Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 16

Here’s the Explore the Bible Sunday School lesson commentary for June 16, written by Jay T. Robertson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Mobile.

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 16

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By Jay T. Robertson, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Mobile

UNITED

Acts 2:41–47

We live in a time when much is at stake and much is changing. The gospel does not change, but we live in a time when the stakes will not allow “status quo” Christianity to continue unchallenged.

A new program, a new curriculum or a new strategy is not the answer. Peter Drucker stated, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” In Acts 2 we see God creating a gospel-shaped culture that penetrated the pagan culture of its day with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.

Discipled (41–42)

Many Jews in the crowd heard the gospel in their own language, and they were pierced to the heart. They responded to the gospel by repenting of their sin and believing in Jesus Christ. Have you been convicted of your sin before the living God? Have you repented of your sin and trusted in Jesus as Lord and Christ?

Three thousand people accepted the message and were baptized on Pentecost. They were not baptized in order to be saved but because they were saved. Christian baptism symbolizes being buried with Christ and being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life. New life leads to new community and disciplined engagement with that new community.

These new believers were united in a gospel-shaped culture. First, they participated in the life of the Church by devoting themselves to “the apostles’ teaching.” They gathered together and were nourished by the teaching of Scripture. Second, they devoted themselves to “the fellowship.” They shared life together and actively participated in the experiences of their brothers and sisters. Third, they devoted themselves to “the breaking of bread.”

In this verse, the phrase refers to taking the Lord’s Supper together as an act of worship. Fourth, they devoted themselves “to prayer.” These believers asked God to supply their needs and enable them to proclaim the gospel with boldness. We need to cultivate the discipline of devoting ourselves to these four activities as we mature in Christ.

Unified (43–45)

As the believers continued worshipping and proclaiming the gospel, the people in the city witnessed “many wonders and signs” being performed by the Holy Spirit through the apostles. Before the completion of the canon of Scripture, the Holy Spirit performed miracles to authenticate the authority of the apostles and the gospel message. The power of God at work among the people resulted in “awe” — a holy fear of and reverence for God.

Becoming a Christian in the first century could mean losing your job or being disowned by your family. Many believers faced poverty, hunger and cold. Instead of turning to the government, they turned to God. Instead of turning to Congress, they turned to the Church.

The caring and sharing Church is more concerned with giving than getting. The early Church was a church where the rich gave a lot, the poor gave a little, everyone gave something and no one had a need not supplied. This giving was not mandated by law; it was motivated by love.

In Community (46–47)

These new believers were steadfastly committed to God, to one another and to the gospel mission. These new Christians didn’t have to be coaxed into gathering together. They loved one another sincerely, and the general population noticed a difference in them.

The life of the gospel-shaped community made Christianity attractive, and the Lord saved a multitude of lost people and added them to the Church. The way we treat each other impacts our witness for Christ.