Monday, August 11, 2008

Marking Your Bible -- The Church -- Part 1

Tonight, our ladies' class will begin marking their Bibles (The Church) using orange pens. I don't know if I already mentioned it but we found some really neat pens for doing the marking at our local Wal-mart. There were about 10 pens in a package and each package had at least 2 of each color: purple, red, green, orange. The package cost less than $1. We just bought a bunch of packages and pass the pens out at during ladies' class. That way, everyone is not scrambling to find a pen the right color.

The section on The Church begins with the beginning. We'll talk a little about the church as talked about in Daniel, and the beginning of the church in Acts. Then we'll spend some time talking about the organization of the church: universal/local, elders/deacons/saints. The third section is talking about the worship and then we'll talk about the work of the church. Hopefully, tonight we'll get through the beginning and the organizaiton.

If you are keeping a cheat sheet on a blank page in your Bible (that's a section where you write the beginning of passage of each section for quick reference later), use an orange pen to write:

The church
Beginnings -- Ephesians 3:10-12
Organization -- Colossians 1:18
Worship -- acts 4:23-31
Work -- Matthew 28:19-20

Let's get started:

The church was always part of God's plan. Today people want to lessen its importance by claiming that it was just added because the Jews killed Jesus. We'll find out that God had told us about the church way back in Daniel.

Ephesians 3:10-12: Verse 11 states that something was all done "according to the eternal purpose". All along God had planned for something to happen. What was that something? Verse 10 says that the manifold wisdom of God would be made known. How would God's wisdom be made known? By the church. If you look back in verse 9, you'll see that there is a
"fellowship of mystery". This mystery was from the "beginning of the ages" and was "hidden in God". What is this mysterious fellowship? The church. God had hidden this mystery from the beginning. Outline and write Daniel 2:31-45 in the margin. Underline wisdom of God might be made known by the church and according to the eternal purpose.

Daniel 2:31-45: Here, we read about the dream King Nebuchadnezzar had and the meaning of the dream as God revealed to Daniel. A lot of people today try to make this dream into something it is not. It is simply telling Nebuchadnezzar that his kingdom is soon to come to an end, what will happen afterward and what will ultimately happen with the coming of the church. Read the entire passage aloud. Verse 44 tells about a kingdom that will be set up by God. It will never be destroyed. It shall stand forever. Outline the entire passage and write Matthew 16:16-19 in the margin. Underline verse 44.

Matthew 16:16-19: We have already outlined this passage in red when we talked about salvation. Read it again aloud. The part that we need to point out here is that Jesus said He would build "My church". He was going to build one church, not many. It would be His. Verse 19 refers to the Kingdom of heaven. This is the same kingdom talked about in Daniel. The one that would never end. It is the same as the church. We have already underlined "My church". This time, box it in with the orange pen. Also box in Kingdom of Heaven. Write acts 1:7-8 in the margin.

Acts 1:7-8: The next 3 passages are found in Acts 1 and 2. We have already read this passage aloud. If it has been awhile since that study, read it aloud again, concentrating on the 3 passages we are going to outline in orange. The first chapter of Acts tells us about the last minutes Jesus spent on earth. Verses 7 and 8 are His final instructions to the apostles. He tells them that they will become witnesses of Him in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit would come and give them power. When chapter 2 opens up, they are in Jerusalem waiting and they receive their power. Outline verses 7 and 8 (or underline). Write Acts 2:33 in the margin.

Acts 2:33: Review the sermon Peter preached in Acts 2. He is not speaking his own thoughts. The Holy Spirit has come and is guiding Peter in his words. Peter tells the Jews about the events that recently happened. He tells them that these things were prophesied by David and Joel. He tells them that Jesus, who they killed, is now "exalted to the right hand of God". Jesus is sitting on the throne of His kingdom. Underline vs 33 and write Acts 2:47 in the margin.

Acts 2:47: Here we see what ultimately happened after people were repentant (vs 37) and baptized (vs 41). They were "added to the church daily those who were being saved". We see the church has begun as Jesus ascended to His throne. Underline vs 47 and write Acts 11:15 in the margin

Acts 11:15: Peter is telling the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem about the wonderful events leading up to Cornelius' salvation. Cornelius was the first gentile to become a Christian. Peter tells the Christians in Jerusalem that the Holy Spirit fell upon the gentiles that day just like it had upon the apostles "at the beginning". What is "at the beginning" referring to? Acts 2 the beginning of the church. Peter is saying that the beginning was in Acts 2. So the church began on the day of Pentecost in Acts. Outline verse 15. Underline at the beginning. Write Acts 20:28 in the margin.

