When the early Christians received the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the news spread quickly throughout Jerusalem, and a large crowd gathered, seeking the meaning of this phenomenon. Peter, under the control and in the power of the Holy Spirit, addressed the inquisitive crowd.
Who were these people? Some had been present at the crucifixion earlier and had cried, "Crucify Him" and, "Let his blood be on us and on our children" (Matthew 27:22, 25). Possibly some in the front row were those before whom Peter had used profanity when he denied Christ (Matthew 26:73,74).
Under these fearful circumstances, Peter's resources had to be God's Word, prayer, and the Holy Spirit. The purpose of this lesson is to demonstrate the use of the Word of God in witnessing, and its results.
Read Acts 2.
- Of all the disciples, why was Peter the least qualified to witness for Christ, and yet the most qualified, as suggested above and in Acts 2?
- How much of Peter's sermon involves quotations from the Bible (such as from Joel, David, etc.)?
- How much Scripture memorization do you suppose Peter had done in his early life?
- What part does the Holy Spirit play in those who share Christ's message (John 14:26)?
- What part does the Holy Spirit play in those who hear Christ's message (John 16:8-11)?
- What part does prayer play (Acts 2:42-47)?
- What did Peter say to convince them of sin (Acts 2:23, 36)?
- List some great things Peter preached about God (verses 24, 34, 35, 38, 39).
The Crowd's Response
- How many became Christians that day?
- List the emotions experienced by the hearers before and after conversion.
- Why did some listeners respond in anger first?
The Power of the Word
- Summarize Isaiah 55:11.
- According to Hebrews 4:12, how does the Word of God affect the non-Christian as you witness?
- In Ephesians 6:17, what is the Bible called and why?
- As you will see in more detail in Lesson 6, it is the Holy Spirit who brings men to grips with the issues as we witness.
The Value of Scripture Memorization
Committing portions of Scripture to memory is the best way to know the Word of God, and as a result, to know Christ. Also, by having the promises and commands of the Word memorized, we can apply them to any life situation at a moment's notice, especially when we want to use them in an unexpected witnessing opportunity.
- List some things God has promised us in II Peter 1:2-4.
- List some ways that memorizing Scripture will help you according to: I Peter 2:2-3, Hebrews 5:12-14, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-3, and Psalm 32:8.
- List some ways, mentioned in the following references, in which God's Word will nourish your growth. Romans 10:17, Psalm 119:11, 165.
- Name one thing for which God's Word is absolutely essential, according to I Peter 1:23.
- List specific ways in which the preceding Bible verses will help you in your witnessing.
- Which verse do you believe you need the most?
- Memorize that passage. How will you apply it?
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.