תמונות בעמוד

32. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, the LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35. Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

(2) Jesus was proved to be the expected Messiah by the miracles, wonders, and signs which God wrought by him, as Peter's hearers well knew. These miracles expressed the loving kindness of God toward men ; they were invitations to come to Jesus. But they had delivered this Messiah to the Romans; they by wicked hands had crucified and slain the very Messiah they had so long and so eagerly looked for.

(3) But the death of Christ was not a defeat, was not an overthrow of God's plans, as it would seem to the people, but

an essential part of the divine plan for the Messiah and the scheme of redemption. Jesus made atonement for sin by giving his life on the cross to save mankind. He did this freely, according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (v. 23), by which every part of God's plan of salvation was foreknown and planned, as shown in the Old Testament.

(4) Jesus was alive, he had been raised from the dead, Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains (pangs) of death. No one but God could do this ; and it was necessary for the proof of Jesus' Messiahship. A dead Jesus could not be their promised Messiah. David seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ that his soul was not left in hell (Hades, the place of the dead) neither his flesh did see corruption (vs. 25-31). The glorious hope of immortal life is assured to all who believe and obey the Lord Jesus, the ever-living Saviour.

(5) The promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit, made by Jesus to his disciples, has been fulfilled, as ye have seen and heard (v. 33).

(6) In view of these things all the house of Israel may know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ (v. 36).

Peter Shows the People the Way to be Saved, vs. 37-40. The people now realized their sin and crime. “ For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing, even to the dividing of soul and spirit ... and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.

They saw that they had committed an awful crime against God and the nation and themselves. They had rejected their best friend and Saviour. They were in danger of the judgment to come. They were in danger of being overwhelmed in the awful times not far distant, when the Temple and Jerusalem should be destroyed. They therefore asked Peter and the rest of the Apostles . . . What shall we do?

Peter gives them three steps to take for their salvation. First: REPENT. Repentance means such a change of mind and heart and purpose as leads to a change of conduct ; a spiritual revolution of the soul, so that one hates sin and wrong with the whole heart. So that the sins are removed as far as the East is from the West." “ Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."

Second: MAKE PUBLIC CONFESSION BY BAPTISM INTO THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. It was an act of consecration to the service of Jesus Christ, and to the Kingdom of Heaven. It was like taking an oath of allegiance when one becomes a citizen of a new country.

Third : As a result of these two steps, you will BE PREPARED TO RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY Ghost, and the other blessings which should follow. They should receive remission of sins, the forgiveness of the sins, the removal of the penalty, and of the love of sin. Saved from sin, not in sin. The sinner having put away sin is welcomed back into the family of God.

They should receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit, working such changes and transformations of character and life as had been wrought in the apostles and the others. Sometimes it would come in the same or a similar form as that in which they had just seen it manifested ; and always in his abiding presence, dwelling within them as a fountain of life (John 7:38), as the Comforter, teaching, guiding, inspiring, helping, purifying, giving peace and hope and joy, according to the promise shall re

37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and

ye ceive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

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(John 13–16). For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off (including those who are living to-day), even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

One of the chief hindrances to becoming disciples, and one of the chief dangers to which the new disciples were exposed, came from the character of the people around them. So Peter exhorts them, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward (crooked) generation. They had to resist these plausible and cunning and powerful men, to break away from false doctrine, defy selfish authority, to forsake old friends, to endure derision, hatred, and persecution. This was no small thing to do. It acted as a sieve to sift out false disciples, and keep the church sincere and pure.

2. THREE THOUSAND WON IN A DAY, vs. 41, 42. Through this one effort of the Apostles, with the all-efficient aid of the Holy Spirit, 3000 converts were added to the little number of the disciples of Jesus. Many, or all of them, were doubtless from among the multitudes who had heard Jesus himself, and seen his miracles. The immensity of the proportion of the results is a convincing proof of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Not even the transformed Apostles could have produced such results by a single day's labor. 3. THE CHURCH BEAUTIFUL, vs.

Jewish Synagogue. 43-47. Another result of the wonderful transformation of the Apostles, and the other disciples of Jesus, was the character of the church itself. Bunyan's word picture of the Palace Beautiful is the most perfect picture of the church and its ordinances in all literature. The lions in the way before coming ; the porter Watchful, welcoming the pilgrim at the door ; the examination by the gentle maidens, Piety, Prudence, and Charity, with their discourse at the supper; the sleeping in the Chamber of Peace ; the study of the records of the place; the vision of the Delectable Mountains; and the putting on the armor for future warfare make altogether a fitting picture of the “ house built by the Lord of the hill, for the relief and security of pilgrims.”


These verses give several characteristics of the Church Beautiful, which should be hints for our own church life.

1. The Church Learning : by listening to the teaching of the Apostles repeating what Jesus had taught them. Disciples are learners.

