Home-Study Lesson: Acts 1–5 (Unit 17)

New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual, 2016


Preparation Material for the Home-Study Teacher

Summary of Daily Home-Study Lessons

The following summary of the events, doctrines, and principles your students learned as they studied Acts 1–5 (unit 17) is not intended to be taught as part of your lesson. The lesson you teach concentrates on only a few of these doctrines and principles. Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit as you consider the needs of your students.

Day 1 (Acts 1:1–8)

Students began their study of the book of Acts by learning that Jesus Christ directs His Church by revealing His will to His Apostles through the Holy Ghost and that the Apostles are witnesses of Jesus Christ and testify of Him throughout the earth. Students then learned that through the power of the Holy Ghost, we can become witnesses of Jesus Christ as well. Material in this lesson also gave students an overview of the second half of the New Testament.

Day 2 (Acts 1:9–26)

As students studied the account of Jesus Christ’s Ascension, they learned that at His Second Coming, the Savior will descend from heaven in glory. As they read about how the Apostles selected Judas’s replacement, students learned that Apostles of Jesus Christ are called by God through revelation.

Day 3 (Acts 2)

As students studied the events on the day of Pentecost, they discovered the following truths: As we are filled with the Holy Ghost, He will help us teach and testify to others. As we receive the word of God by the power of the Holy Ghost, our hearts will change and we will be converted to Jesus Christ. When we have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and are baptized, we are prepared to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Day 4 (Acts 3–5)

When Peter and John healed a lame man at the temple, students learned that Heavenly Father might not answer our prayers in the ways we want or expect Him to, but His answers are always for our greater good. Other principles learned in this lesson include the following: Jesus Christ’s servants can perform miracles through faith in His name. Prophets in all ages have foretold the latter-day Restoration of the gospel. If we lie to God’s servants, it is the same as lying to Him.

Introduction

This lesson can help students know how they can respond with boldness when they have opportunities to share or defend the gospel.

Suggestions for Teaching

Acts 4:1–31

Members of the Sanhedrin command Peter and John to stop teaching in the name of Jesus

Ask students to ponder what they would do in the following situations (consider writing these scenarios on the board before class):

  1. 1.

    A friend posts something untrue about the Church on social media.

  2. 2.

    A coach schedules a tournament that requires your team to play on Sunday.

  3. 3.

    Your friends ask your opinion about a social issue that is generally popular and supported but is contrary to the teachings of the Church.

After giving students enough time to ponder, ask:

  • What are some other circumstances in which we might need to share or defend our faith?

Invite students to look for truths as they study Acts 4–5 that can guide them in these types of situations.

To help students understand the context of Acts 4, invite them to summarize what they remember about the events and teachings in Acts 3. (At the temple, Peter and John healed a man who was lame since birth and taught about Jesus.)

Summarize Acts 4:1–6 by explaining that Peter and John were arrested for these acts and taken before the Sanhedrin, which was the Jewish governing council. Remind students that many members of the Sanhedrin had earlier been involved in bringing about the arrest and Crucifixion of the Savior.

Invite a student to read Acts 4:7 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the question the Jewish leaders asked Peter and John.

  • What did the Jewish leaders ask Peter and John?

  • What could happen to Peter and John if they indicated they were followers of Jesus Christ?

Ask students to consider how they might have felt if they had been in Peter or John’s position and what they would have said to the council.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Acts 4:8–21. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Peter declared to the council.

video iconInstead of having students read Acts 4:8–21, consider showing the video “Peter and John Are Judged” (2:51) from The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos. This video portrays events from Acts 4:8–21. It is available on LDS.org.

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  • According to Acts 4:13, why did the council marvel at Peter and John?

Invite students to review Acts 4:8 silently, looking for what influenced Peter and helped him speak with boldness to the council.

  • How do you think being filled with the Holy Ghost influenced Peter’s ability to teach the gospel with boldness?

