loving kindness, but the Lords seriousness in the command convinced Noah to do what God commanded.

Gen 6:15  And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits (450 ft.), the breadth of it fifty cubits (75 ft), and the height of it thirty cubits (45 ft).

Gen 6:16  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; (18” overhang) and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

Gen 6:17  And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

…….After giving Noah the instructions for building the ark, again God told him that He would send a flood to destroy all humans, and all the air breathing creatures on earth. If Noah was even slightly tempted to think the flood would not occur, God’s repeated warnings that the flood would occur caused Noah to believe God.

B. God’s Covenant With Noah

Gen 6:18  But with thee will I establish my covenant (separation); and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

…….By reading the last verse of the 5th chapter of Genesis, we know that Noah is at least 500 years old when the Lord commanded him to build the ark. Because Noah lived in a right relationship with God, no matter how corrupt the world around him became, and no matter how tempting it had ever been to live like his piers, the Lord rewarded Noah’s faithfulness.

Gen 6:19  And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

Gen 6:20  Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

Gen 6:21  And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

Gen 6:22  Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

……. Noah did according to all that God commanded him. This means Noah did exactly what God commanded him, not more nor less, but precisely in keeping with all that God commanded him. This kind of obedience is all God has ever wanted of any human. God does not want more or less than he commands of us. By doing more than God commands, we are in danger of thinking we can put God in our debt, so that he owes us something. By doing less than God commands, we are in danger of thinking God will grant us some special favor of not holding us accountable for disobeying him. Doing according to all God commands is all he asks.

Answer: because He would have to rid the entire human race again. He made the fix for all of our evil through His Son.

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

God is gracious and compassionate.

This lesson is about God’s grace and compassion, as experienced in the lives of those who trust in him. The worship of God emerges spontaneously and enthusiastically from his people, who pause to consider the many ways God’s grace has secured their salvation and His compassion has preserved those who trust in Him. When considering the ways God has extended his grace and compassion to us, we are made aware that, without these blessings of His love and mercy given to us, we would be unsaved from our sins, and would, ultimately, perish in our sins. But instead, we prosper spiritually, and in other ways, as recipients of God’s great goodness extended to us.

GOLDEN TEXT: Psalm 111:4  He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.


A. Worship God for His Wonderful Works

Psa 111:1  Praise ye the LORD (Hallelujah). I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

…….I love the picture we see through the writer of the verse. He states that he is praising the Lord with his whole heart in the presence of righteous people. Most people who don’t openly worship will not do so because of the presence of “righteous” people. The psalmist does not regard the attendees by their religious statuses, because in the presence of the Lord and in the midst of worship, there are no statuses!

Psa 111:2  The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.

…….Finally!!! A lesson that can be taught about praising the Lord for what He has done! Many people will tell you not to get fixed on praising the Lord for everything he’s given, almost to the sake of making a person feel guilty for glorifying God for blessing you! We are blessed people! If we actually took the time out of the day to write down all the works He has performed in our lives, we still would run out of day! But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t recognize them!

Psa 111:3  His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Psa 111:4  He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

…….When people say, “don’t get to fixed or caught up on the works”, I say, spend several moments out of the day getting recognizing everything that God is doing in your life now!

Psa 111:5  He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.

…….There must be a balance in our recognition of the things. Truly stated, if we get caught up on only being grateful of the “things” we may only focus on have more of those “things” and not more of His Spirit. Providing food is not a spiritual blessing, but a physical one that is imparted by the spiritual! While many material things in our lives have not come from the Lord, they were “allowed” because of His love toward us.

B. Worship God for His Faithful Word

Psa 111:6  He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage (passed down portion) of the heathen.

…….The Word said that He (the Lord) has put His works on display. He doesn’t always ever so humbly bless His people. And you think you are proud of your children. God doesn’t only bless you because He is proud of you, but He also desires the attention of all others! Glorify Him in the presence of all people.

Psa 111:7  The works of his hands are verity (truth) and judgment (justice/just); all his commandments are sure.

…….All of Gods works are proof of His faithfulness to keep His Word. There will always be a good side and bad side of truth and justice, you either break the law or keep it. It is the God freely given choice to select what side of this line all people stand.

Psa 111:8  They (His truths and judgements) stand fast (hold up) for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.

…….Everything in life is held up by the works of God. There is still balance. Even though this world may seem full of evil sin and corruption, He is still in control. The moment that there is no longer a balance is a moment that all destruction will take place, but His people will remain secure. It is up to us in every condition to still give God the glory and praise.

