Pentecost empowered the New Testament church to act on their belief and witness for Christ as they faced beatings, scourgings, separation of families, dislocation of homes, and even death itself. God provided miraculous deliverances, some of which are recorded in the first ten chapters of Acts. For example, in Acts 5, we read that the angel of the Lord provided deliverance from prison for two of the Apostles. Most importantly, however, God delivered, protected and preserved His followers from evil contamination by the sin all around them. As we study this lesson, we become acutely aware that God wants to provide the same deliverance from spiritual perils for us today.
- Webster defines deliverance as “the state of being freed; a release or rescue.” However, deliverance to the Christian does not necessarily mean immunity from suffering, persecution, or earthly troubles. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and note what you think this word means for Christians.
- Read Psalm 24:3-5 and summarize the condition of the one who shall “ascend into the hill of the Lord,” or “stand in his holy place.” Does attaining this condition have any bearing on our right to expect deliverance? Explain.
- On what condition does God “deliver” one who has been disobedient? See Psalm 51.
- God has promised us spiritual deliverance in every aspect of our Christian lives. Next to each Scripture below write what the deliverance is from.
2 Peter 2:9
- Referring to our text in Acts, Peter undoubtedly knew that Herod had killed James. When he was seized and imprisoned by the same ruler, one might expect Peter to be afraid for his life and concerned about being imprisoned. If this was so, he demonstrated a great calmness in spite of it, for verse 6 tells us that Peter was asleep. How can you account for this? How might a heartfelt belief in the promise given in Romans 8:28 bring about a parallel attitude in our lives?
- What important event was continuing uninterrupted while the angel was awakening Peter in the prison and telling him to arise and follow him? What might we learn from this regarding situations where deliverance is needed?
- Comment on why you feel God sometimes sends an immediate deliverance in answer to a sudden short prayer, and sometimes delays His deliverance until much prevailing prayer has been offered.
- In reference to our key verse, the Psalmist is giving praise to God for deliverance. He mentions three ways God has given deliverance. Explain these in your own words, giving specific examples of what might be meant by each in our day.