  • What principle can we learn from Peter’s example as recorded in verses 8 and 13? (Students may use their own words, but make sure they identify a principle similar to the following: As we are filled with the Holy Ghost, we can share the gospel with boldness. Write this principle on the board.)

  • According to Acts 4:18, what command did the council give to Peter and John?

  • According to verses 19–20, how did Peter and John respond to the council’s order?

Summarize Acts 4:23–30 by explaining that after Peter and John were released, they gathered with other believers and prayed with them.

Invite a student to read Acts 4:31 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened after their prayer.

  • What happened after the people prayed?

  • From what we learn in this verse, what can we do to invite the Holy Ghost to help us speak the words of God with boldness?

Refer to some of the situations mentioned at the beginning of this lesson.

  • In what ways can we be bold in sharing the gospel in situations like these while still being respectful and civil? (See Alma 38:12; you may want to explain that to be bold in sharing the gospel means that we confidently share what we know to be true, but we do it with humility and respect for others who may think or feel differently.)

  • When has the Holy Ghost helped you speak the word of God with boldness?

  • How did you recognize that the Holy Ghost had helped you?

Acts 5:12–42

The Apostles are put into prison for healing in the name of Jesus Christ

Ask the students to imagine that they are living at the time of Peter and John and are reporters for the Jerusalem Times. Explain that they will be invited to study portions of Acts 5:12–32 and then write a headline summarizing what happened. (To provide context for these passages, remind students that the Sanhedrin had commanded Peter and John to stop speaking in the name of Jesus Christ.) Follow the instructions given with each block of verses.

  1. 1.

    Acts 5:12–16 (Read this passage as a class, and write a headline together.)

  2. 2.

    Acts 5:17–23 (Ask students to read this passage with a partner and write a headline. Invite some pairs to share their headlines with the class.)

  3. 3.

    Acts 5:24–32 (Ask students to read individually and write a headline. Invite some students to share their headlines with the class.)

After students share their headlines, ask:

  • According to Acts 5:29, why did Peter and the other Apostles say they had continued to preach in Jesus’s name despite the command from the council?

Write the following incomplete statement on the board: If we choose to obey God rather than men, then …

  • From what you have read in Acts 4–5, what are some ways we could complete this statement? (After students have responded, complete the statement on the board as follows: If we choose to obey God rather than men, then He will be with us.)

  • In what ways was God with Peter and the other Apostles as they obeyed Him rather than the council? (God filled them with the Holy Ghost [see Acts 4:8, 31], enabled them to perform miracles [see Acts 5:12–16], and sent His angel to deliver them from prison [see Acts 5:17–20].)

  • When have you or someone you know chosen to obey God rather than men? How did God show He was with you or this person?

Ask a few students to take turns reading aloud from Acts 5:33–42. Invite the class to follow along, looking for additional examples of how the Lord was with Peter and the other Apostles.

video iconInstead of having students read Acts 5:33–42, you could review and summarize the content of Acts 5:12–42 by showing the video “Peter and John Continue Preaching the Gospel” (5:38). This video is available on LDS.org.

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Point out that we learn in Acts 5:33 that the council sought to kill Peter and John.

  • According to verses 41–42, how did the Apostles remain faithful to the Lord in the face of this threat? How was the Lord with them at this time?

  • How can the truths we have identified in this lesson assist us as we strive to live the gospel and share it with those around us?

Share your testimony of the truths taught today, and invite students to apply these truths in their lives.

Next Unit (Acts 6–12)

Ask students how many people they can think of who have died as a martyr for the gospel’s sake. Explain that as they study Acts 6–12 during the coming week, they will learn about two valiant martyrs for Jesus Christ: one was a Seventy, and another was an Apostle. Ask students to consider the following questions: Why is Peter’s vision concerning Cornelius so important to the Church? What happened to Saul (also known as Paul) that changed his life? How did he go blind, and whom did the Lord direct to restore his sight?