Psa 111:9  He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

……..In every story of bondage and captivity, the Lord remained faithful. And in the moment that He promised He would release, freedom took place.

Psa 111:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

…….While we praise the Lord out of gratefulness of salvation, spiritual relationship and provision, there must always be a fear of His judgement in the moment of temptation (or the times we contemplate a mess up). Those who know and understand His commandments also have an understanding of His judgements. In knowing this also comes an understanding of how obeying His commandments keep us from sinning and therefore keep our lives Holy and clean.


A. Grace Helps Us Live Right (continuation of ch. 111)

Psa 112:1  Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

…….What/How would you consider a “blessed” man to be? I would say it is someone who has at least a sliver of the grace bestowed on their lives. In conclusion: we are all blessed people. To understand the scripture, all who fear the Lord and find pleasure in obeying His commandments are blessed with the grace of God.

Psa 112:2  His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

…….Because of, or the result of our fear and reverence to the Lord, even our offsprings will be mighty and blessed. It doesn’t end with you! The absolute greatest blessing you can pass down on your children and community is a life lead by a relationship with the Lord!

Psa 112:3  Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

…….My Uncle use to say this, “some people will never have things/money because the Lord can’t trust that they will stay near to him if they possess the things/money”. I have seen this to be so true. When some people find financial relief they don’t need God anymore, or so they think. When we let God have control of EVERYTHING, we will understand that His control is way better than ours!

Psa 112:4  Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

…….I love this verse! Even in our darkest times God is going to show up! Not only is He going to show up, but He wraps us in His arms and comforts us! Because God displays this comfort on our lives, we in turn are full of grace, compassion and righteousness for others in their dark times!

B. Grace Makes Us Generous

Psa 112:5  A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs (business, all things that pertain to him) with discretion (determination, the ability to determine).

…….A good man is just as wise as he is good. In his moments of showing favor, he will also be able to determine who wise wisely use his favor and who will spoil it. A compassionate person will also say no to those in need, only because they know that the needy will not always use it for the right reasons.

Psa 112:6  …….When we are made generous by Gods grace, there are additional blessings that come to us by God: Vs.6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

Psa 112:7  He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.

Psa 112:8  His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

Psa 112:9  He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.

Psa 112:10  The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

…….Those who show humility and compassion will be vindicated and protected by the Lord. We don’t have to rise up in anger to avenge ourselves in the heat of the moment. When we remain calm and let the Lord fight the battle, you and the enemy both understand the reason of restitution. When the enemy desires a rise out of the person but receives a response from the Lord, the show is much more enjoyable. When you take care of Gods people, He will take care of you.


A. Praise God Who Is Above Us

Psa 113:1  Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.

…….The Hebrew word for praise means “to shine, to praise, to boast.”

Psa 113:2  Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

Psa 113:3  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.

Psa 113:4  The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.

Psa 113:5  Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,

…….Worship is an outward expression of an inward gratitude! Some folks say, I’m just quiet by nature, and there are many who are not outspoken at all for various reasons, but I can guarantee that there are certain things in life that will make them speak up. If the feathers can be ruffled out of anger, they should definitely be movable out of compassion. Are you humble? Do you want to be humble? Praising the Lord is a humbling thing. Learning to glorify God is learning the results of glorifying God.

The Gospel is for all people everywhere!

Jesus said his disciples would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to all parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). True to Jesus‘s words, the first 10 chapters of The Acts of the Apostles are about the early churches in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, with a mention of the Church in Damascus (Acts 9:19). The earliest out reach of the Church to Gentiles was the apostle Peter‘s ministry to the Gentiles at Cornelius‘s house in Caesarea, Judah (Acts 10). This lesson brings us to the point at which the Church began evangelizing Gentiles in places far from Jerusalem and Judea. Not long after this, Gentile believers in Christ outnumbered Jewish believers in Christ.

GOLDEN TEXT: Acts 11:18  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.


A. Many Gentiles Converted

Acts 11:19  Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice (845 miles), and Cyprus (255 miles), and Antioch (495 miles), preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

11:20  And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene (North Africa 783 miles), which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.

11:21  And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.

11:22  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

11:23  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave (adhere, abide, persevere) unto the Lord.

…….Barnabas encouraged the new believers in Christ to cleave, or persevere, to this new found life changing conversion. He knew that there would be trials ahead for these new Gentile believers, and though the road would be trying at times, the only true peace and continuation of what they had experienced would have to come through perseverance! (Persevere: continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success) We must persevere!

11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

…….With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Barnabus quickly proved himself to a strange community of believers. His character and attitude toward the Gentile converts must have been Christ-like to have been able to make such a trusted impact.

