“Home-Study Lesson: Acts 20–Romans 7 (Unit 20)” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2016)
“Home-Study Lesson: Unit 20,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
As a prisoner, Paul was taken to Rome by sea during the winter months. Before departing, Paul warned that the journey would result in “hurt and much damage” (Acts 27:10). During a storm, Paul prophesied that although the ship would be destroyed, the people on the ship would survive. Paul’s prophecy was fulfilled.
Invite a student to read aloud the statements written on the board.
Why might some youth choose not to heed these warnings and counsel?
Invite students to look for truths as they study Acts 27 that will help strengthen their faith to heed the warnings and counsel of the Lord’s servants.
Remind students that Paul had been falsely charged with treason and imprisoned. He appealed his case to Caesar in Rome, which was his right as a Roman citizen. Summarize Acts 27:1–8 by explaining that Paul traveled with other prisoners by boat toward Rome, under the custody of a Roman guard. After sailing for many days, they stopped at a harbor on the island of Crete. As they were leaving the harbor, Paul warned those on the ship that they should not continue their journey.
Invite a student to read Acts 27:9–10 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Paul warned would happen if he and the others on the ship continued their journey to Rome. You may want to explain that the word fast as used in verse 9 refers to voluntarily abstaining from eating. In this case “the fast” probably referred to the Jewish holy day called the Day of Atonement, which marked the beginning of the season during which it was generally regarded as unsafe to travel on the Mediterranean Sea because of violent storms. The Day of Atonement usually took place in late September or early October. Also explain that the word lading in verse 10 refers to the ship’s cargo.
According to Acts 27:10, what did Paul warn and prophesy would happen if they continued their journey?
Invite a student to read Acts 27:11–12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the Roman centurion and others on the ship responded to Paul’s warning.
Why do you think it may have been easier for the centurion to believe the owner of the ship rather than Paul?
According to verse 12, why did most of the people on the ship ignore Paul’s warning? (You may need to explain that the word haven refers to a harbor and commodious means comfortable or convenient.)
Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Acts 27:13–21. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened as the ship continued toward Rome.
What happened as the ship continued toward Rome?
According to verse 20, how did those on the ship during the tempest feel about their situation?
What principle can we learn from verse 21 about what can happen if we ignore the warnings and counsel of the Lord’s servants? (Students may use different words but should identify the following principle: If we ignore the warnings and counsel of the Lord’s servants, then we put ourselves in danger. Write this principle on the board. Explain that the danger may include forfeiting blessings that we otherwise would have received.)
Review with students the reasons the centurion and the other people on the ship ignored Paul’s warning and counsel (see Acts 27:11–12).
How might people today make similar excuses for ignoring the warnings and counsel of the Lord’s servants?
Using For the Strength of Youth or recent conference addresses, give additional examples of prophets’ warning and counsel that you feel are relevant to students in your class.
What dangers might individuals put themselves in by ignoring such warnings and counsel from the prophets?
Invite a student to read Acts 27:22–26 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Paul told the people on the ship.
If you were on the ship in the midst of the terrible storm, what words from Paul would comfort you?
What did Paul prophesy would happen to the ship?
Summarize Acts 27:27–30 by explaining that on the 14th night of the storm, the crew cast four anchors into the sea to prevent the ship from crashing into rocks. The crew then went to the front of the ship and acted as though they were about to cast more anchors. However, they were actually planning to abandon the ship and flee in a small boat because they feared the ship would sink.
Invite a student to read Acts 27:31–32 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the warning Paul gave the centurion and soldiers. Explain that the word these in verse 31 refers to the crew members who were trying to flee.
What warning did Paul give the centurion and soldiers?
How did the soldiers respond to Paul’s warning and counsel? (They heeded his warning and prevented the crew from escaping by cutting the small boat’s ropes and letting it drift away empty.)
Summarize Acts 27:33–44 by explaining that Paul suggested that everyone on board the ship eat some food to build their strength. Later that day the ship crashed as it sailed toward land, but all the people escaped safely. Remind students of Paul’s prophecy recorded in Acts 27:22–26 that no one would die even though the ship would be lost.
What principles can we learn from this account about what can happen if we heed the counsel and warnings of the Lord’s servants? (Students may identify principles similar to the following: If we heed the counsel and warnings of the Lord’s servants, then the Lord will fulfill His promises to us. If we heed the counsel and warnings of the Lord’s servants, then we can withstand the dangers that threaten us. Write these principles on the board.)
To help students understand the principles they identified in Acts 27, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency:
“Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm’s way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety” (“Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 25).
How has heeding the warnings and counsel of the Lord’s servants helped you withstand dangers that threaten your spiritual and physical safety?
Invite students to consider whether they are ignoring any warnings or counsel from the Lord’s servants or to think about ways they can better heed the warnings and counsel they have received. Invite them to write down a goal regarding how they will give better heed to that counsel.
Explain to students that as they study Romans 8–16 and 1 Corinthians 1–6 during the next week, they will learn about wise counsel the Apostle Paul gave to the Church members in Rome and Corinth to help them draw closer to God in a wicked and troublesome world. Ask them to look for answers to the following questions: Why are our physical bodies like a temple? How should Church members resolve differences with each other?