“Into His Marvelous Light”
This Bible study is designed to allow us to “walk” in the marvelous light of the Word of God. We will be journeying into the Scriptures by imagining we are back in the days of Jesus and the Apostles, listening to them teach and preach the plan of salvation. In order to do this, we will be careful to “rightly divide the Word of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) by concentrating on the highlights of the three main divisions of the New Testament in chronological order, including:
1. THE GOSPELS
Covering the words and works of Jesus Christ
2. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
Covering the actions and preaching of the Apostles
3. THE EPISTLES
Covering the letters written by the Apostles to the churches they started in the Book of Acts
The following Bible study was prepared to explain the plan of salvation in a simple, one-lesson condensed form with a teacher to guide discussion, or by self-study. If desired, it can be divided into two parts by taking a short break between each of two 30-minute sessions. A recommended place for a break is after the section “Into The Gospels.”
You will need a Bible (preferably the King James Version) and a pen or pencil. As each scripture is read, you can asked to become involved,by taking notes and completing a “fill-in-the-blank” or responding to a question. Additional comments and supplementary scripture references.
May we also suggest that all participants take a moment to ask the Lord’s help in understanding his Word, as King David once did when he prayed, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” May God bless you as we travel together “into His marvelous light.”
“Ye should shew forth the praises of him
who hath called you out of darkness into
his marvelous light” — 1 Peter 2:9
John 1:1-5, 14 The _____________, which was in the beginning, and was God, became flesh. Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God.
John 1:11-13 If we believe in Him and receive Him, Jesus gives us power to become the sons of _____________ by a supernatural birth. He spoke further about this new birth one night to a ruler of the Jews...
John 3:1-8 The Lord told Nicodemus that everyone who wanted to see or enter the kingdom of God must be born again of _____________ and the ______________.
John 3:16-21 Jesus also told Nicodemus that whosoever ____________ in Him shall have eternal life. Jesus mentioned two seemingly different requirements for salvation, one is being born again, the other is believing. Yet, this is not a contradiction. The next scripture explains how believing is related to experiencing the birth of the Spirit.
John 7:38, 39 Here we discover that if we believe on Him we will receive his ______________. We find that scriptural belief is more than just a change in the way we think. It also results in a scriptural experience. Faith motivates us to obey and obedience brings God’s acceptance and blessing.
John 12:35, 36 & 42, 43 Today, just as in Jesus’ day, many believe on Him. But, they will not _______________ Him for fear of what others will do or say. John 12:44-48 In response to their fearfulness, Jesus warns that His ____________ will judge us, so we must be careful not to reject it. Rather, we should believe and obey it...no matter what others say or do!
John 17:17-20 In Jesus’ prayer for His disciples, just before His crucifixion, He said God’s Word is _____________. He also prayed for us; and all those who would believe on Him through the Apostles’ word.
To find out what the Apostles’ message was to be, let us read what Jesus told them to proclaim. The setting of the following great commission scripture in Luke 24:45-49(3) is just after the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection, and just before His ascension into heaven.
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
1. Did the Apostles preach the message Jesus commanded them to proclaim?
2. How was the promise of the Father fulfilled?
Let us continue our journey into the Word of God by seeing what was preached and what happened at Jerusalem...
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
Acts 1:3-5 As we enter the Book of Acts, we discover almost immediately that the promise of the Father is the baptism of the _______________ ________________.
Acts 2:1-17 When the Apostles were at Jerusalem, they, along with many others, were joyously filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other _____________ as the Spirit gave them utterance, (the inspiration to speak). The amazed onlookers from many nations who heard them speaking with tongues asked, “What meaneth this?” Then Peter explained the promised coming of the Spirit and went on to preach Christ and the original apostolic plan of salvation.
Acts 2:36-39 When the people who heard Peter’s words believed that Jesus Christ was their Lord and Savior, they were sorry for their sins and asked Peter and the Apostles what they should do. Peter replied by preaching the message Jesus commanded to be preached in Luke 24:45-49. In light of this, consider the three elements of the plan of salvation Peter preached in verse 38:
2. Remission of sins through baptism in Jesus’ name
3. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost
Acts 2:38 is the fulfillment of the two “new birth” requirements Jesus mentioned in John 3:5 that were necessary to enter the kingdom of God!