B. Teaching the Gentiles

11:25  Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:

11:26  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

…….I’m sure without a shadow of doubt, that Barnabas’ work was cut out for him. There were numbers uncountable being converted, and he needed someone to help disciple these new believers. Everything that the Lord had accomplished through Saul who was now called Paul was no secret amongst the Christians, not only his conversion, but also his growth in the Lord and desire to evangelize.

While Barnabas was one of the first great missionaries, he was the leg that kickstarted Paul’s ministry which is most documented as being more influential than any others throughout the word. Just imagine the thoughts that must have flooded Barnabas’ mind to see such success, and know that he himself was a huge part of Paul’s beginnings. It’s not about us saints!


A. Peter Released From Prison

12:1  Now about that time Herod (Herod Agrippa 1, grandson of Herod that tried to kill Jesus) the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.

12:2  And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

12:3  And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)

12:4  And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

12:5  Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

12:6  And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.

12:7  And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

12:8  And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

12:9  And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.

…….Can you imagine being encountered by an angel in a circumstance as this and having to blink yourself into realization?!!!

12:10  When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.

12:11  And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

…….He literally walked through 3 gates and landed on the street before he realized this was no vision, but reality! This will preach right here!…….Many times the Lord sends help to free people from their prisons, and because of denial they walk right back to them! Because they have found a sense of security in their misery and bondage, they keep the prison in sight rather than finishing the walk! Did Peter walk back to the prison when he realized he was free? Absolutely not! Even though there was a risk of being in more trouble, His next steps of faith are the steps that lead to his spiritual success!

12:12  And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

12:13  And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.

12:14  And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.

12:15  And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.

12:16  But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

…….When people don’t believe your deliverance, don’t stop knocking! God has plans for your life that even your closest family won’t believe, even in the midst of it, but don’t stop pursuing!

12:17  But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

B. Herod Blasphemes and Dies

12:20  And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country.

12:21  And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.

12:22  And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

12:23  And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

…….Do not fear those that are set against you! Anyone who publicly denounced God’s glory will fail. Though the persecution seemed great, the revivals that resulted were much greater! When someone comes against you, just know that God is going to take your ruins and make them glorious!


A. Made Aware of Coming Famine

11:27  And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.

11:28  And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

……. Luke noted that Agabus’ prophecy was fulfilled during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius. According to extra-biblical sources, there were successive famines throughout the Roman empire in AD 44-45, and some were especially severe in Judea. This was a warning given to the Jewish believers to be prepared of what was to come.

B. Gentiles Respond to the Need

11:29  Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:

11:30  Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

12:24  But the word of God grew and multiplied.

12:25  And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

…….Here is the first record of Gentiles sending relief to the lesser fortunate Jews. Paul’s letter to the Galatians in 2:10, said that it was requested that Paul was asked to encourage the Gentile believers to send relief, which they gladly did. Romans 15:26 speaks of contributing to the poor saints at Jerusalem, and 1 Corinthians 16:1, Paul spoke of “the collection of the saints.” Finally, at Pentecost, AD 58, Paul in Jerusalem, told of bringing “alms to my nation, and offerings” (Acts 24:17), no doubt referring to the offering brought for the poor saints in Jerusalem.

What was significant about the Gentiles being so willing send monetary help to the Jews? Because for generations the Jews thought the Gentiles to be unsaveable!

The Holy Spirit Gives Power and Direction for Ministry

Acts 8:1 says, because of severe persecution of the church in Jerusalem, all the believers were scattered from Jerusalem throughout Judea and Samaria, “except the apostles.” This is the first mention in Acts about the church expanding beyond Jerusalem. This lesson tells of this church expansion, through the ministry of Philip the evangelist to Samaria and Africa; and through the ministry of the apostle Peter in the city of Lydda (Lod) about 25 miles from Jerusalem, and on the Mediterranean coast at Joppa, about 35 miles from Jerusalem, and at Cesaria, about 50 miles from Jerusalem, where Gentile believers first received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

…….I can’t even begin this lesson without reading the very beginning of the chapter.

Act 8:1  And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Act 8:2  And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

Act 8:3  As for Saul (prior to being the Apostle Paul), he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

…….If we can, before we get into the lesson, stop right here and imagine how we would react if a minister friend of ours was dragged out of his place of ministry, and stoned to death for preaching the Gospel! Where would our minds be? How much heartache would come? Would we even dare to leave our homes for the sake of public worship? What would our thought processes be about even mentioning our personal beliefs in a society such as this? The Apostles Spirit-led and empowered reactions in society such as this is what caused the church to explode! Dear Lord please give us a dedicated and devoted life just like the Apostles for the sake of the growth of the church!!!


