These text files are prepared by Laurelbrook staff member James Brenneman for his personal use and for those who wish to see the Bible texts in the adult Sabbath School lesson in possibly a new light.
Memory Text: Acts 10:34 English Standard Version 34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
Sunday – At Lydda and Joppa
Acts 9:32-35 Good News Translation 32 Peter traveled everywhere, and on one occasion he went to visit God's people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had not been able to get out of bed for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ makes you well. Get up and make your bed.” At once Aeneas got up. 35 All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Luke 5:17-26 God’s Word Translation 17 One day when Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and experts in Moses’ Teachings were present. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. Jesus had the power of the Lord to heal. 18 Some men brought a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They tried to take him into the house and put him in front of Jesus. 19 But they could not find a way to get him into the house because of the crowd. So they went up on the roof. They made an opening in the tiles and let the man down on his stretcher among the people. (They lowered him in front of Jesus.) 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Sir, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The experts in Moses’ Teachings and the Pharisees thought, “Who is this man? He’s dishonoring God! Who besides God can forgive sins?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he said to them, “What are you thinking? 23 Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” 25 The man immediately stood up in front of them and picked up the stretcher he had been lying on. Praising God, he went home. 26 Everyone was amazed and praised God. They were filled with awe and said, “We’ve seen things today we can hardly believe!”
Acts 9:36-43 New Living Translation 36 There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas[a]). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. 37 About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. 38 But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, “Please come as soon as possible!” 39 So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. 40 But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! 41 He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive. 42 The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. 43 And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides.
Monday – At Cornelius’s House
Acts 10:9-16 New Century Version 9 About noon the next day as they came near Joppa, Peter was going up to the roof to pray. 10 He was hungry and wanted to eat, but while the food was being prepared, he had a vision. 11 He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a big sheet being lowered to earth by its four corners. 12 In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13 Then a voice said to Peter, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “No, Lord! I have never eaten food that is unholy or unclean.” 15 But the voice said to him again, “God has made these things clean, so don’t call them ‘unholy’!” 16 This happened three times, and at once the sheet was taken back to heaven.
Acts 10:28 New English Translation He said to them, “You know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile, yet God has shown me that I should call no person defiled or ritually unclean.
Acts 10:34-35 Contemporary English Version Peter then said: Now I am certain that God treats all people alike. 35 God is pleased with everyone who worships him and does right, no matter what nation they come from.
Titus 2:11 Common English Bible The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people.
Galatians 3:26-28 Easy-to-Read Version 26-27 You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. This shows that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 28 Now, in Christ, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or free, male or female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:11-19 New International Reader’s Version 11 You who are not Jews by birth, here is what I want you to remember. You are called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “circumcised.” But they have only been circumcised in their bodies by human hands. 12 Before you believed in Christ, you were separated from him. You were not considered to be citizens of Israel. You were not included in what the covenants promised. You were without hope and without God in the world. 13 At one time you were far away from God. But now you belong to Christ Jesus. He spilled his blood for you. This has brought you near to God.14 Christ himself is our peace. He has made Jews and Gentiles into one group of people. He has destroyed the hatred that was like a wall between us. 15 Through his body on the cross, Christ set aside the law with all its commands and rules. He planned to create one new people out of Jews and Gentiles. He wanted to make peace between them. 16 He planned to bring both Jews and Gentiles back to God as one body. He planned to do this through the cross. On that cross, Christ put to death their hatred toward one another. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away. He also preached peace to those who were near. 18 Through Christ we both come to the Father by the power of one Holy Spirit. 19 So you are no longer outsiders and strangers. You are citizens together with God’s people. You are also members of God’s family.
Tuesday – The Gift of the Spirit
Acts 10:44-48 Common English Bible 44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on everyone who heard the word. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 They heard them speaking in other languages and praising God. Peter asked, 47 “These people have received the Holy Spirit just as we have. Surely no one can stop them from being baptized with water, can they?” 48 He directed that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited Peter to stay for several days.
