Monday, October 19, 2015

On 10-25-15, Acts 11:1-18 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Trusting the Spirit or Peter Defends His Actions

Trusting the Spirit 
Peter Defends His Actions
Acts 11:1-18
October 25, 2015

Jed Greenough

“When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

That is the 18th verse from our lesson for today and I wonder what you think when you read that?  Some of us will think differently based on what we bring to the table if you know what I mean.

I think things like, well that is big of them that they no longer object so they praised God.  

I think things like their prejudice is still showing when they say even Gentiles will be granted repentance.

If you did what Peter did would you have to defend yourself?  Do Christians still think that way about the conversion of different peoples?  I’m sure they do and I’m sure you'd have to defend yourself for associating with them.  It kind of makes fulfilling the great commission a little difficult.

A study that is admittedly starting to get a little dated by The Center for the Study of Global Christianity said that the biggest majority of missionaries going out are going to Christian majority nations!  I know I’d rather go to the Caribbean than Iran how about you?

But what about this idea that someone might object to your efforts and that you might have to defend yourself.  I don’t think you’d have to do that if you were doing it in Israel, Ireland, India or Iraq but what about those people, you know those people, across town?  And especially if you brought them back home to your church to worship going forward.

What is it about our prejudices that gets in the way of our responsibility to each other whoever that might be?  What does it say about our personal faith in the One who thankfully has no prejudice?

The Jewish had believed that the Gentiles were unclean and impure.  Clearly this did not change when they became Christians.  They still thought of themselves as better than the Gentiles.  I’d like to think it was because the church was new and even Peter had not been taught to think differently.

We however have been around a long time as Christians now and yet we think the most vile thoughts about those who are different in color or politics than we are and that objection we cannot defend and still effectively praise God!

For Discussion:

  1. Note how many Peter took with him.  Discuss the reasons that might have been.
  2. Discuss how a group from where you worship might work together to witness.
  3. Discuss Peter’s praying and being in a trance.
  4. Discuss the vision.
  5. Discuss the irony of thought that nothing unclean went into Peter’s mouth but what about what might have come out of his mouth or rattled around in his brain that was unclean.
  6. Discuss verse 9.
  7. Discuss how prejudice gets in the way.

Upcoming Lessons

11-1-15     God Rescues Peter or God Releases the Captive     Acts 12:1-11

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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