Welcome to “Sunday SchoolSunday School”.  Each week we will highlight our Adult Class Sunday School Lesson for the upcoming week.  This site is designed to prepare you for the upcoming lesson, and give you greater insight into the Word of God.  Get ready to bestretched.  Get ready for an exciting  journey.  Get ready for a stir in your Soul.

 

Daily Scripture reading for the week is at the end of the page.           

 

                                                                                                                                                                                Dr. June Normil

 


 

 

                                            Unit 1 Study 7

                                        October 19, 2014

 

Study Scriptures for this week's Lesson: Acts 6:1-7; 8:4-40; 21:8-9

 

Key Verse: Acts 8:6 The people with  one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did (KJV).

 

Central Truth: Proclaiming the gospel is the primary mission of the church.

 

Our Focus: To study Philip's ministry and be  witnesses of Christ.

 

 

                                            Philip the Evangelist

 

 

                                                                                         

Introducing the study

 

Philip is probably best known for his divine appointment with the Ethiopian eunuch. However, there is much ore to Philip's life of evangelism than this one event. He was characterized by his commitment to God and Family, and by his service in the body of Christ. As Christians we are called to evangelize those who need to find Christ as Savior. That calling, however, is not merely a goal to achieve or a mark to attain. It ought to e a passion that compasses our lives. As we express gratitude for all God has done for us, we are compelled to share that message of hope with those whom God leads across our paths. At the end of this study, you will be able to: 1. Affirm the importance of character in the role of evangelism. 2. Identify opportunities to connect with others as you seek to emulate the love of Christ. 3. Share your faith even amid trials.

 

Deacon and Family Man

 

As the Early Church began to grow, the Christians developed a strong practice of caring for the needy among them (Acts 4:32-35). However, the growth of the Church also resulted in the disciples spending large amounts of time involved in evangelistic ministry. This struggle for balance between caring for needy believers and reaching the lost became a major issue as more and more Greek-speaking people accepted Christ and came into the church. These newcomers felt that the needs of their widows were being overlooked (Acts 6:1). The apostles recognized that they could not be distracted from their work of evangelism. However, they also saw the importance of correcting the oversight and making sure all the widows were cared for. So they asked the believers to appoint seven men to oversee this ministry (verses 2-3). The selection of these men was not to be taken lightly. Their job would be to attend to needy people. It was important that they be men "full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom." It was critical that these men be above reproach, in order to dispel any hint of favoritism. At the same time, they would need to be wise, discerning, and spiritually strong a they oversaw a major ministry of the church. Philip was one of the seven men selected. Not only was Philip a dedicated member of the congregation, he was a dedicated family man as well (Acts 21:8-9). He opened his home to the apostle Paul years later as Paul neared completion of his third missionary journey. Philip raised his family to serve the Lord with passion and commitment. His four  unmarried daughters were gifted in the ministry of prophecy. Philip showed great spiritual integrity, walked in wisdom from the Holy Spirit, and sought to impress these values on those closet to him. Evangelism forms a natural outflow of our lives when we are passionate about what Christ has done for us. As we walk with the Spirit, we will naturally want to share these blessings with others.

 

[For Personal Reflection] In what ways are you serving your home church?   

 

Evangelizing Samaria

 

After the death of Stephen (acts7:54 through 8:3), the early Christians suffered intense persecution and were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria (verse4). Rather than being silenced in their fear, these early Christians took the opportunity to spread the gospel wherever they went. Philip was at the forefront of this commitment to evangelism (verse 5). This is especially apparent in his encounter with Simon the magician and his followers (verses 6-13). Simon considered himself to be a man of great power. A multitude of onlookers agreed. Occult practices like witchcraft, fortune telling, and demon worship were common in that day, and people were drawn to it. When  Philip arrived on the scene, his message of salvation through Christ was accompanied by great miracles of physical healing and spiritual deliverance. The people could sense something special in what Philip was doing. The miracles bore witness of the power within his message. As a result, many were saved-even Simon himself. Most of us may not attract the tremendous crowds that Philip drew. However, we too are equipped by God to proclaim a message of salvation, affirmed by miraculous signs. We, too, can pray that God will heal the sick. We can believe for deliverance among those in desperate need of help and hope. God can work the supernatural through us. And when He does, we point those around us to the saving power of Christ. 

 

[For Personal Reflection] Do you believe God for miracles as you minister? 

 

Ministering to the Ethiopian

 

Philip was experiencing a time of thriving evangelistic ministry when an angel gave him an odd command: "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza" (Acts 8:26). Philip obeyed. As he traveled, he encountered an official from the queen's court in Ethiopia. The official, likely a proselyte to Judaism, had been to Jerusalem to worship. He was reading the book of Isaiah (verses 27-28). The Spirit directed Philip to approach the Ethiopian (verses 29-35). A conversation ensued, and God led Philip to explain how the Jewish Scriptures the Ethiopian read (Isaiah 53) actually found its fulfillment in  Christ. This seemly chance encounter was in fact a divine appointment. Philip followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and addressed the questions the Ethiopian posed. As they traveled, they came to some water amid the parched desert land (Acts 8:36-40). Having accepted by faith the message of Christ as told by Philip, the Ethiopian eagerly asked to be baptized. And Philip baptized the new convert. When he came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit miraculously carried Philip to Azotus, about twenty miles north of Gaza. There he continued to preach the gospel in power and boldness. The story of Philip highlights an important part of the Church's mission. We must make evangelism a top priority. Whether we are sharing our faith with neighbors, providing resources for missions work on the other side of the globe, or praying for our pastors and evangelist, our labors will make a difference in the kingdom of God. 

 

[For Personal reflection] How can you know you're in the proper setting, or that the time is right, for you to evangelize?

 

 Discipleship in Action

 

Philip understood evangelism is a matter of lifestyle as much as speaking ability. He remained attentive to the Holy Spirit and obedient to what he was called to do. Through that attentiveness and obedience, God led him to people who were searching spiritually. In those moments, Philip stepped out in faith to proclaim the gospel. When we  commit to walking with God daily and trusting Him to direct our steps, He will lead us to people who are desperately searching for spiritual answers. Who in your life might be searching for God today? How can you share with them the good news of Jesus Christ? Ask God to open of opportunity, then respond in obedience.   
  

                                                                YOU OUGHT TO TESTIFY!                                                   

                          
 
 

 

 

 Monday               Tell about God's Works.                     Psalm 92:1-8

 

 

 

Tuesday               Tell about God's Righteousness.          Psalm 94:14-19

 

 

 

Wednesday         Don't Quench the Fire.                        Jeremiah 20:7-13                                    

 

 

Thursday           Jesus Testifies.                                        John 8:25-30                        

 

 

 

Friday                Peter Testifies.                                        Acts 10:34-44                    

 

 

 

Saturday           Paul Testifies.                                           Acts 26:12-20                          

 

   

 See You In Sunday School Next Week!!!! 

 

   

Copyright Reference:  Radiant Life, Volume 96 Number 1 Sep. Oct. Nov 2014 by Gospel Publishing House, 1445 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Mo  65802.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                Dr. June Normil