Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 3 (Lesson 3) by clicking here.
Read and meditate on Acts 3.17-21.
Peter actually says that his hearers “practiced ignorance,” not only in killing the Lord, but in everything else they did as well. They were living in darkness and unbelief, under the canopy of the Lie, and not in the Light of God. So Peter, and the Lord, are willing to cut them some slack. Their rulers, too. That “ignorance” though, must have grated on any rulers in the audience, I suspect. Truth hurts.
1. The coming of Christ brings light and truth and understanding into the way of things (Eph. 4.17-24). But to enter that experience one must repent and turn away from every sinful practice, giving evidence of forgiveness in their hearts, and opening their souls and every aspect of their lives to the refreshing blessings of the Lord. Can a person become a Christian just a little? Or is Jesus commanding more? Explain.
2. The blessings of salvation are all to be enjoyed in Jesus, Whom we may know, enjoy, and follow now, and Who is one day coming to take us unto Himself forever. This, Peter explained, is all in line with the prophets; he’s not making this up. We can turn to those same prophets to help skeptics and scorners today to see that God has truly appointed Jesus for the salvation of lost sinners. If, that is, they are willing to repent and believe the Good News. Suppose you were asked to show how Jesus is revealed in the prophets of the Old Testament. What are some passages you might point to?
3. It’s refreshing to see the Good News of Jesus grounded so firmly in the teachings of the Old Testament. Covenant, law, prophets, promises, great men, familiar stories – the Apostles saw Jesus in all these, and so should we (Jn. 5.39). How would you counsel a new believer to look for Jesus as he reads his Bible each day?
4. In ignorance the religious people of Peter and John’s day acted contrary to the will of God. These people went up to the temple to pray and worship daily. But they were ignorant of the truth of God and guilty of sinning against Him. Is it possible this situation might hold a warning for those who profess faith in Jesus today?
5. Do you think about ways of beginning a conversation about the Gospel with the people you see each week? What might be some interesting ways of doing that?
The Gospel offers the hope of life and refreshment in the Lord, but people need to admit their sins and turn from them before they can receive the ongoing work of Christ in their lives. Is this true for Christians as well as for unbelievers? Explain.
LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the LORD;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
T. M. Moore
Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies Acts.
Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. For more insight to His work in our here and now, order the book, The Kingship of Jesus, from our online store by clicking here.
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