A. Samaritan’s Receive the Gospel

Act 8:4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

…….My goodness what a response!

Act 8:5  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

Act 8:6  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

Act 8:7  For unclean spirits (usually induced by sin), crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.

Act 8:8  And there was great joy in that city.

…….There was a new freedom that had been manifested, an inward deliverance that had been sought after for centuries that no one ever understood until now, and that was relationship! There was an inward and “true” freedom from sin! There was deliverance from addiction! There was an immediate comfort that had never been felt before, and for once, everything was going to be ok! The true peace in the saying “It is well with my soul” could actually be understood!

Act 8:9  But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

Act 8:10  To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.

…….This man of sorcery was apparently good enough, and for long enough, with his tricks that people followed him and gave offerings to his false ministry.

Act 8:11  And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

Act 8:12  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Act 8:13  Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

…….The ministry of Phillip was so impactful that even the false religious were trying to comply to stay on track with their livelihood! Though Simon was baptized, he never truly converted as a Christian, and found himself trying to use the name of Christ to persuade the crowd and draw the attention back to himself. 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Act 8:19  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

Act 8:20  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Act 8:21  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

Act 8:22  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

B. Witnessing to One African Man

Act 8:26  And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

Act 8:27  And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

…….The ministry of the Apostles was so great that people from all over were traveling to see what all the noise was about! This man had traveled over 2500 miles away to hear about this Jesus and Messiah!

Act 8:28  Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

Act 8:29  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

Act 8:30  And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

…….This is discipleship! When we give help to those who are trying to find an understanding of something we already understand.

Act 8:31  And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

Act 8:32  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

Act 8:33  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

Act 8:34  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

Act 8:35  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Act 8:36  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

Act 8:37  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Act 8:38  And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Act 8:39  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Act 8:40  But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.


A Dead Woman Raised to Life.

Act 9:36  Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

Act 9:37  And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.

Act 9:38  And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.

Act 9:39  Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.

Act 9:40  But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

Act 9:41  And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.

Act 9:42  And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.

Act 9:43  And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.

…….Miracles follow ministry. Period. When we think of miracles, we immediately think of dead people being raised, and extremely sick people being healed. Unlike the the days of those in the Bible, we live in a time where doctors can assist the body in healing and fighting fevers and sicknesses. The absolute greatest miracle a person can experience is the miracle of salvation. When we see the Lord totally transform a person who has given up on life, one that is begging for death to come because he/she is done with trying within themselves, become transformed by the healing mercy of God through salvation, we have truly seen a miracle! The greater miracles (in my honest opinion) are the ones of deliverance of sin and addiction, and mental bondage. We can not be hung up on the specific miracles we think should be taking place today. The miracles that will assist the church are the ones that God will perform!


A. God Hears a Devout Gentile

Act 10:1  There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

Act 10:2  A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

…….Within this chapter, in between verses 2 and 19, a significant lesson is explained about all people who seek the Lord. The Jews had no dealings with Gentiles. Peter had before condemned the Apostle Paul for preaching to gentiles. This was not an issue with racism or ethnical discrimination, but a personal struggle within Peter of not being able to see beyond the old fleshy learned standards. Peter was raised to believe, as were all Jews, that no one except Jews could have a relationship with the Lord. The Lord showed Peter in a vision (vs 10) that the things (and People) that he has been taught to consider unclean, can not be discriminated any more.

Act 10:19  While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

Act 10:20  Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

Act 10:21  Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?

Act 10:22  And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.

…….This is the beauty of how the Lord brings people together; a devout Jew is commanded by the Lord to speak with a devout Gentile about the Lord. As Peter preached to them, they began to worship him. They had probably never before heard the word of God taught with such anointing! Peter corrected them for worshiping him, and further explained.

Act 10:28  And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Act 10:30  And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

Act 10:31  And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

Act 10:32  Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

Act 10:33  Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

…….Knowing and experiencing the Grace of God, causes us to display and extend the Grace of God. We as Christians after some time take lightly of the grace that has been shed on our lives. We are all guilty. Though it is at times easy to fall into complacency, let it be just as easy for the Lord to continue to speak to our hearts, and let it always be our absolute duty to obey what He has commanded. You WILL have opportunity to speak to those in need of help. May we at all times be willing vessels, prepared to be the messengers of the Lord.