2. The Church Fellowship: like one loving family, in sympathy, almsgiving, and mutual help. Personal influence is one of the strongest factors in education, in the formation of character, and the guidance of life. No hermit life can be as effective in Christian growth and usefulness as a life of fellowship with the true saints.

3. The Church Worshipping: by eating together, especially in partaking together of the Lord's Supper, or of love feasts in the houses of those who lived in Jerusalem. And in prayers in the synagogues, for they did not yet break with the Jewish church, — in the Temple at the regular hours, and in private houses. And the ascended Jesus was with them.

4. The Church at Work. Fear came upon every soul, reverential awe in the presence of the mysterious power working such wonders of grace and love. And many wonders and signs were done by the apostles, the same kind as those done by Jesus, to aid and cure and save those who needed help.

5. The Church Benevolent. The Christians had some general meeting place, and had all things common. They were members of one family and held things in common just as members of a family do. Everything was for the good of all. No one " said that anything was his own,” but all was for the use of friends and of whatever Christian had need. There were so many who had come from distant countries that it was necessary for those who had homes in Jerusalem and its vicinity to keep open house. The call for help was so great that those who were well-to-do sold some of their property to enable them to support the Christian strangers in their need.

6. The Church Joyful. They took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people.” (Am. R.)

7. The Church Growing. “And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved.” (Am. R.)

A church with the first five of these characteristics will always have the other two.

V. MODERN EXPERIENCES OF PENTECOST. To thoroughly develop this point we should have to recount the entire history of the Christian Church for the

nearly two thousand years of its existence. The Holy Spirit has come into the hearts of men at all times and places, in all ways ; into individuals and into crowds ; but always with the same results of spiritual awakening of the individual and the Church to which he belonged.

All through the centuries have there been revivals where the Church won its converts by the scores, the hundreds, and even the thousands. Study the revivals under Savonarola, Luther, the Wesleys, Edward Whitefield, and many others.

The condition of the mission fields is strong evidence for this pentecostal experience, and a great encouragement for those who are fearing that the world is drifting from Jesus and his teachings.

Progress in China. In the Select Notes for 1919, page 77, we told something of the work of Mr. Sherwood Eddy and Dr. John Mott among

the students of China, and referred the reader to Museum of St. Mark, Florence. Mr. Eddy's book, The New Era in Asia, for the Savonarola. (Fra Bartolommeo.)

full account of the wonderful results attained.

This book should again be studied for this lesson. But that tour of China was several years ago. Did the results continue ? Was anything permanent gained ? Would another tour of the same sort meet with encouragement, or was it largely a matter of curiosity this first time, so that another visit would fail of great accomplishments ?



In February, 1918, Mr. Sherwood Eddy and his party arrived at Canton, China, for another evangelistic campaign. The story is rather briefly told in The Congregationalist and Advance for May 2, 1918. The account is written by Rev. Charles A. Nelson of the American Board's South China Mission.

Brief as the account is, it is too long to be tran- NEVER BEFORE scribed here. A few brief points only can be cited.

“On Monday and Tuesday evenings from 7 to Such a chance as Now 9 o'clock admission to the meeting place was by

for the Christian edu- China

cator in ticket. Only those who brought one or

Such an approach as unconverted persons were allowed to be present. Now to the great mid- India But as 1400 had signed beforehand as Personal dle classes of Workers for others, the audience filled the room at Such a call as Now for the Y. M. C. A., which seats 1200. Tuesday

the missionary's me-
diation between White

Africa evening was made the Decision Evening, when and Black in several hundreds signed cards signifying that they Such need as Now for the accepted Christ as their Saviour.”

declaring of a religion
that makes character

Japan But China cannot work out her own salvation

in unaided. “ After all the follow-up work’ is the

-Year Book of Missions, 1918. most important. It is here we have failed in the past. Are we to fail again ? . . . After similar meetings three years ago, in a certain city, of 435 men who signed cards only 30 found their way into the churches.”

But this may not represent all the results of the meetings even in that one city. And all over China there have been great results from the teaching of the Christians; whether attributable to one worker or another is a matter of less moment.

The Congregationalist of Feb. 14, 1918, in an article by Rev. Parris T. Farwell, “ The Progress of the Kingdom,” under the heading of “ China,” says : “A striking example of the growing influence of Christianity in China was shown during 1917 by the success of the Christian forces in keeping from the newly devised constitution any assertion of Confucianism as the state religion. The Confucianists fought hard for it. Christian pastors and leaders united in opposition ; and they won the day.'

VI. PERMANENT MEANING OF PENTECOST. What is the lesson of Pentecost to us? There are many, and important ones. We will name only :

1. Keep near to God in united prayer. "There were only two or three of us

“Each of us felt the load of sin
Who came to the place of prayer,

From the weary shoulder fall;
Came in the teeth of a driving storm;

Each of us dropped the load of care,
But for that we did not care,

And the grief that was like a pall;
Since after our hymns of praise had risen,

And over our spirits a blessed calm
And our earnest prayers were said,

Swept in from the jasper sea,
The Master Himself was present there,

And strength was ours for toil or strife
And gave the living bread.

