Church Members Were Called "Believers."
[To see an organizational outline of these lessons, click here]
According to Acts 5:14, what were the members of the early church called? ____________________ Read Acts 4:4. How many men were members of the church at this time? _________________ Not only did these men hear Gods Word but they also __________________ (Acts 4:4).
A true believer is a person who gladly receives Gods Word: "Then they that _____________ ______________________ his word (Peter preached Gods Word to them) were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (persons)"--(Acts 2:41). The word receive means "to welcome," just like you would receive or welcome a friend or a guest into your home:
"Come and be a guest in my house. You’re welcome to stay and abide with me. I’d love to have you stay with me, and it is a real joy for you to be my guest. I feel very comfortable and happy when you’re here. Please make yourself at home here. You’re always welcome in this place."
What do believers receive and welcome into their lives (Acts 8:14)? ___________________________ Believers should receive and welcome Gods Word "not as the _________ of ________ but as it is in truth (as it truly is), the Word ____ ________ (1 Thess. 2:13).
Someone might say, "I dont believe all the things that Paul wrote because he was just a man. The things that he wrote in the Bible are only the words of a man and a man can make mistakes." How could you answer this person in light of 1 Corinthians 14:37 and 1 Thess. 4:15?
Is Gods Word welcome in your life? Is Gods Word your special guest? Is God's Word at home in your heart?
|"I have joyfully and gladly received God's Word. HAVE YOU?"||
|God's Word is at home in my heart and mind and life (Deut. 6:6; Josh. 1:8; John 15:7; Psalm 1:2; 119:11; and Col. 3:16).|
Do you eagerly welcome Gods Word into your heart and mind and life (by saying, "come in!") or do you shut the doors of your mind and heart whenever you hear Gods Word?
Why were the Jews in Berea more noble than the Jews in Thessalonica (Acts 17:11)?--Because "they _________________ (welcomed) the __________ with all ________________ (eagerness) of mind." How often did they search the Scriptures? __________________ How often do you search the Scriptures (compare John 5:39)? Notice the different groups of believers who received Gods Word (please match the following):
|1.||_____||the Gentile believers||A.||Acts 8:14|
|2.||_____||the Thessalonian believers||B.||Acts 11:1|
|3.||_____||the Samaritan believers||C.||Acts 17:11-12|
|4.||_____||the Berean believers||D.||1 Thess.1:6; 2:13|
Unbelievers do not welcome and receive Gods Word and Gods truth into their hearts. See 2 Thessalonians 2:10 which describes their hatred and rejection of the truth: "they _________________ not the love of the ________________ (Gods Word is ____________John 17:17), that they might be _____________." Look at 2 Thessalonians 2:12: "That they all might be damned (judged) who ________________ _______ the ___________." But 2 Thessalonians 2:13 tells us that those who have been chosen to salvation (those who are the true members of Christs Church) receive Gods Word gladly because it says that they believe the T___________.
[Note: Luke 8:13 does describe unsaved people who "receive the Word with joy," but as you read the rest of the verse you see that their reception did not last for long. God's Word did not find a permanent home in their hearts. They embraced the truth initially, but when things got difficult they rejected the truth. They held onto the truth for only a short time.]
"God's Word is
Word is not
Before each of the following sentences, put H for those things that Hank would say and S for those things that Sam would say:
|_____||"I cant wait for the Pastor to stop talking so that I can get home."|
|_____||"What a wonderful promise! I never realized that was in the Bible."|
|_____||"What the Pastor said was very interesting. Im going to read those verses again when I get home to see if what the Pastor was saying is really so" (Compare Acts 17:11). Note: A good pastor would want his people to go to the Scriptures and make sure that what he is teaching is really true.|
|_____||"I seem to get bored in Sunday School. All we ever do is study the Bible."|
|_____||"I dont read my Bible every day because there are too many other things I would rather be doing."|
|_____||"This verse will help me to be a better student at school."|
|_____||"I sure hope this church service is over before the World Series begins (or Super Bowl, etc.)."|
|_____||"I know the Pastor will be speaking on Acts chapter 25 because he spoke on Acts 24 last week. Im going to read that chapter even before I get to church."|
|_____||"I didnt understand what the Pastor meant when he was explaining this verse. Ill have to ask one of the elders (or my Sunday School teacher or my parents) about it after the service."|
|_____||"I dont usually spend time thinking about Bible verses because I have too many other things to think about such as school, my friends, sports, etc."|
|_____||"I try to take notes in Church because it helps me to pay attention and listen."|
|_____||"If my parents didnt make me come to Sunday School I would never come."|
|_____||"Why do we need to come to Church in the middle of the week? Isnt attending on Sunday enough?"|
|_____||"Im trying to read through all of my Bible in a year. To do this I must read three or four chapters each day."|
|_____||"I used to receive Gods Word with joy but I found that it is too hard to be a believer. My friends made fun of me." See Luke 8:13.|
|_____||"I love to go to Church because most of my friends are there, but thats the only reason."|
|_____||"My little sister (or brother) really enjoys the times when I read to her (or him) from the Bible and other good Christian books."|
|_____||"I regret that I can never watch the good television shows on Sunday night because I always have to be in church."|
|_____||"My friend and I have been memorizing Bible verses. Its fun to do it together."|
|_____||"Whenever I read Gods Word I always try to remember that the Bible is Gods Love Letter to me and that the Lord has a personal message just for me."|
|_____||"When the Lord teaches me something from His Word I enjoy sharing that truth with my family and friends. Im also very thankful whenever I have an opportunity to talk to an unsaved person about the Lord and what Christ has done for me."|
Go to the Next Lesson--Lesson 3