Acts 20:28: Paul is telling the Ephesian elders what their role is to be (we'll talk more about this later). He tells them that they are to shepherd the church of God which "He purchased with His own blood". The church was bought with the blood of Christ. It belongs to Him and we can be a part of it when we do what He says. Outline verse 28 and underline purchased with His own blood. Write Ephesians 4:4 in the margin.

Ephesians 4:4: Here again, we have boxed this one in red. We want to concentrate on the "one body". Just as there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, there is one body -- the body of Christ, the church. Underline one body and write Ephesians 3:21 in the margin.

Ephesians 3:21: What does the church do? It glorifies Christ. Outline and write Colossians 1:18 in the margin. Underline to Him be glory in the church.

Colossians 1:18: What is the body? Who is its head? Christ is the head. The body is the church. This is already outlined in green, so underline and He is the head of the body, the church. Write Ephesians 1:22-23 in the margin.

Ephesians 1:22-23: What happened when Christ was raised from the dea and seated at God's right hand? God put all things under Jesus' feet. God gave Jesus to "be head over all things to the church". Here again, Christ is the head of the church. Since this is outined in green already, underline gave Him to be head over all things to the church. Write Ephesians 5:23 in the margin.

Ephesians 5:23: Again we see that Christ is the head of the church. Outline and write Ephesians 2:19-22 in the margin. Underline As also Christ is head of the church.

Ephesians 2:19-22: We are not foreigners in this place, but fellow citizens. What place? The household of God. We are actually citizens in God's household. This household of God has Jesus Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone. All together, the whole thing is a holy temple in the Lord. Outline and write 1 Timothy 3:15 in the margin.

1 Timothy 3:15: Paul tells Timothy how to conduct himself in the house of God. The house of God here is also described as the church of the living God. The church is the house of God that we are citizens of and that Christ is the chief cornerstone of. Outline and write Romans 16:16 in the margin.

Romans 16:16: Here we start seeing that the word church can also be used to describe groups of Christians in a certain location. It's important to note that the church is not made of smaller churches. The church is made up of Christians (saints) and Christ (head). The New Testament refers to groups of people meeting in a certain location as a church as well. It is important to understand if the Bible is talking about the church (universal) or the church (local). You can find this out by reading the context of the passage. "The churches of Christ greet you." This indicates more than one church. It must be talking about the local church because we've read many other passages that say there is just one church (body) that refers to the church universal. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 1:2 in the margin.

1 Corinthians 1:2: This letter from Paul to the Christians in Corinth starts out saying, "to the church of God which is at Corinth. The church that is located in Corinth -- local. Outline and write 1 Thessalonians 1:1 in the margin. Underline church of God which is at Corinth.

1 Thessalonians 1:1: Again Paul is sending a letter to Christians, this time in Thessalonica. He begins by saying, "to the church of the Thessalonians." A local group of Christians. Outline and write Colossians 4:15 in the margin. Underline church of the Thessalonians

Colossians 4:15: Toward the end of this letter Paul tells the Colossians to greet certain brethren and the "church that is in his house." Again, a local group of Christians. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 1:12-27 in the margin. Underline church that is in his house".

1 Corinthians 1:12-27: This passage is a little long but should be read aloud. It compares the body of Christ with the human body. Explaining that there are many parts and each parts has a job to do. It describes how each part has an effect on each of the other parts. When one hurts, they all hurt. Verse 27 says, "you are the body of Christ and members individually". Individually we make up the body of Christ. Each person with his own talents and skills working together with all the others in the church. Outline the entire passage. Write Romans 12:4 in the margin. Underline you are the body of Christ and members individually.

Romans 12:4: Again we are told that there are many members that are all in one body. Outline and write Philippians 1:1 in the margin. Underline many members and one body.