In the days that were thence to be. “We knew His look in our leader's face

"It was only a handful gathered in
So rapt and glad and free;

To the little place of prayer,
We felt His touch when our heads were bowed, Outside were struggle and pain and sin,
We heard His Come to me.'

But the Lord Himself was there;
Nobody saw Him lift the latch,

He came to redeem the pledge He gave -
And none unbarred the door;

Wherever His loved ones be,
But 'peace' was His token to every heart,

To stand Himself in the midst of them,
And how could we ask for more?

Though they count but two or three.
“And forth we fared in the bitter rain,

And our hearts had grown so warm,
It seemed like the pelting of summer flowers,

And not the crash of a storm;
"'Twas a time of the dearest privilege,

Of the Lord's right hand,' we said,
As we thought of how Jesus Himself had come
To feed us with living bread."

Margaret Sangster, in Record of Christian Work. 2. Moke large preparations. “ When God is to be your partner, make your plans large,” said Mr. Moody. 3. Believe in the coming of the power, and work on that belief.

“ Heaven never commands a man to do the impossible without giving him power to fill the order. . I once went to a man and said, 'Old fellow, I want you to take a class of young colts in my Sunday School at Rock Run.' • What, me?' he cried, 'Why, I couldn't teach 'em to play marbles, let alone the Bible.' Which was exactly true. But for twentyodd years John Doan has been by my side building up young manhood and leading men into the kingdom. John had the religion and Heaven furnished the power (Phil. 4:13 ; 2 Cor. 12 :9).” — W. H. Ridgway, in S. S. Times.

LESSON II (15). — January 11.


PRINT Acts 3:1-16.

GOLDEN TEXT. — Freely ye have received, freely give. – MATT. 10:8.

Devotional Reading : Isaiah 35.
Additional Material for Teachers : Matt. 10:7, 8; Mark 1 : 29-34 ; 9:27;

Luke 4:40 ; John 14:12; 1 Peter :II.
Primary Topic : A LAME MAN MADE WELL.

Lesson Material : Acts 3:1-16.
Memory Verse : Have faith in God.

Mark 11 : 22.

Lesson Material : Acts 3:1-16.

Memory Verse : Acts 3 : 6.
Intermediate and Senior Topic : FAITH AND THE HELPING HAND.

Additional Material : Mark 1:31 ; 9:27; Luke 4 : 40.
Topic for Young People and Adults : HELPING MEN TO HELP THEMSELVES.

Additional Material : Same as for Teachers.




A most practical lesson. No theoret- FOR RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION. ical teaching of a virtue has any lasting A review of the characters of Peter and John. results unless it is put into actual practice. The value of their association in Christian work. Christian character building through a Why were miracles of healing so common in the work careful study of the Bible is our funda- Beggars in the Orient, then and now. mental aim. The Bible, therefore, must Why did the disciples always attribute their power to be shown to be not only a book of stories Jesus? of persons who have lived ages before our Such as I have give I unto thee: the application to

ourselves. time ; not only a book of fine moral What connection did faith on the part of the cripple maxims ; but also a guide book

have with his healing? text-book of life. Its principles must be How was Peter's gift better than silver or gold?

What is the best way to help the poor to-day? applied to different measures for different times and circumstances. The actual form of the application of these principles will depend upon the pupil's age and THE LESSON IN ITS SETTING. circumstances. The Primary and Junior teachers will

The Time is not given, but it was probemphasize the lesson of helpfulness, ably not long after Peter's sermon on readiness to help in whatever way we the Day of Pentecost, in the summer of are able, and how even children can help A.D. 30.

The Place. - Jerusalem, in the in many ways. They can show that Christian people, religious people, are Temple. The healing was at the Beauas a general rule the kindest, and most tiful Gate, leading into the Court of the ready to help others.

Women. The sermon was preached in The Intermediate and Senior classes Solomon's Porch, just outside that gate, should have developed the necessity of in the Court of the Gentiles. faith and can study the value of the personal touch in helping others. Note in the Additional Material how often

THE TEACHER'S LIBRARY. Jesus emphasized this personal quality of his help.

Commentaries on the Acts, such as : The older classes can make a most | The Expositor's Greek Testament ; Westvaluable practical application to modern minster Commentary; American Comtimes in noting what was asked, and mentary; The New Century Bible (the what was given. They can in this way volume on Acts by Bartlett); Cambridge go deeply into questions of social better- Bible ; Bible for Home and School (Gilment, and the whole question of or- bert); The Teacher's Commentary (F. N. ganized charity.”

Peloubet). Books on Social Service ;

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