NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passage: Acts 11:1–18
- What are some ways God might be preparing you to share the Gospel today?
- What are some ways God might prepare unbelievers to hear the Gospel today?
- How does knowing that the Gospel must be shared affect the way you perceive your current practice of evangelism?
Food for Thought:
Read Acts 11:1–18. In Acts 10, we read about a unique event in the history of salvation, as the Lord prepared both Cornelius and Peter with visions: Cornelius to hear the Gospel and Peter to share the Gospel. God wanted to bring salvation to the Gentiles, but the Jews needed to witness that salvation come to the Gentiles, lest there be a divided church. And then, in Acts 11:1-18, Luke retells the same account of Peter at Cornelius’ house from the previous chapter. Why did this happen? Because this pivotal moment in salvation history needed more than one telling for the church to grasp God’s will in this matter.
When Jesus called His disciples to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth, they naturally assumed they were spreading the message of the Gospel to the Jews scattered throughout the world (Acts 1:6-8). But when news came of Peter having eaten with Gentiles, the circumcision party accused him of violating the Law of Moses (ex. Leviticus 20:24-26). Their ethnic and religious pride led them to discriminate against the Gentiles. God had prepared Peter for Gentile inclusion into the new covenant people of God; the Jews in Jerusalem had to be prepared as well, so they needed to see how God accomplished this feat in Peter’s heart.
Just as the Lord prepared Peter to share the Gospel with Cornelius and his household by a vision, so also the Lord prepared Cornelius to hear the Gospel with a vision (Acts 10:1-8). While the Lord does not always send unbelievers to us in this manner, God is always sending us out in the power of the Spirit and convicting sinners by the same Spirit as we present the Gospel. The God you see operating in the Book of Acts is the same God operating today, still in the business of saving people. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, beginning with those unbelievers who might live under your roof (perhaps your children or spouse) or across the street, or those you might know from your workplace, or at the gym.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/gospelproject.