Philippians 1:1: Here Paul addresses a letter to the Christians in Philippi. He addresses it to the "saints", the "bishops" and the "deacons". Instead of just greeting the church, he has broken it down into groups of people in the church. The bishops are the overseers, shepherds, presbyters, elders. The deacons are servants. The saints are all the Christians. We'll look at all of these groups and their responsibilities next. Outline and write Acts 14:23 in the margin. Underline saints, bishops and deacons.

Acts 14:23: One thing that happened on the way home from the first missionary journey is described in Acts 14. It says that they "appointed elders in every church". Outline and write Titus 1:5 in the margin. Underline appointed elders and every church.

Titus 1:5: Titus is being reminded by Paul that he was left in Crete so Titus could set in order things that are lacking and to "appoint elders in every city". Again, every city had elders. Outline and write Titus 1:6-9 in the margin. Underline appoint elders.

Titus 1:6-9: These are the verses following our previous one (vs 5). Paul explain to Titus who could and couldn't be an elder. Take some time to go over these qualifications. Underline each one. Outline the passage and write 1Timothy 3:1-7 in the margin.

1 Timothy 3:1-7: Here we see Paul telling Timothy about the qualifications for elders. This list is a little more indepth. Look at closely as well. When you take the 2 together, you see a complete picture of what kind of person an elder is to be. Outline and write Acts 20:28-30 in the margin. Underline each of the qualifications.

Acts 20:28-30: I told you we'd be back to this one. This time we're going to look at 3 verses. Paul is saying his good-byes to the elders of Ephesus. He is reminding them what their responsibilitiy is and warning them that things are going to get worse. Outline and write 1 Peter 5:1-4 in the margin.

1 Peter 5:1-4: Here Peter tells elders what their responsibilities are. They are to shepherd the flock that is among them. They are not to force them but they should follow willingly. What reward does an elder get? He will receive the "crown of glory that does not fade away". Outline and write Hebrews 13:17 in the margin.

Hebrews 13:17: Here we see what the responsibility of Christians to the elders (those who rule over you). They are to be submissive because the elders are watching out for their souls and will have to give an account for how well they did that. It encourage Christians to behave in such a way as to not cause grief to the elders but to bring them joy. Outline and write 1 Timothy 3:8-13 in the margin.

1 Timothy 3:8-13: This is a continuation of the what Paul told Timothy about the elders. He goes on to tell him what deacons need to be like. There are some similarities in the qualifications but they aren't all the same. The work of an elder is different than the work of a deacon and so there are different requirements to be each one. Outline and underline each qualification. Write 1 Peter 2:9 in the margin.

1 Peter 2:9: The only group of people mentioned in Philippians 1:1 that we haven't talked about are the saints. Here is a passage that beautifully describes the saints. Keep in mind that a saint is someone that is set apart. A saint is someone that has obeyed God by submitting himself to baptism. Because of his baptism, God has added him to the church. So the saints are all the Christians in the church. What is a saint? A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. That is very special. What are we to do? Praise Him who brought us out of darkness and into light.

This complete the first half of The Church. We'll do the rest next time.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Marking Your Bibles -- Salvation -- Part 2

Isn't modern technology wonderful? I spent close to an hour working on this blog entry. The internet didn't seem to be working right so I restarted the computer (it has seemed to do the trick before). Before I restarted the computer, I clicked Save Draft and assumed it was all saved. When I got back to it after lunch, the internet was working great, but my draft entry was no where to be seen. So, I get to do this all over again.

It's been a while since I actually taught this class but I wanted to make sure I recorded it here so if I (or anyone else) needed the information at a later time, it would be here. We ended our last ladies' class on marking our Bibles using the red pen for the topic: Salvation. We had marked passages that dealt with obedience, unity and faith. We will start here with repentance. If you haven't already done so, turn to James 2:14-24 and mark the next passage Luke 13:3-5 in the margin. Put repentance in parenthesis so you'll be reminded that we're changing topics here.

Repentance: Before we get started studying about repentance, it is a good idea to come to an agreement on what the word means. Sometimes, when talking to others about the Bible, we forget that what we think a word means is different than what they think a word means. Repentance means to turn away. In this case repentance refers to turning away from evil or sin.