B. Gentiles Baptized in the Spirit

Act 10:34  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Act 10:35  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Act 10:36  The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

Act 10:37  That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

Act 10:38  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Act 10:39  And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Act 10:40  Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

Act 10:41  Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

Act 10:42  And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Act 10:43  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Act 10:44  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

Act 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Act 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Act 10:47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Act 10:48  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

…….While every person is an individual, and has a uniquely personal relationship with God, the fact remains that there are strong similarities in the ways we experience God, and the similarities enable us to identify one another as believers in Christ. There will always be some who profess to be Christians, and are not. Nevertheless, when the Jewish believers in Christ, and then the Gentile believers in Christ, received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, they clearly understood that they all had received the same experience of God. As believers in Christ, we have an obligation to God and Christ to welcome into our fellowship all who God and Christ accept.

God works to protect and perpetuate the church.

Deception and unholy living within, and opposition and persecution from without, have always been dangers to the well-being of the Church. In this lesson, we see how the early Church at Jerusalem, with God’s help, dealt with an internal threat of deception and the external threat of persecution. When two deceivers who were members of the Christian community of faith in Jerusalem, conspired together to deceive the Apostles and the Church, God‘s judgment against them was swift. When severe persecution arose against the Apostles, God gave them deliverance from prison, and spiritually empowered them to withstand suffering for Christ with rejoicing.

GOLDEN TEXT: Acts 5:39  But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.


A. Dishonesty Exposed

Acts 4:34  Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

4:35  And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

4:36  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

4:37  Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

5:1  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

5:2  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

…….Do you remember the scripture just above (ch. 4:35), especially the part “distribution was made according to their needs”? The fact that this couple deceived in hopes of gaining something from the church wrongfully, in spite of seeing so many recent miracles, definitely shows that their hearts and thoughts were tainted. Truth is, the only person deceived in the process of deception is the person telling the lie. How? Because it takes a deceived person to think they will eternally get away with a lie. Numbers 32:23 says; be sure, your sins will find you out. Our sins, not just the sin of deceit but all, will at some point expose our nature. They will tell on us!

5:3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

5:4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

…….The greatest mistake may not have necessarily been keeping back a part of the money, but the fact that they fully intended to receive of something they never fully gave to. How could anyone be so selfish and self centered we may wonder? It is due to an impure heart. This is the importance of seeking for purity and righteousness always, but definitely in the earliest stages of our walk with the Lord. If we are going to finish right, it works best if we start right. That is the result of having a strong foundation with God.

B. Dishonesty Punished

5:5  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

5:6  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

5:7  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

5:8  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

…….Peter gave the woman a chance to come clean prior to knowing the death of her husband, and she still remained committed the lie! There is no telling what else they may have conspired together in their alone times while planning this deed. For the church in its very beginning, it was important to expose all dishonesty and to see the result of it.

5:9  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

5:10  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

5:11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

…….This example of the operation of the church was key for “all being in one accord”. We they “all” indefinitely likeminded and in singleness of heart? No. But because the majority was, the deception could not manifest. Though this fast punishment looks harsh from the outside in, I fully trust that the Lord knew what He was doing by eliminating the deceivers early on. There is no telling what kind of havoc this couple could have created had they gotten away with this great lie! May we as followers of Christ let this be a concrete example of what happens to deceivers.


A. Signs, Wonders, and Unity

5:12  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.

…….It’s amazing that though the Jewish religious leaders hated the fact that the true gospel was being preaching and real conversion was being made, they continued to allow them for some time to meet in a common holy place. Though they hated it, the could not deny it!

5:13  And of the rest durst (wouldn’t dare) no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.

…….Because of the miracles performed and unity of the church, the other followers of Christ watched on from a distance with admiration.

5:14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)

…….Those who remained on the outside still greatly respected the church. Because of this, people continued to be converted to the Lord. Through times of persecution and times of peace, the true church that is full of the Spirit and produces much spiritual fruit will continue to grow.

B. Miraculous Healings

5:15  (continuing vs. 12: And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;) 15: Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.

5:16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

…….Because of the miracles that were performed by the Apostles, the community became flooded with people that had needs. The church became a hospital of Devine healings! Their faith was so stirred that just being in the shadows of Gods people was enough! No person left without being healed!

…….(From the book) Jesus Christ promised that He would build His church, and the councils of hell would not prevail (overpower) against it (Matthew 16:18). From the signs and wonders done by the apostles, and the rapid growth of the early church at Jerusalem, it was apparent that Christ was building the church. For almost two millennia since then, Christ has continued to build His church, and the councils of hell have not prevailed against it. We can be confident that Christ will continue building His church until He comes again to receive to Himself. The church, if we will have it to be so, is still Holy Spirit empowered by Christ for Christlike living and ministry.


