learned men; they knew that they had been with the Lord Jesus. After the rul ers had told Peter and John not to talk about Jesus any more, they let them go. But these two Christians said that they must tell others about their Lord, and when they told the other believers what had happened, they prayed that they might be even more courageous to wit ness for the Saviour. What made Peter and John so brave? Once Peter had denied Jesus because he Pointers on the Lesson All Christians, whatever their name, color, race, location, station in life or nationality, belong to one body. In a very real sense we believers are “ one.” Christ is our Head and every Christian is a part of His body. This fact ought to give'all of us a keener interest in the activities of fellow-believers in every part of the world. Since we belong to each other, what affects one, affects all. We rise and fall together. We cannot live our lives to ourselves. The body, of which every member is a part, is affected by the con duct of each member, whether it be good or bad. The two passages of Scripture selected for this week’s lesson emphasize the mar velous unity of the members of the body of Christ. We should study them in order to understand more perfectly our priv ileges and responsibilities. Several as pects of the believer’s oneness with Christ and with each other are set forth in these passages as follows: O neness in C hrist R esults F rom a P roper R elation to C hrist (A cts 2:37-41) After Peter had preached his great Pentecostal sermon, the Jews who heard it were deeply stirred, “ pricked in their heart.” It was apparent to them that Israel had missed its great opportuni ty to receive Christ as their Messiah and King. Was there anything that individ uals, who felt that a wrong against Christ had been done, and who were filled with a sense of personal guilt,
was afraid that someone might make fun of him or harm him. After the crucifix ion, Peter had decided to return to his' life as a fisherman. What made him change his mind? Why had he become so bold? It was because the Holy Spirit had come into Peter’s life! If you lack boldness to witness for your Lord, the Holy Spirit can give to you, too, the courage that you need to lead others to Him. could do to make amends? “ What shall we do?” Peter made it clear that there certainly was something. Every one could repent, and give evidence of a true faith in Christ by being baptized. It is evident that this matter of being identified with Christ is a very personal matter and the possibility is open to both Jew and Gentile. Many listened to Peter’s words of counsel, “ received his word,” and “ were baptized” (v. 41). Note the order. Baptism always follows the reception o f God’s Word; it comes after salvation, never as a means of salvation. Those who received the message of the gospel and were baptized were added to the body of Christ. Thus the body was growing, and every member of it was a product o f personal faith in the Lordship of Christ. O neness in C hrist is E xemplified B y the U nited C onduct of the •M embers of the E arly C hurch (A cts 2:42-47) Note the things these early Christians performed together to express their unity in Christ. They fed together on the Word of God (42). They fellowshiped together in the things o f God (42). They ob served the Lord’s Supper in remem brance o f His sufferings (42). They did not neglect the prayer meeting (42). As a united force, they continued to bear a forceful witness before the world (43). They were willing to forego earthly pos sessions for heavenly rewards (44,45). And they maintained a day by day Christian walk that resulted in many souls being added to the body of Christ.
O neness in C hrist Is to B e M ani fested A mong A ll the M embers of the B ody of C hrist (E ph . 4:1-6) Thus we have the practical section of the Ephesian letter. A worthy walk for every believer is besought. One of the first things that the apostle implores of his readers is that they seek to “keep the unity of the Spirit.” It is the Spirit who unites all believers in the one body of Christ, and He wants us all to recognize that no matter what our denominational badge, if we have been so united to Christ, we belong to the one body, the true church of Christ. Helps for the Children A t C hurch W ith O ur F riends (A cts 2:41-47) M emory V erse : “ I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1). After Peter and John had witnessed, in spite of the threats of the Jewish leaders, for their Lord, three thousand people received the Saviour and were baptized. These Christians organized the first church. Together they wor shiped God and served Him. God gave to the apostles power to do many mira cles. The Christians sold all of their goods, divided everything so that all had equal amounts of money and possessions. Those who had been poor had as much as those who had been rich. So joyful and Christ-like were these new Christians that each day others received the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. They wanted to be as happy as the Christians were. Daily the Christians met to worship their new Lord. Some Christian boys and girls com plain when Sunday comes. They never go to God’s house happily. "While they are -attending church, they whisper, read their Sunday school papers, and* refuse to listen to the sermon. Perhaps some one would have received the Saviour had not these children bothered them and kept them from hearing God’s Word. Perhaps someone will never be saved because of Christian boys and girls who are not reverent in God’s house. How much happier Christians would be on Sunday if they would prayerfully invite some friend to church with them and talk with that friend about receiving Jesus as Saviour! Many souls would be saved and other Christians could worship if this were true. Which kind of Chris tian are you on Sunday? Can you say, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord” ?
FEBRUARY 22, 1948 ALL ONE IN CHRIST A cts 2:37-47; E ph . 4:1-6
BACK FROM EUROPE ! Rev. G. P. Raud, president of the EUROPEAN CHRISTIAN, MISSION, says: “I recently returned from Europe, where for many weeks I beheld dire physical and spiritual hunger. In my ears still ring the earnest pleas for more Bibles, more preaching centers, more workers. Our missionaries must work overtime.” The EUROPEAN CHRISTIAN MISSION is praying earnestly for support ($50 to $100 a month) for 25 proved European preachers whom God uses. Any amount given regularly for these men of God will promote the work of God in needy Europe. Clothing in good condition meets a desperate need. Large numbers of food parcels ($5 to $10) must be sent to Europe to rescue the starving. Will you help satisfy hungry bodies and souls? Send gifts to the EUROPEAN CHRISTIAN MISSION 1101 East 35th St. 32 Roxborough St. E. Brooklyn 10, New York Toronto 5, Ont., Canada
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