Luke 13:3-5: Although we've already talked about authority and how anything written in the Bible is profitable for us to learn from, someone you are studying with might still want to put more emphasis on Jesus' words than the rest of the Bible. This passage starts off with the words of Jesus: I tell you... Jesus is telling the people that if they don't repent (turn away from their sins) they will perish. Outline the passage and underline the word I tell you. Write Acts 17:30 in the margin

Acts 17:30: This is the end of Paul's sermon about the Unknown God. He had just finished telling Athenians about the God that they worshiped without knowing. He tells them that God overlooked their ignorance but things were different now. He now commands all men everywhere to repent. Outline and write Acts 2:38 in the margin.

Acts 2:38: We've already looked at the 1st two chapters of Acts when we were studying unity. Now we're going to focus in on verse 38. Review what the 2 chapters are about before beginning. In verse 36, Peter accused the Jews of killing the One they had been waiting for all these years. They had killed the one that David and Joel had talked about. The Jews that were listening to this were very saddened when they realized what they had done. Verse 37 says that they were pricked (or cut) to the heart. They asked Peter what the should to rectify this matter. He very simply said that they should repent and be baptized. Since we've already outlined the passage, underline verse 38. Write Acts 3:19 in the margin.

Acts 3:19: After the beginning of the church in chapter 2, Peter and John go to the temple to pray. They heal the lame man in front of the gate. When the people in the temple realize what has happened they all gather around Peter and John. Peter takes this opportunity to teach them about Jesus. He again tells them that they killed the "Prince of life". He tells them in verse 19 to "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Outline the verse and underline repent and sins may be blotted out. Write Romans 2:4 in the margin.

Romans 2:4: What will lead to repentance? This passage tells us that the goodness of God does. When we don't repent, we are despising God's riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering. Outline and write 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 in the margin.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10: What else will lead to repentance? This passage says that godly sorrow will. Paul was glad that the Corinthians had sorrow. He wasn't glad they were hurting but that their sorrow would produce repentance. Godly sorrow produces repentance which leads to salvation. Worldly sorrow produces death. Outline and write Luke 15:7 in the margin.

Luke 15:7: What an uplifting verse to the sinner who repents. When someone repents, there is rejoicing in heaven. Sometimes we tend to detach ourselves from what is going on in heaven. This passage teaches us that what we do on earth is known in heaven. What a comfort to those who are trying to do what's right. Outline and write Acts 26:20 in the margin.

Acts 26:20: Here, Paul is telling King Agrippa about his conversion. He tells the king that he did what Jesus told him to on the road to Damascus. He taught Jesus in Damascus, Jerusalem and throughout Judea. Then he taught Jesus to the Gentiles. He taught the same message -- that they should repent. In case the definition of repentance is still a little fuzzy, here, Paul gives a definition for us -- turn to God. He also taught that they should do works befitting repentance. Outline the verse and write Matthew 10:32-33 in the margin. Write Confession in parenthesis so you'll know we're starting a new topic.

Confession: Again we need to come to an understanding of the words we're talking about. Confession can either be an admitting guilt of sins or a declaration of our faith. These passages will talk about both of these kinds of confessions.

Matthew 10:32-33: Here again, Jesus is doing the talking. He says if you confess Him before men, He'll confess you to His Father. At the same time if you don't confess Him before men, he will not confess you before His Father. That is a very humbling thought. We are to have the courage to stand up to friends and foes alike and confess Jesus. Outline the verses and write Matthew 16:16 in the margin.

Matthew 16:16: We've already outlined this passage when we were talking unity. We will come back to it again later as well. We want to concentrate on verse 16. Jesus just asked Peter who He (Jesus) is. Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." This is an example of a confession that states faith in Jesus. Since we've outlined this verse already, underline verse 16. Write Romans 10:9-10 in the margin. Also write confession nearby so you will know to follow this verse when talking about confession.

Romans 10:9-10: Here is an example of a confession a non-Christian would make. The YOU in this verse refers to someone who has not obeyed the gospel yet. Paul says that to be saved, you must confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and that you must believe with all your heart that God has raised hIm from the dead. Belief comes from within, confession communicates our belief to others. Outline and write Acts 8:37 in the margin.

Acts 8:37: We will be looking at this entire passage when we talk about conversions. Right now, we'll concentrating on verse 37. The eunuch has just asked Philip why he couldn't be baptized. Philip tells him that if he believes with all his heart he may. The eunuch said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." This is an example of a confession made by a sinner just before baptism. Since we're going to come back and outine the entire passage, underline verse 37. Write 1 Timothy 6:12-13 in the margin. Write confession next to it so you'll know to follow this verse when you come back to it later.

