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Peter and John Show the Way

Family Devotions:
M. Christ Called Them..................................................................................Mark 3:13-19
T. They Saw Jesus Transfigured...................................................................Matthew 17:1-8
W. They Witnessed the Miracles of Christ....................................................Luke 8:49-56
T. They Talked with Jesus.............................................................................Mark 13:1-8
F. They Prepared for the Passover................................................................Luke 22:7-13
S. They Were in the Garden with Jesus.........................................................Mark 14:32-38
S. They Witnessed His Resurrection.............................................................John 20:1-10

Devotional Reading: Acts 4:5-12.

Memory Selection: Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13.

Lesson Scripture

Acts 3:
11. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

12. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

13. The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

14. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;

15. And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

16. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

25. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

26. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.


This lesson begins our study of The Spread of Christianity. Are we not glad that it spread and eventually came to where we are that we might rejoice in the message of God’s amazing grace through Jesus Christ our Lord? God inspired His Word to be written. Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16 - 17). Peter explained it further when he wrote: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:21).

Not only did God inspire the Bible, but He also preserved His truth and called men to preach and thus perpetuate and spread it. In our Family Devotion for Monday we saw that Jesus called His disciples and sent them forth to preach. While He remained with them on this earth, Jesus taught them and blessed them to witness many wonderful and miraculous events which would become the basis of their preaching. They witnessed many miracles, such as, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the feeding of multitudes, the healing of blindness and other physical disabilities. Regardless of the miracle performed, they saw His sovereign power which would ultimately be manifest in His Own resurrection. Jesus said, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:18). This truth was to become one of the fundamental truths which the early church embraced and shared in the spread of Christianity.

Peter and John

Peter and John were to become an integral part of the early spread of Christianity. A wise preacher once said, “You can no more preach what you do not know, than you can go back to where you have never been”; and so the revelations Christ imparted to Peter and John in special and secluded moments became the foundation of their preaching. If you read the Family Devotions you probably noticed that Jesus allowed Peter, James and John to enjoy a closer fellowship with Him. Even today some of God’s children live closer to the Lord than others. As the three of them were with Him, no doubt they saw and heard things which the other nine did not. We can only imagine how Peter, James and John felt during those times of special closeness to the Lord.

We notice that along the way, the three became two. James was no longer in the picture; there were only Peter and John. Towards the end of the earthly ministry of Jesus, when the last Passover was to be prepared for Him and His disciples, only Peter and John were sent to make the arrangements. Again, in the Family Devotion for Sunday, the Gospel of John tells us that Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved (John), went to the tomb and became witnesses of His resurrection. As the Book of Acts begins, the trend continues. They went to the temple and were blessed to be witnesses of the divine healing of a man who was lame. What a day! How could they possibly have kept silent about such glorious events? No doubt, they had great joy as they preached about Jesus and shared with others the wonderful hope through Him.

1. Why do you suppose Jesus invited Peter, James and John, but not the other disciples?

They Preached Jesus

Acts 9:31 tells us: “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” While this verse reminds us that Christianity was spreading, it had its roots in men such as Peter and John. Their faith and courage was exemplary. They preached Jesus even when it endangered their lives. When the Bible tells us that men hazarded their lives for the cause of Christ (Acts 15:26), Peter and John were among the first to do so. Stephen was put to death for his faith and died praying for those who stoned him (Acts 7:54-60). Before Stephen was killed, Peter and John were persecuted for preaching Jesus. They had so forcibly preached Christ (Acts 3:11-26) that they were arrested and threatened if they continued to do so (Acts 4:1-6 and 17-18); yet even in the presence of their enemies they preached Jesus (Acts 4:8-12). Their response to the threats is given in Acts 4:20; they said, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Through it all their devotion to Christ and His Gospel of grace did not waver. Later in Acts 5:29 we read, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men”; and so they pressed on, preaching the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. Truly Peter and John showed us that by the preaching of Jesus Christ, Christianity spreads. 2. How do you suppose church members today would respond to threats of bodily harm?

Christianity Spreads

History tells us that Christianity eventually spread throughout the Roman Empire and became the prevailing religion of the people they ruled. It is suggested that the many roads Rome built actually became thoroughfares for Christians carrying the Gospel of Christ. While that is likely true, we recognize the fact that it was neither Rome’s power nor her roads that actually spread the Gospel. It was, in fact, Christians who traveled those by-ways and shared their beloved faith.

Thank God that through the years which followed, Christianity continued to spread as a fire driven by the wind of God’s Holy Spirit (John 3:8). Men and women were made new creatures in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17) and through them the message of redemption spread from one city to another and from one continent to another. It swept through many nations and ultimately to our native land. It should be our happy privilege to continue the spread of Christianity. Of course, we are powerless to do so on our own; we must be empowered by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 2:4). Even though Jesus returned to heaven (Acts 1:11), God was pleased to leave the Holy Spirit with us and in us (John 14:17). He promised that the Holy Spirit would empower our witness of Him (Acts 1:8). The question remains, are we part of the ongoing work of spreading the Gospel of Christ and thereby spreading Christianity?

3. Can you explain the role of God and the work of men in spreading Christianity?


This is where we need to ask ourselves some very important questions, such as, “Is God still saving His elect?” and “Do His people continue to need the message of Jesus Christ? and “Are we really supposed to continue the work of spreading Christianity as they did?” Thank God the Gospel has touched and blessed our lives and we should want others to be blessed, too. Let us work and pray that God will use us to perpetuate the spreading of the Gospel and Christianity. What task could be more important? Many do not know the truth of saving grace by Christ Jesus. We should share the Gospel and ask God to apply it to the hearts and souls of His people. Let us pray fervently for God to bless such efforts, that Christianity may spread until Jesus comes again.

May we, like Peter and John, have courage to share our convictions. May we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) as we glorify our Redeemer and Saviour. Let us take personally the challenge, be faithful members of our church and promote every noble effort that spreads His glorious Gospel and Christianity.

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This page last updated on June 17, 2014