Acts - Lesson 3

Acts 2 (Part 2)

Exhortation and Sanctification


  1. The student can state the names for the four portions of Acts 2.
  2. The student can explain what Peter told the Jews on Pentecost to do to be saved.
  3. The student can note characteristics of the Jerusalem church we should emulate.


  1. Have Notes/Review sheets ready to hand out.
  2. Have copies of Written Review 2 ready to hand out as students enter class.
  3. Be sure all students have Bibles and pens.


Those who believe in Jesus as the Christ are told to repent and be baptized to have their sins forgiven. Those who do so live a very distinctive life-style.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (about 10 minutes)

  1. Check the roll, introduce visitors, make announcements.
  2. Review the last class by providing the answers to the Written Review.
  3. Songs: Victory in Jesus, Bring Christ Your Broken Life, He Gave Me a Song.

Learning Experiences: (about 25 minutes)

  1. Edification.
    1. Q: What were the first two sections of Acts 2 called? (Inspiration and Proclamation)
    2. Q: What has been the response of the crowd to the proclamation? (v. 37)
    3. Q: How would you characterize their state of mind? (cut to the heart, very concerned about what they have done in killing their Messiah.)
    4. Q: What does Peter tell them to do to? (repent and be baptized)
    5. Q: What does repentance mean? (a change of mind that brings a change of life. It does not mean just confessing sins or praying for forgiveness)
    6. Q: What would these Jews have understood from a command to be baptized? (Immersion in water. That is the meaning of the Greek word. They were familiar with the baptism John had done where he had "much water.” Under the Law of Moses, the people were to dip themselves in water as a ritual for purification.)
    7. Q: What does Peter state as the purpose for baptism? (Forgiveness of sins.) Q: What other expressions elsewhere suggest a similar purpose but in different words? (Acts 22:16—was sins away; Romans 6:4—raised to a new life; Galatians 3:27—baptized into Christ and putting on Jesus as our new clothes. All these changes take place at the point of baptism.)
    8. Q: What benefit does Peter promise will come to those who are baptized for forgiveness of sins? (Receive the Holy Spirit. This would be the indwelling that all Christians receive. We will have a more complete lesson on the Holy Spirit later after studying other texts in Acts.)
    9. Q: To whom is the promise of verse 38 given (v. 39).
    10. Q: What else does Peter tell the people (v. 40)?
    11. Q: What is the outcome from Peter’s sermon? (Archeology has provided the probable location where this many could be baptized. Just to the south end of the temple grounds, 46 purification pools have been uncovered. They were there at the time of these Pentecost events. Each of them looks much like our modern baptisteries—about three feet wide and seven feet long, with steps leading down, and designed to hold water enough to cover a person.
    12. Preachers in the 1800’s sometimes summarized the early proclamation of the gospel as including: (1) Three facts to be believed—death, burial and resurrection of Jesus; three commands to be obeyed—faith, repentance, and baptism; and three promises to be received—forgiveness of sins, gift of the Holy Spirit, and eternal life.
    13. We will call verses 37-41 by the term "exhortation” because in this section Peter responds to their question by telling them what to do and encouraging them to do it. Some translations even use this word—"With many other words did he testify and exhort, saying—.”
  2. Sanctification.
    1. Acts 2:42-47 give a description of what the people did following their decision to be baptized. Q. List all the things they did and learn from this some characteristics all congregations of the church should have. (devoted to the apostles teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread—communion, prayer, generous in helping those in need, met together often, ate together, were happy, praised God, had favor of the people, must have been sharing the gospel because more were being saved everyday.
    2. We’ll call this last portion of the chapter by the name "sanctification” but it is a description of how saved or sanctified people live. So the four parts of the chapter may be called by these names: inspiration, proclamation, exhortation, and sanctification.

Application: (about 5 minutes)

  1. In what ways is our congregation like the Jerusalem church?
  2. To which of their characteristics do we need to give special attention?
  3. Connect this lesson to the five key words for our study of Acts: Savior, Spirit, Salvation, Spread, Sanctified.


  1. Use the notes/review sheet for preparation for Written Review No. 3 over the last part of chapter 2.

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