1Timothy 6:12-13: Paul gives Timothy advice for living the Christian life. Paul tells him to fight the good fight of faith. He tells Timothy that this is the faith he confessed (the good confession) to many witnesses. Timothy, a Christian, continually confessed the good confession as he went about teaching others about Christ. Outline verse 12-13 and write 1 John 1:9 in the margin.

1 John 1:9: Here, John is talking to Christians. He tells them that if we confess our sins, He (Jesus) will forgive us our sins. Christians are to confess their sins or admit to their sins. Outline and write James 5:16 in the margins.

James 5:16: Again, the Christian is told to confess his sins (trespasses). This time it says to confess the sins to one another. Then the Christians are commanded to pray for one another. What a comforting thought that we as Christians can tell each other our sins and we will pray for each other. Outline and write Acts 19:18 in the margin.

Acts 19:18: When Paul was in Ephesus, many were converted and turned from their evil ways. In this verse it says that who had believed confessed and told about their deeds. The very next verse shows that they went on to destroy the evil influences among themselves by burning their magic books. Outline and write John 3:1-5 in the margin. Write Baptism in parenthesis so you'll know we are changing topics.

Baptism: This is controversial subject among religious people. It really doesn't need to be if you go back and understand what the word means. The greek word means to immerse. That simple fact can eliminate quite a bit of the controversy. If you'd like more information on the subject of baptism, check out this article by Danny Dow: Understanding Baptism.

John 3:3-5: This first passage about baptism lets us know how important Jesus thinks baptism is. He says that unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. In some versions it says the you "must" be born again. Jesus is not leaving any doubt that He thinks baptism (being born again) is important. Outline and write Mark 16:16 int he margin.

Mark 16:16: We have already outlined this passage when we talked about belief (faith). This time we want to concentrate on baptism. This verse makes it very clear that we cannot be saved if we don't believe. In fact if we don't believe, we'll be condemned. Linked next to belief in the verse is baptism. It too, is required for salvation. Underline baptized and write Matthew 28:19 in the margin. Write baptism nearby so you'll know to follow this scripture reference in the future.

Matthew 28:19: Underline this verse because we've already outlined verses 18-20 in green. Jesus commands the apostles to go and make disciples of all the nations. How? Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Outline and write 1 Peter 3:20-21 in the margin.

1 Peter 3:20-21: Peter compares the salvation of Noah from the flood with baptism. Noah was saved through water. We are saved through baptism (or immersion) in water. This baptism is not a washing of the dirt from our skin. Outline and write Titus 3:3-5 in the margin.

Titus 3:3-5: We are foolish. We are disobedient. We are deceived. We are hateful and full envy. We can not be saved by our righteousness. We are saved by the washing of regeneration (baptism) according to His mercy. There is nothing we could do. It was all because Christ died for our sins that we are able to be saved when we are baptized. Outline and write Acts 22:16 in the margin. Underline THROUGH THE WASHING OF REGENERATION.

Acts 22:16: We will come back to the full context of this verse when we look at the conversions. For now, underline verse 16. Ananias tells Paul to "Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Paul was instructed to be baptized. Why would he need to that? To wash away his sins. Underline verse and write Gal 3:26, 27 in the margin.

Galatians 3:26, 27: The previous verses 22-25 have been outlined in green. It would be a good idea to review these verses to get the context. In verse 27 we are told that "as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ". What happens when we are baptized into Christ? we put on Christ. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 12:13 in the margin. underline BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST and PUT ON CHRIST.

1 Corinthians 12:13: We looked at verse 12 when we studied unity. Then, we emphasized "one body". When we keep reading into verse 13 we see that we are baptized into one body. All of us. Jews, Greeks, slaves, free. We are all baptized into one body. Baptism is for everyone, thus salvation is for everyone. Outline and write Ephesians 4:5 in the margin. underline BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY.

Ephesians 4:5: Just like 1 Corinthians 12:12, we looked at Ephesians 4:4 when studying unity -- emphasizing "one body". Keep reading andwe see that there is more to be unified in: one Lord, one faith, one baptism. For our purposes here, concentrate on baptism. If there is just one baptism, where do all these others come from? The Bible tells us what that one baptism is. It is immersion in water for the remission of our sins. If the person you are studying with has been baptized for any other reason or through any other means, they haven't been baptized according the scriptures. Outline and write Colossians 2:11-14 in the margin. Underline ONE BODY.