Acts 11:1-18 Good News Translation The apostles and the other believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 When Peter went to Jerusalem, those who were in favor of circumcising Gentiles criticized him, saying, 3 “You were a guest in the home of uncircumcised Gentiles, and you even ate with them!” 4 So Peter gave them a complete account of what had happened from the very beginning: 5 “While I was praying in the city of Joppa, I had a vision. I saw something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners from heaven, and it stopped next to me. 6 I looked closely inside and saw domesticated and wild animals, reptiles, and wild birds. 7 Then I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat!’ 8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord! No ritually unclean or defiled food has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 The voice spoke again from heaven, ‘Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and finally the whole thing was drawn back up into heaven. 11 At that very moment three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where I was[a] staying. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them without hesitation. These six fellow believers from Joppa accompanied me to Caesarea, and we all went into the house of Cornelius. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send someone to Joppa for a man whose full name is Simon Peter. 14 He will speak words to you by which you and all your family will be saved.’ 15 And when I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 It is clear that God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; who was I, then, to try to stop God!” 18 When they heard this, they stopped their criticism and praised God, saying, “Then God has given to the Gentiles also the opportunity to repent and live!”
Wednesday – The Church in Antioch
Acts 11:19-26 English Standard Version 19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
Thursday – Herod’s Persecution
Acts 12:1-4 New Life Version At that time King Herod used his power to make it hard for the Christians in the church. 2 He killed James, the brother of John, with a sword. 3 When he saw that it made the Jews happy, he took hold of Peter also. This was during the special religious gathering to remember how the Jews left Egypt. 4 Herod took Peter and put him in prison and had sixteen soldiers watch him. After the special religious gathering was over, he planned to bring Peter out to the people.
Acts12:5-18 New International Version 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. 11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.” 12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” 16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place. 18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.
Memory Text: Acts 13:38 Common English Bible Therefore, brothers and sisters, know this: Through Jesus we proclaim forgiveness of sins to you. From all those sins from which you couldn’t be put in right relationship with God through Moses’ Law.
Acts 13:38 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY This message of the forgiveness of sins is the happy news of the gospel, bringing rejoicing to every sin-burdened heart… It had been the burden of John the Baptist (Mark 1:4) and of Jesus Himself.
Sunday – Salamis and Paphos
Acts 13:1-12 Good News Translation In the church at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon (called the Black), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (who had been brought up with Governor Herod [Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee]), and Saul. 2 While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul, to do the work to which I have called them.” 3 They fasted and prayed, placed their hands on them, and sent them off. 4 Having been sent by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went to Seleucia and sailed from there to the island of Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues. They had John Mark with them to help in the work. 6 They went all the way across the island to Paphos, where they met a certain magician named Bar-Jesus, a Jew who claimed to be a prophet. 7 He was a friend of the governor of the island, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor called Barnabas and Saul before him because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But they were opposed by the magician Elymas (that is his name in Greek), who tried to turn the governor away from the faith. 9 Then Saul—also known as Paul—was filled with the Holy Spirit; he looked straight at the magician 10 and said, “You son of the Devil! You are the enemy of everything that is good. You are full of all kinds of evil tricks, and you always keep trying to turn the Lord's truths into lies! 11 The Lord's hand will come down on you now; you will be blind and will not see the light of day for a time.” At once Elymas felt a dark mist cover his eyes, and he walked around trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the governor saw what had happened, he believed; for he was greatly amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
Acts 13:11 COMMENTARY THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL This is the only miracle wrought by an apostle to the injury of any one's person. It is to be accounted for, not by supposed resentment on the part of Saul, nor by a desire to make a special example of Bar-jesus. But the case was such that some display of power over the person of the false prophet was the readiest way to convince the proconsul. When Moses went into Egypt he found it necessary to impose many personal inflictions upon the priests, in order to destroy Pharaoh's confidence in them. The present case was similar to that.
Monday – Pisidian Antioch – Part 1
Acts 13:13 New Living Translation Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.
Acts13:13 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY There is no clue as to why John left. Perhaps he feared the perils and hardships of the journey into the interior. John Mark was probably the same person as the writer of the second Gospel. He became afterward an earnest laborer for Christ. Paul spoke of him later with affection (Col. 4:10), and wished to see him during his last imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:11). If Luke knew why John Mark withdrew, respect for his more successful experience later evidently kept Luke from revealing the reason here.
Acts 13:38-39 New Century Version Brothers, understand what we are telling you: You can have forgiveness of your sins through Jesus. The law of Moses could not free you from your sins. But through Jesus everyone who believes is free from all sins.
Acts 13:38-41 COMMENTARY BY MATTHEW HENRY Let all that hear the gospel of Christ, know these two things: 1. That through this Man, who died and rose again, is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. Your sins, though many and great, may be forgiven, and they may be so without any injury to God's honour. 2. It is by Christ only that those who believe in him, and none else, are justified from all things; from all the guilt and stain of sin, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. The great concern of convinced sinners is, to be justified, to be acquitted from all their guilt, and accepted as righteous in God's sight, for if any is left charged upon the sinner, he is undone. By Jesus Christ we obtain a complete justification; for by him a complete atonement was made for sin. We are justified, not only by him as our Judge but by him as the Lord our Righteousness. What the law could not do for us, in that it was weak, the gospel of Christ does. This is the most needful blessing, bringing in every other. The threatenings are warnings; what we are told will come upon impenitent sinners, is designed to awaken us to beware lest it come upon us. It ruins many, that they despise religion. Those that will not wonder and be saved, shall wonder and perish.