Water birth = baptism in the name of Jesus Christ!
Spirit birth = infilling of the Holy Ghost!
Now, let’s look at other examples of people being born again of water and the Spirit as the Word Jesus gave His apostles continued to be preached throughout the Book of Acts...
Philip preaching to the Samaritans in Acts 8...
Some people say when they experienced joy, or when they believed in Jesus, or when they were baptized, they were automatically filled with the Holy Ghost, but what does the Word say?
Acts 8:5-8 Did they have great Joy? yes ___ no ___
Acts 8:12 Did they believe in Jesus Christ? yes ___ no ___
Acts 8:14-17 Were they baptized in His name? yes ___ no ___
Did they receive the Holy Ghost as a separate and distinct experience? yes ___ no ___
Peter preaching to the Gentiles in Acts 10...
Some people say being religious is enough, or that Spirit baptism evidenced by tongues was only for the Day of Pentecost. If the Bible says this is true, then it is true. But if the Word shows us through Cornelius’ experience that this is not true...then it is not.
Acts 10:1, 2 Was Cornelius a religious man? yes ___ no ___
Acts 10:5, 6 Did God have more for him to do? yes ___ no ___
Acts 10:44-46 Did they receive the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues after the day of Pentecost? yes ___ no ___
Acts 10:47, 48 Did they still have to be baptized in Jesus’ name? yes ___ no ___
Paul preaching to John’s disciples in Acts 19...
Many people who are believers have not even heard about the Holy Ghost that is promised to them. Also, some people say it is not necessary to be baptized or rebaptized. (If you were baptized by John the Baptist, would you think it would be necessary to be re-baptized using a different baptismal formula?) Others say it does not matter what is spoken when you are baptized. If the Bible indicates it does not matter, then it does not matter. But what if the Bible shows us it DOES matter?
Acts 19:1,2 They were believers, but had they heard of or received the Holy Ghost? yes ___ no ___
Acts 19:3-5 Did those baptized by John the Baptist have to be re-baptized in Jesus’ name? yes ___ no __
Acts 19:6 Was receiving the Holy Ghost accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues? yes ___ no __
We have found that the Apostles preached the following salvation message: ...
The life of Christ and His death, burial and resurrection ... Repentance toward God and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior ... Baptism in water by immersion in Jesus’ Name ... Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (which was accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues.)
Now, let us read what the Apostles had to say about the message of salvation they proclaimed in the Book of Acts. We can do this by reading the Epistles (letters) they wrote to the converts.
As we read the Epistles, we will notice how strongly the Apostles felt about the gospel (good news) of salvation. This is not because they were being judgmental. It is because they knew the Word Jesus had given them to proclaim was going to judge all men.
What Did Peter Say? “Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth...being born again... by the word of God...and this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:22-25).
Obedience to God’s Word purifies our souls!
Peter Asked... “What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17,18).
Paul Answered... “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). It is eternally important to obey the gospel!
What Did Paul Say? “But there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ, but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:7-9)
There is only one gospel!
What Did James Say? “Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (James 1:21-24).
The Word is able to save our souls!
James tells us that if we see something we need to do as we look into the “mirror of the word,” we should do it. Let us now consider what we will do with what we have heard...
DO YOU BELIEVE the Word of God is true and will judge us? DO YOU BELIEVE Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior?
DO YOU BELIEVE it is necessary to repent by determining to turn from sin and giving your life to God?
DO YOU BELIEVE water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is the biblical way to be baptized?
DO YOU BELIEVE the baptism of the Holy Ghost is for you today, and when you receive it you will speak in other tongues, just as they did in the Bible?
If you believe these things, pray right now, asking God to allow you to experience all that He has for you!
We encourage you to read through the Gospels, Acts and Epistles in detail...and continue to walk“into His marvelous light!”
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