Colossians 2:11-14: What exactly is baptism? Verse 12 says that we are buried with Him (Christ) in baptism and raised with Him through faith. Baptism is a burial. We are then raised like Christ was. Verse 13 says that before we were dead in our sins. Now He has made us alive, forgiving our sins. So we are buried to sin and raise again with our sins forgiven. Outline and write Romans 6:3-6 in the margin. Underline BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM and RAISED WITH HIM THROUGH FAITH. Also underline HE HAS MADE ALIVE.

Romans 6:3-6: This passage is similar to the one above. We are baptized into His (Christ's) death. Like Christ was raised form the dead, we walk in newness of life. We die to sin that we no longer are slaves to sin. Outline and write John 3:23 in the margin. Underline BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH AND WE ALSO SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE and WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE SLAVES OF SIN.

John 3:23: What's required for baptism? We are told in John 3 that much water is required. This should be obvious. If baptism means immersion, then there needs to be a lot of water to immerse someone. Outline and write Acts 2:41 in the margin. Underline MUCH WATER.

Acts 2:41: What happened the day the church began? We've visited this chapter a couple of times now and will come back again later. In verse 41 we are told that anyone that received the word gladly were baptized. Then what happened? Those that were baptized were added to them. They were added to the church. We see it again in verse 47 (don't underline it yet, we'll be back). It says the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Underline verse 41 and write Acts 2:1-47 in the margin. Write conversions in parenthesis in the margin nearby so you'll know we're changing topics.

Conversions: We've discussed what the Bible teaches someone needs to do to be saved. From what we've seen so far, we know that one must have faith that Jesus is the son of God and was raised from dead. We know that one must be sorry for their sins and change their ways through repentance. We know that someone must tell others about Christ, confessing Him with the mouth. We know that someone must be buried with Christ through baptism. This washes away the sins and God adds the person to the church. In this last part of salvation, we'll look at the examples given to us of people being converted to Christ. All of these examples are in the book of Acts. It is helpful to draw a chart to fill in as you study these conversions. I hope to have one available to share with you later. On most of these conversions, there is definite moment of belief and a definite moment of salvation. If there is room in your Bible, write belief next to the point of belief and salvation next to the point of salvation.

Acts 2:1-47: The Jews at Pentecost. Here we are again at Acts 2. By now, the person you're studying with should be somewhat familiar with this chapter. Don't assume too much though. Take some time to review what has happened. Go over the sermon that Peter preached. Point out the prophecies that peter describes as foretelling the events that just happened. Remind them of the Jews reaction and what Peter's response to them was. The Jews on this day were told to repent and be baptized. Those that were baptized were added to the church (vs 47). Verse 37 is the point of belief with the Jews (they were cut to the heart and asked "What shall we do?). Verse 41 (and 47) is the point of salvation. Three thousand souls were added to them. Since it is all outlined and the major points are pretty much underlined, just write the next passage in the margins (Acts 8:4-13). Also write Conversion -- Jews so you'll be reminded who was actually converted in this passage.

Acts 8:4-13: The Samaritans (and Simon). After the death of Stephen, the Christians scattered into the surrounding regions. This allowed the gospel to be spread by many people to many people. Philip went to the city of Samaria and preached Christ. The scriptures tells us that the multitudes heeded the things spoken by Philip. Philip healed many people and there was great joy in that city. Read this conversion story aloud. Verse 12 is the point of belief and salvation for the Samaritans. It says that "they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ." It goes on to say "both men and women were baptized." Write belief by the word believed and salvation by the word baptized. Verse 13 gives us information about Simon specifically. Earlier (vs 9-11) we were told about Simon. Here in vs 13 we are told he believed and was baptized. Write belief next to believed and salvation next to baptism. Outline the passage and write Acts 8:26-39 in the margin. Also write conversion -- Samaritans/Simon. Underline BELIEVED and BOTH MEN AND WOMEN WERE BAPTIZED in verse 12. Also underline SIMON HIMSELF ALSO BELIEVED and HE WAS BAPTIZED in verse 13.

