Sunday School Perspective:
Persevering Through Opposition
Acts 14:8-11, 19-23
by Minnie Malone Cook
The study of the lesson is in the book of Acts Chapter 14: Verses 8-11, 19-23 and it offers study about the purposeful mission for all Christians when faced with opposition.
Key Verses: “And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:21-22, KJV: These verses offer individual encouragement as well as steadfast insight that preachers and teachers must persevere and be encouraged in spreading the Word of God.
The lesson topic for Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 is “Persevering Through Opposition” and it encourages all preachers and teachers to continue to move forward positively regardless of resistance.
The objective for students and readers is to embrace God as you develop courage and strength to face conflicts and struggle.
Powerful Miracle (Acts 14:8-10)
The lesson continues to follow the first missionaries, Paul and Barnabas, as they experience positive and negative encounters in their ministry. They are in the city of Turkey and they observe a crippled man lame from birth. Naturally this man had never walked; therefore, when Paul told the man to stand upright and walk it was astounding that he did just that as well as leaps. This was a powerful miracle that was performed before believer and non believer causing quite a revelation. “And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet, and he leaped and walked.” (Verses 8-10)
Brutal Confrontation (Acts 14:11, 19-20)
It is significant in these verses that this one miracle act brought on great opposition and confrontation. Jews in the area spoke out against what they had heard and the people stoned Paul. It is significant here that Paul was struck down but he survived and returned to the city. The apostles accepted the Lord’s call and remained steadfast with persevering faith. “And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.” (Verses 11, 19-20)
Ministry Continues (Acts 14:21-23)
These verses indicate that it is positive and necessary to stay on the battle field carrying the message faithfully. It is essential to understand that there is a great need to encourage those that are committed because they will face opposition and persecution. Each of us must be diligent and focused as we endeavor to study, teach and make a difference in our environment. Word of God is true. “And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” (Verses 21-23)
PRAISE THE LORD.