Weekly Video Lesson
This week our Sunday School classes continues our study on the book of Acts with a lesson from Acts 8, the Church is persecuted and Gospel the Spreads. Check out the video lesson and discussion questions from our Children & Family Minister Daniel Sheaffer below:
Video Discussion Q+A
1) Who was the lead persecutor of the early church? Why? (see Acts 26:9-11)
– It was Saul who was later saved by God and called to go preach the Gospel to the Gentile world. Saul thought he was serving God by persecuting Christians because he thought they were teaching a false gospel.
2) How does persecution lead to the spreading of the Gospel?
– When the church was being persecuted by Saul and others of the Jewish leadership, many new believers fled from Jerusalem. This resulted in Christians going to all the region of Israel and Samaria and beyond. Because of this, Christians were living and proclaiming the Gospel in places they may not have gone to if not for this persecution.
3) Why was it such a big deal that Simon the Sorcerer believed in Phillip’s Gospel?
– It was a big deal because Simon had amazed the people with his tricks, sorcery, and magic. When he saw the power of God at work, he too was amazed. This was real power. This was God’s power. He knew what the apostles were saying was true, and it was verified with the real miracles the apostles were doing.
4) Why did the Holy Spirit come and indwell the Samaritan’s only once Peter and John arrived to lay hands on them and baptise them? Why not when they first believed like the Jews?
– Luke is telling us something very important here. The Holy Spirit was normally given upon faith in Jesus and that faith was shown by immediately baptizing someone. Here, the people of Samaria were baptized but the Holy Spirit did not indwell them yet. This was not normal. This was different. It was different because God was making sure his disciples knew that God shows no partiality and that anyone who comes to faith in him can become a part of his people, even Samaritans. He wanted his apostles to know and see that the Holy Spirit was given to Samaritans too (see Acts 10:34-35). Through Peter and John, the apostles verify and experience themselves what God has already said would happen (Matthew 28:19-20)
5) Why does Peter rebuke Simon when he asked for the Holy Spirit to be given to him too?
– It was because Simon was asking for it with a wrong heart and wrong motives. Simon thought he could control the Holy Spirit and receive the gift of God through buying the Spirit with money. Peter rebukes him and tells him that the Holy Spirit cannot be bought or manipulated through the efforts of men. Salvation that comes from God through the death and resurrection of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit is a gift that only God gives.
6) What does this mean for you and me?
– This story shows us that anyone can come to saving faith in Jesus and receive the same gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is willing to adopt anyone into his family as children of God. All of us who believe in this gift receive the Holy Spirit as a gift from God. Let’s thank God for this gift, serve him today with greater obedience, and make sure that we are not trying to receive anything from God and think it’s because of how obedient or how important we are. It is God who loves us even when we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).