Acts 8:26-39: This is the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. Read the conversion story aloud. Philip was miraculously guided by an angel to go see the Ethiopian. Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The eunuch indicated that he would need a teacher to help him. Philip began teaching him from the scripture he was at and preached Jesus to him. Enough must have been said to indicate that the eunuch would need to be baptized. He asked Philip "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Philip said "If you believe with all your heart, you may." The eunuch then said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This verse (37) is where the eunuch's belief is evident. Write belief in the margin. The eunuch commanded the chariot to stand still. Both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he (Philip) baptized him (eunuch). This is the point of salvation. Write Salvation in the margin. Outline the passage and write Acts 9:1-9 in the margin. Also write Conversion -- Eunuch.

Acts 9:1-9: Saul. The conversion of Saul is mentioned 3 times in the book of Acts. We will use this one and the one in chapter 22 for our study here. Just so you'll know, there is another time Paul/ Saul talks about his conversion in chapter 26. Read this conversion aloud. The point of belief for Saul is in verse 6 when he asks, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" the point of salvation isn't until verse 18 when it says that "he arose and was baptized." Outline and write Acts 22:6-16 in the margin. You might want to also note Acts 26:12-18 in case you want to see the third conversion story of Saul. Write Conversion -- Saul in the margin. Underline LORD, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO? and HE AROSE AND WAS BAPTIZED. Write belief next to verse 6 and salvation next to verse 18.

Acts 22:6-16: Saul. We're going to jump ahead to the other version of Saul's conversion since we're talking about him now. In this passage Paul is telling his story to the Jews. In this passage Verse 10 is the point of belief and verse 16 is the point of salvation. Outline and write Acts 10:1-48 in the margin. Write Conversion -- Saul. Also write belief next to verse 10 and salvation next to verse 16.

Acts 10:1-48: Cornelius. This conversion has great significance because it is the first time a gentile was saved. Until now all the conversions have been Jewish. Here, God is telling Peter, all the apostles and us that Gentiles are to be saved just like the Jews. This is pretty lengthy reading but due to its importance, take the time to read it aloud, pausing as you go along to make comments if necessary. We are told in verse 2 that Cornelius was a devout man that feared God. Here would be our point of belief. Of course, he hasn't believed in Christ yet, but his subsequent actions make it quite evident that he did. Cornelius' point of salvation is in verse 48 where it says, "and he commanded them to be baptized." Peter goes on to tell the Jewish Christians in chapter 11 about Cornelius' conversion. He said in verse 17 that since God gave the Gentiles the same gift as He gave us , who was I that I could with stand God. Those that heard him said, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." Outline and write Acts 16:13-15 in the margin. Write Conversion -- Cornelius. Also write belief next to verse 2 and salvation next to verse 48. Underline A DEVOUT MAN AND ONE WHO FEARED GOD in verse 2 and underline AND HE COMMANDED THME TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD in verse 48.

Acts 16:13-15: Lydia. Read this passage aloud. There is not a specific point of belief for Lydia. Verse 14 says that "Lydia heard us". Then in verse 15 it says that "she and her household were baptized indicating her salvation. Outline and write Acts 16:27-34 in the margin. Underline WERE BAPTIZED in verse 15. Write conversion -- Lydia in the margin.

Acts 16:27-34: Philippian Jailer. Read this passage aloud. Again we are not given a specific point of belief. His actions demonstrate his belief, but actions are a little hard to underline. Verse 33 states that he and all his family were baptized. That would be the point of salvation. Outline and write Acts 18:8 in the margin. Write conversion -- Philippian jailer. Underline WERE BAPTIZED in verse 33.

Acts 18:8: Corinthians. The last conversion to look at is that Corinthians. It is just one verse long but it says so much. "Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Outline and underline CRISPUS and CORINTHIANS.

This is the conclusion of the salvation portion of marking your Bibles. It's important to note that not all the things mentioned above were in every single conversion in Acts. It is assumed that since the Corinthians/Crispus hear, believed and were baptized that they also repented and confessed Jesus. The same goes with the others. The fact that a specific step to salvation was not mentioned does not mean those people or that person did not have to do that step. It is assumed that they did. Otherwise, they would not be found acceptable to God for all the reasons mentioned in the earlier portion of this study.

Our next Marking Your Bibles topic will be The Church. We will use orange ink to mark this section.