November 1, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
Lesson Guide, FAITH Series
Who Will Come to the Rescue?
Background Text: Acts 12:1-24
Highlighted Text – Acts 12:1-11
Key Verse – “Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him (Acts 12:5, NIV).
Prayer works! This is why it is a relevant part of every Christian ministry, as well as, an individual’s life. Without doubt, we are embedded within a perilous world where the enemy uses bad and good people to do his works. And because satan is strategic he always seeks to attack the head or leader first. Yes, he does dispatch his army to cause havoc in all of our lives. But he knows that when he removes a father out of a house, causes a mother to abandon her children, entices a manager to become unethical or attacks the health of a pastor it will effect the spiritual life of those following. As we continue into today’s lesson, honestly ponder over this question: How often do you and other members of your church or household engage in prayer for your leadership?
A Divine Response (Acts 12:1-5)
This passage offsets today’s lesson with a common denominator that every church throughout history has had; persecution. Although the enemy might use different methods of attack due to the world ever changing, it is not breaking news when he attacks the church. During the early church, there were many, including Jews that rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Disciples found themselves in an era where Christians were being arrested and executed. King Herod Agrippa was reigning at that time and gave the order for such persecution. Because it pleased the opposing Jews and allowed him to exhort his authority, King Herod had Peter arrested and had James, the brother of John murdered. The Bible does not indicate that the church responded by marching or rioting. The Bible says that the church prayed for his release.
Point to Ponder: When leaders of your church or family are unjustly attacked, how do you respond?
A Divine Release (Acts 12:6-7)
Can you imagine being the one persecuted? But can you imagine when the one being persecuted and those supporting the persecuted are all on one accord? Peter was able to sleep and rest while in the prison. He was not up tying to figure a way out of his unpleasant circumstances, nor was he wondering if his church members or family supporting him. Peter rested in the peace and promises of God. God did not tell him he would die as a young man, but rather as an old man (John 21:18). Peter had faith in God’s promises and because those he led were already taught what to do and applied it, God sent a divine release. And he did it suddenly, while they were still praying!
Point to Ponder: Do you worry or apply what you have been biblically taught to do when in a crisis?
A Divine Rescue (Acts 12:8-11)
Because Peter and the church gave a biblical and spiritual response, they were able to receive a release. They exercised obedience in order to get their breakthrough. The chains following off of Peter gave him the ability to maneuver, but it didn’t not free him from the prison. The angel was there on assignment to help him, but Peter had to follow instructions immediately. Then, Peter was rescued out of his situation.
Point to Ponder: Why do you think God requires us to do work instead of him just doing the miraculous?
God did not promise that we would not endure persecution. But rather, we share in his suffering. In times when Christians are being severely persecuted, we must exercise a biblical response. Yes, there will be instructions for us to do or perform an action in our circumstances, but we have to have direction. We will only be able to receive direction and instructions through prayer. Prayer works and it will cause God to come to our rescue!
Commentary by, Minister Shulanda Hastings
Senior Ministry Leader
Spirit Realm Divine Manifestation Ministries