A. Miraculous Deliverance

5:17  Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,

5:18  And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.

5:19  But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,

5:20  Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

…….If you are called and chosen of the Lord, the enemy will not be able to silence you!

5:21  And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.

5:22  But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,

5:23  Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.

5:24  Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.

5:25  Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.

5:26  Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.

…….This was probably the only time in history that the recapturing of jail breakers were taken without violence. Why? Because the church had grown so much and the officers feared the crowd would kill them! Evil men will fear a Spirit filled child of church!

B. Unstopped by Opposition

5:27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,

5:28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.

5:29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

5:30  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

5:31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

5:32  And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

5:33  When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.

5:34  Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;

5:35  And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.

5:36  For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.

5:37  After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

5:38  And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

5:39  But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

5:40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

5:41  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

…….This was only the beginnings of the church. Though the works of the enemy will always come against the church and its people, and though some will fall by the wayside while others die off, the gates of hell will never overtake it. The church will remain until the end of ages and God will always have a home for the hurting. We must remember that if hell is fighting, something is going right.

Faithfulness to Christ and church growth go hand in hand.

This lesson is about the growth of the church during the first several months after the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). In Jerusalem and Judea, the church experienced not only tremendous growth, but multiplication. This growth was a blessing of God’s providence for the young church, and was essential for it’s survival in the face of significant opposition from Jews in Jerusalem and Judea who were strongly opposed to the belief their fellow Jews had that Jesus was the Messiah, whom God had raised from the dead. Nevertheless, as the gospel was proclaimed, a steadily increasing number of Jews became believers in Jesus as the Messiah.

Questions? What do you think caused the church to grow so rapidly in its very beginnings?

What are we doing differently?


A. The Apostles’ Testimony

Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Act 2:5  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

…….Pentecost, the holiday called “The Feast of Weeks”, was celebrated at the end of the grain harvest, and 50 days after Passover. This was significant because of the number of people that would be in attendance to witness the very first time the Holy Spirt made His appearance.

Act 2:14  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

Act 2:15  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour (9 am) of the day.

Act 2:16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

Act 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Act 2:18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

…….Can you imagine the talk of the town, this man named Jesus who was supposedly sent by God as “His Son”, who was crucified to sure death, later in a tomb, to later be raised miraculously. Not only that, he’s been walking around for weeks preaching and prophesying about another being on his way! I’m not sure how attractive the feasts had been lately, but we can be sure that because of what had happened recently, and because of the popularity of Jesus, Jerusalem was packed! I can even imagine that there were some that hadn’t been there in years that made special plans to show up only because of the presence of Jesus Christ!

We will never forget how He changed our lives, and our story will live on to change others!

B. Thousands Believed in Christ

Act 2:37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

…….After the Apostle Peter preached a sermon concerning the Gospel of Christ, and how the actual Son of God was crucified by the local church, and that He had been raised but the LORD and caused to sit on His right hand in heaven at the seat of God, they were all moved with an urgency to know this Christ more!

Act 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save (protect, preserve) yourselves from this untoward (warped, crooked) generation.

…….This initial saving is a mutually great step, one of the Lord and the other of the individual! The greater fact is, once we have received Christ, He moves within us providing power to overcome all evil! We must “save ourselves” in order for the Lord to provide deliverance!

Act 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

…….The Lord provided the Holy Spirit as a helper and guide, and the Spirit moved on men who moved in the crowd! If you truly want ministry, get full of the Spirit

1Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:


A. Fellowship Facilitates Growth

Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly (constantly, diligent) in the apostles’ doctrine (instruction) and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

…….This is the model of the first church! They came together for learning biblical and Christian instructions, they had much fellowship, they ate together and prayed together. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a church that performed like this?

Act 2:43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

…….If the colon (:) was eliminated and the scripture was flipped it would read like this: And many signs were done by the apostles and fear came upon every soul. These people had such great church, and so many great works were happening in them that people were afraid not to be a part of it! This is the only kind of fear that the church should create.

Act 2:44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common (companionship, completeness);

Act 2:45  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

…….The people of the first church solely depended on on another, for everything. Nothing else was important except worshiping the Lord and spreading His good news, and they were provided for just because of that!

Act 2:46  And they, continuing daily with one accord (passion) in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily (not weekly, monthly or yearly, but daily) such as should be saved.

……..How? Why? Because they were on fire, full of the Spirit, and living in complete unity! Because of this the church was extremely blessed by the Lord, and outsiders couldn’t help but want to be a part of it!

B. Ministry Facilitates Growth

Act 3:1  Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour (3 pm).

