Acts 12

Talks for Growing Christians

James Martyred; Peter Delivered from Prison

Acts 12

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Lesson Number 21

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers are not always delivered from physical danger.
  2. Believers are sometimes dramatically delivered from physical danger.

Practical Application

  1. Leave sad fallout for doing what’s right in the hands of God.


  1. Review the Herods of the Bible.
  2. Who was the first apostle martyred?
  3. How do God’s promises of protection harmonize with the martyrdom of believers?
  4. Give another example of someone who was not delivered from physical danger.
  5. Give examples from the Bible of believers who were dramatically delivered from physical danger.


  1. Herods of the Bible: Herod the Great who killed the male babies in Bethlehem Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great and ruler of Galilee during our Lord’s public ministry Herod Agrippa I, a grandson of Herod the Great who was struck dead in Acts 12 Herod Agrippa II, a son of Herod Agrippa I, who listened to Paul’s defense at Caesarea
  2. James, the brother of John (This was not James, the half-brother of Jesus, who wrote the New Testament epistle.)
  3. These are general promises of God’s care and protection for His people, which we can claim. But God may call a believer to some special situation for the glory of God.
  4. The Lord Jesus Himself was not spared the cup of suffering. He endured to the point of death, because a higher plan and purpose for God’s glory was being carried out.
  5. Daniel in the lions den, the three men in the fiery furnace, and many more


  1. We see from the Bible that some believers are delivered from physical danger while some are not. This continues to be true today. Have you ever struggled with this issue? What is the proper attitude?
  2. It is ironic that the believers were gathered, praying for Peter’s release from prison, but when they were told he was standing at the gate they did not believe. Have you ever disbelieved when God answered your prayers? We shouldn’t be surprised because we have a God who answers prayers!


  1. Have you ever done what is right and seen sad fallouts result? Leave this in the hands of God.

Key Verses

  • “Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.” Acts 12:2
  • “And when Peter had come to himself, he said, ‘Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod.’” Acts 12:11
  • “Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck [Herod], because he did not give glory to God.” Acts 12:23

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