Smyth and Helwys Uniform Series Lesson Outline for March 16, 2014
Peter’s Report Psalm 110: 1-4; Acts 2: 22-24, 29-32
Focal Outline: Psalm 110: 1-4 God’s word is good
Acts 2: 22-24 Can’t be held back
Acts 2: 29-32 A Messiah raised up
Summary Statements: (To help you get a handle on the lesson truths.)
1. Many Christians wish they could better express the good news of Jesus Christ.
2. We can be intentional about developing a ministry to the world around us. Any of us!
3. We have something to say that others need to hear: in Christ, God has given us hope.
4. Some traditions are so tied to preserving the past that they choke off the hope of future growth.
Questions for Thought: (To help you think of some questions to challenge with a “So What?”)
1. What parts of your faith do you speak of comfortably? What parts of your belief are you shy about?
2. Without being silly, what is one way in which you could better express your faith to a world in need?
3. What are you doing that gives others around you reason for hope?
4. How should we evaluate traditions and practices to decide whether they are helpful?
Points to Ponder
[NOTE: These suggestions are to help your class be more interactive and discussion oriented. Using 3-5 different ideas will enhance your preferred teaching style and involve class participants. Build excitement and intimacy in your learners!]
Well, I never really know what to say….I don’t want to bother anyone…How can mere words describe my faith in God? And so goes our love-hate relationship with our own Christian testimonies. Right? Especially we Baptists have at least a mild case of unction about this. We believe, on some level, that we should tell people about Jesus. We are supposed, after all, to lead others toward their own faith in Christ. Evangelism, outreach, sharing and all those other Great Commission concepts. Right?
The world at large thinks of my Baptist ethnicity as “the people who evangelize.” And, I did serve one church after seminary that got excited. Those people started inviting everybody to church. And, guess what? We grew! We really did. But, most of my years have been spent serving with good people who mostly don’t want to bother anyone around them. They would love for their churches to grow. They most assuredly want God’s kingdom to be furthered. Tell someone about their faith? Not so much.
A priestly ministry. Life in the House of David and in the following of Jesus Christ brings with them a calling. We are each priests. That calling is to minister to a world that hurts and that needs the hope and healing of Christ. Hope for new life. That is where John’s Revelation ended our holy scripture as we have that book collected. Hope. Our lesson writer will make an application (p86): when it comes to living, sharing and proclaiming our faith, most of us could benefit from a dose of Peter’s boldness! Guess what: you aren’t alone. God is with you. God can empower you. God can direct you. Question is: have you asked for help?
Introductory Thoughts (5-15 minutes – These are for discussion to introduce this week’s Lesson Ideas.)
1. What are the traditions that shape your beliefs about God? What informs your relationship with Christ? What spurs you to act on your faith so that your Christianity gives hope to others?
2. Talk within your group: how should traditions be evaluated? Explain: over time, the practices that evolve into tradition seem to get perpetuated. But, what makes a healthy tradition vs. one whose time has passed?
3. We are a priesthood of believers! But, what does that mean? Discuss this within your group. If someone ascribed “priest” as a job for you—what are some of the best things that could mean for God’s kingdom?
4. Take a look at “Beginning the Lesson” on p78 of your Uniform Teaching Guide. So, how comfortable are you in the role of a speaker?
Studying & Discussing the Passage (20-25 minutes – See Brian Harbour’s Commentary for added insights and explanations.)
1. Share an overview of the Lesson from “Locating the Text” (Teaching Guide ) and then examine the Focal Passage using a variety of teaching methods…
Psalm 110: 1-4 God’s word is good
What is happening in v1? (invitation into God’s presence) What is proclaimed in v2? (God’s people will have responsibility; calling) In v3-4, what outcome is forecast? (God will lead people to respond)
Acts 2: 22-24 Can’t be held back
To what is Peter bearing testimony in v22-24? (Christ’s divine origin; God’s gift; humankind’s guilt; Christ’s victory) What bearing should this have upon us?
Acts 2: 29-32 A Messiah raised up
In v29-32, what connections does Peter make for his largely Hebrew audience? Why is this important for him to do? What does this have to do with us today, in Christ? Why should this have given them hope? What are we supposed to do with this assignment, as we continue this priestly legacy from David?
2. On p84 (lrge. print) our lesson author says, “Because he is a priest forever, Jesus mediates between humanity and God. Jesus intercedes for us before God. He also communicates God’s desires to us.” How does Jesus’ priestly ministry to us translate toward our own legacy assignment as priests in God’s kingdom?
3. How does Ac 2: 24 relate to this passage? How about Ps 16: 10?
4. On p88 our lesson author says “Distinguishing between helpful and hurtful traditions is an essential task for faith communities—and individual believers—who want to remain open to what God might be doing in their midst.” What are the best of your traditions that spur you on to serve and to heal? How can you know?
5. In the Uniform Commentary, Brian Harbour vests Peter’s sermon as being “biblical.” What OT passage is quoted most often by NT writers? (p54) On p55, what does this promise from Ps110 mean for eternity? Who was Melchizedek? (p55) See p56 for a reminder of why Peter quoted Joel in his sermon!
Applying the Lesson (10-20 minutes – Choose one or two questions to encourage action plans for the coming week!)
Discuss any of the following questions…
1. a. In the season of Lent, ask God to help you cultivate healthy traditions that influence your faith.
b. Ask God to help you to escape habits that hinder your growth, and to move your faith to maturity!
2. So, what are you digging in, gripping tighter and pushing harder in order to ensure that your life unfolds according to your plans? (p70) Use our lesson writer’s question devotionally this week. Pray on this.
3. See “Applying the Lesson” on p82 in the Uniform Teaching Guide. Are you bold enough to evaluate Peter’s effort in Acts 2? If so, on what basis?
People go where they know they’ve been prepared for and are cared for!
Bo Prosser, series editor, is the Coordinator for Missional Congregations at CBF in Atlanta.
Charles Qualls, session writer, is Associate Pastor at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Copyright SS Helps 2014 All references to Smyth and Helwys literature are used by permission of the Publisher.
All materials used are available through Smyth & Helwys Publishing,www.helwys.com, 800-747-3016.
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