Act 3:2  And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;

Act 3:3  Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

Act 3:4  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

…….I love this part here. When they approached the crippled, man Peter demanded him to look and realize that they were nothing special. They were simply men just like everyone else. There were no special robes worn like the religious leaders and no crowd following them as the leaders had simply for a show. The first thing he wanted the man to understand is the fact that Peter and John were common just like everyone else!

Act 3:5  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

Act 3:6  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

…….Can you imagine the immediate thoughts that must have run through the cripples mind. These people grabbed my attention as if to give a blessing and the next thing they tell me is, we don’t have what you think you need. Feeling so let down, I could see the mans head drop in disappointment. And then the words, “but what I do have I’ll give you”, and then the mention of that name Jesus surly triggered something, and he looks back up to Peter with a little hope….

Act 3:7  And he took him by the right hand (probably thinking he was about to get one of those Pentecostal hand shakes), and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

…….I can see it now, as some as Peter give his hand a little tug of faith, the lame man feels something he’s never felt before, strength where it’s never been!

Act 3:8  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

…….Many miracles took place at this very moment! Not only did the man stand on his own for the first time, but now he can jump and walk like everyone else! Those muscles that had never been developed are now present, and though they had never been trained are now working like they were made to from the beginning! Imagine the depression leave immediately! No longer does he have to sit around and wish he could perform like everyone else! Now he’s with the disciples with the same ability to praise God with the rest!

Act 3:9  And all the people saw him walking and praising God:

Act 3:10  And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

Act 3:11  And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

Act 3:12  And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

…….This scripture explains exactly why and how the disciples would continue operating with God given power; they told exactly where the power had come from.

Act 4:1  And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,

Act 4:2  Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Act 4:3  And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.

…….The same ones that condemned Jesus are now targeting the disciples.

Act 4:4  Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

…….Though they were being condemned for their faith and actions, the church continued to grow rapidly! Effective Christian ministry leads to effective church growth!


A. Hoy Spirit-Inspired Defense

Act 4:5  And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,

Act 4:6  And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.

Act 4:7  And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?

Act 4:8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,

Act 4:9  If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;

Act 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Act 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought (despised) of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

…….The ones who were thought to build and facilitate the church missed the most important material, but God showed everyone who the true strength was and where it came from! That is Jesus Christ the Son of the living God!

Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Act 4:13  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

…….What a Testimony!!!!

Act 4:14  And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

…….No one can argue against what God has done!

Act 4:15  But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred (had conversation) among themselves,

Act 4:16  Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest (shining) to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.

……Admittedly, they could not deny the miracle, nor the power which enabled it!

Act 4:17  But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.

…….Though they couldn’t deny it, it still drove them angry because they were losing control! They were anxious to see what would unfold if the church continued in a way they had never seen before, even though the results and growth were greater than ever before!

Act 4:18  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Act 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

Act 4:20  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

…….The disciples were to the point in their faith that they could not help but to speak the words that the Spirit provided! They seen and felt the results and wanted nothing else!

Act 4:21  So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

Act 4:22  For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.

…….Closing this section, I can’t help but to mention the the 10th verse again, where Peter accused the leaders of killing the Jesus Christ who was afterwards risen by God, and they never denied it. Because the disciples never backed down in the face of spiritual adversity, and continued to do exactly what the Lord directed, they would continue to be blessed in their actions and the church continued to grow rapidly.

B. Prayerful and Spirit-Filled Community

Act 4:23  And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

Act 4:24  And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

Act 4:25  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

Act 4:26  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

Act 4:27  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

Act 4:28  For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Act 4:29  And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,

Act 4:30  By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

Act 4:31  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Act 4:32  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

…….Their filling was more than a moment of feeling. They continued worshiping and praising God, directing all the glory toward

Him, and He continued to provide power through the Holy Ghost. In the times they would drain themselves for the gospels and ministry sake, the Lord provided everything they needed for every moment! If the church will ever truly and effectively grow, it will do so by the power of the Holy Spirit! He will do what no man can undo!

God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him.

This lesson is about the happenings in the lives of Jesus’ disciples as they waited at Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Luke tells of these events at the conclusion of his account of the gospel, and in the first chapter of The Acts of the Apostles. In obedience to Jesus’ command, given to them shortly before His ascension, about 120 of his disciples waited at Jerusalem to receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus had promised the Spirit would come upon them. While they waited, *they were together, *united in purpose, *praising and blessing God in anticipation of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

GOLDEN TEXT: Acts 5:32  And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.