Tuesday – Pisidian Antioch – Part 2
Acts 13:42-49 New English Translation 42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people were urging them to speak about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and were persuading them to continue in the grace of God. 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city assembled together to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they began to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him. 46 Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have appointed you to be a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice and praise the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life believed. 49 So the word of the Lord was spreading through the entire region.
Acts 13:45 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY The Jews of Antioch doubtless were chagrined that newcomers such as Paul and Barnabas should attract so much interest among the Gentiles. They also realized that these Gentiles were being invited to the same religious privileges as themselves, and this was abhorrent to them.
Wednesday – Iconium
Acts 14:1-7 Contemporary English Version Paul and Barnabas spoke in the Jewish meeting place in Iconium, just as they had done at Antioch, and many Jews and Gentiles put their faith in the Lord. 2 But the Jews who did not have faith in him made the other Gentiles angry and turned them against the Lord’s followers. 3 Paul and Barnabas stayed there for a while, having faith in the Lord and bravely speaking his message. The Lord gave them the power to work miracles and wonders, and he showed that their message about his great kindness was true. 4 The people of Iconium did not know what to think. Some of them believed the Jewish group, and others believed the apostles. 5 Finally, some Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, decided to make trouble for Paul and Barnabas and to stone them to death. 6-7 But when the two apostles found out what was happening, they escaped to the region of Lycaonia. They preached the good news there in the towns of Lystra and Derbe and in the nearby countryside.
Acts 14:4 COMMENTARY FAMILY BIBLE NOTES When great numbers embrace the gospel, those who continue to reject it are often filled with wrath against those who preach it. The community is divided. A part join the friends, and a part the enemies of Christ, and great commotions follow. These results wicked men attribute to the gospel; but they spring from opposition to it and the opposers, not the faithful preachers of the gospel, are responsible for the evils thus occasioned.
Thursday – Lystra and Derbe
Acts 14:5-19 Easy-to-Read Version 5 Some of the Jews there, as well as their leaders and some of the non-Jewish people, were determined to hurt Paul and Barnabas. They wanted to stone them to death. 6 When Paul and Barnabas learned about this, they left the city. They went to Lystra and Derbe, cities in Lycaonia, and to the surrounding areas. 7 They told the Good News there too. 8 In Lystra there was a man who had something wrong with his feet. He had been born crippled and had never walked. 9 He was sitting and listening to Paul speak. Paul looked straight at him and saw that the man believed God could heal him. 10 So Paul shouted, “Stand up on your feet!” The man jumped up and began walking around. 11 When the people saw what Paul did, they shouted in their own Lycaonian language. They said, “The gods have come down to us in the form of humans!” 12 The people began to call Barnabas “Zeus,” and they called Paul “Hermes,” because he was the main speaker. 13 The temple of Zeus was near the city. The priest of this temple brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. The priest and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. 14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, understood what the people were doing, they tore their own clothes. Then they ran in among the people and shouted to them: 15 “Men, why are you doing this? We are not gods. We are human just like you. We came to tell you the Good News. We are telling you to turn away from these worthless things. Turn to the true living God, the one who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them. 16 “In the past God let all the nations do what they wanted. 17 But God was always there doing the good things that prove he is real. He gives you rain from heaven and good harvests at the right times. He gives you plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even after saying all this, Paul and Barnabas still could hardly stop the people from offering sacrifices to them. 19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and persuaded the people to turn against Paul. So they threw stones at him and dragged him out of the town. They thought they had killed him.
Acts 14:15 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY The appeal to God’s creatorship is one made repeatedly in Scripture. It lies at the beginning of the whole history of God’s relation to the universe (Gen. 1), and is the foundation of the last gospel message of warning to the world (Rev. 14:7).
Acts 14:20-26 New Living Translation 20 But as the believers[a] gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe. 21 After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, 22 where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. 23 Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 Then they traveled back through Pisidia to Pamphylia. 25 They preached the word in Perga, then went down to Attalia. 26 Finally, they returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey had begun. The believers there had entrusted them to the grace of God to do the work they had now completed.