A. Hearing the Resurrected Jesus

Luke 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

…….If you want an understanding of scripture, ASK FOR IT! The Lord does not desire to hold His enlightenment from any of His children. Contrarily, He longs for us to come to the point of desire where WE want nothing more earnestly than His truth in life. He will not impart blessings to those who so easily let them slip away. We must be like the new wine container, absent of the old with plenty of room for the new.

46  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved (became necessary for) Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48  And ye are witnesses of these things.

49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry (immovable: settled, steadfast) ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

…….Before He fulfilled His passion, the disciples could not comprehend the purpose, nor His or their own. Since then they have seen Him raise from the dead. He has numerous times walked with them, and now that their understanding was opened, they could be in one mind and one accord.

A lot of us church people enjoy the gathering and services. We all love feeling the presence of His Spirit. We love fellowship and the breaking of bread. But what we have to learn to enjoy is the UNITY and likemindedness that the body must conform to in order for His ultimate purpose for their lives to be fulfilled! Why do you think it’s so hard to get along with others at times? The enemy knows just as well that Unity is the key to spiritual success within the church! It takes an individual enlightenment to experience a corporate understanding! The overflow of your spiritual relationship helps me, and mine helps you! Church success could be summed up into 3 topics: 1, the vast majority of the church must be truly saved. 2, the body has to be Unified! 3, we must be full of the Spirit and operating with His power. We cannot skip step 2 if we want step 3 to be continuous!

B. Holy Spirit Power Promised

Acts 1:4  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but [wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

…….As hard as it is, we must learn to enjoy the wait! Tell a child to wait on anything good, and if they aren’t trained to enjoy the wait it will eat them alive!!! I can remember crying on Christmas Eve because I wasn’t allowed to open at least 1 gift! Some of us Christians are just like that spoiled child, mulligrubing because we can’t experience a sliver of what God has in store for us! When we really learn to prepare for what’s to come, we can then enjoy the wait, because what God has in store is Worth waiting on!!!

5  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence].

6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7  And he said unto them, [It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth].

…….Jesus is about to Baptize them with the Hoy Ghost!!! and He still tells them to quit living in wonder. It’s not a sin to wonder with hope and expectancy. What makes wondering a sin is when we wonder with no expectancy. Looking back on my personal life, I “wonder” if certain things would have happened faster if I didn’t spend so much time living in wonder! Will there be disappointments in life? Absolutely! But we must learn to “gain strength from” them instead of being “drained by” them!

The promise (for you and me) is there, but we have to stop searching for the results of the promise, and stay focused on Who made the promise!


Worshiping in the Temple

Luke 24:50  And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

51  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

52  And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

53  And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen

…….Something shifted this time with watching Him leave (vs. 51). This is the true impact of step 2! This time they had faith that He would appear again, and this faith, worship, continuous praising and blessing God was key to them receiving! Now, instead of mourning after His departure, they knew that He would not leave them comfortless!


The Holy Spirit Received

Acts 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

…….”Accord”, a key word in this scripture, ultimately describes the position we must all come to. The compound word it is broken down to (thumos) literally means: passion (as if breathing hard): – fierceness, indignation, wrath. We have to come to the common point where we all want the Kingdom of God to have full control in our lives corporately! UNITY, UNITY, UNITY!!!

2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (spoken word, statement, or vocal sound).

…….I can see Luke telling the story in our culture: “It was the craziest, most amazing thing I have ever witnessed! Jesus taught us one last time, and this time His words made more sense than ever before! This time we weren’t discouraged. This time we weren’t afraid of anyone. We had much confidence and left the mountain with hope and sure expectation!

We were worshiping and praising God in the temple. It felt so good to be in that place at that very moment that nothing else mattered! It was the greatest revival I’d ever been to! Towards the end of the prayer meeting, though we were a little tired, everyone was so content in our relationships and friendships. We had the same focus and expected the same outcome. There was harmony in the church like never before! There were no schisms, no splits, and no divisions among us. There was a closeness to the Lord as if He was now living within our very beings! All of a sudden, something supernatural came into the room, something that looked ferocious and no one was worried! Suddenly, there was a specific breakthrough that everyone experienced. Every person in that place was operating with power and speaking in an unlearned tongue. Some were speaking in foreign languages, while others were speaking in a heavenly language that no one had ever heard before. We still speak in that heavenly language since that day, and others also when they pray through to receiving the baptism! It was a moment in our walk that initiated a continuous momentum! Now, when others want what we have, the Lord is freely giving it to them when they come to the point of having a made up mind to wholeheartedly serve him!

Waiting for the Holy Spirit