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Acts 4_1-31 Bold In Battle

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Bold In Battle

Acts 4:1-31

Secular:

Biblical: NIV Acts 4:1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.

 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.

 4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

 5 The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.

 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family.

 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"

 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people!

 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed,

 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

 11 He is "'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. {11 Or cornerstone} '{11 Psalm 118:22}

 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together.

 16 "What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it.

 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name."

 18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

 19 But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.

 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

 21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened.

 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

 23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.

 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.

 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: "'Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. {26 That is, Christ or Messiah} '{26 Psalm 2:1,2}

 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people {27 The Greek is plural.} of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.

 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.

 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."

 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Personal:

Bridge:

Body:

Persecution Manifest

NIV Acts 4:1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.

 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.

 4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

  • Paul and John were preaching the gospel
  • Objected to the message…
    • Proclaiming the resurrection
    • In the presence of the Sadducees
      • Denied resurrection
      • Hostile environment
      • Not just the easy message… but the had teaching
      • Jesus calls them "hypocrites" and "a wicked and adulterous generation" (Mt 16:1-4 22:23) The only reference to them in the Gospels of Mark (Mr 12:18-27) and Luke (Lu 20:27-38) is their attempting to ridicule the doctrine of the resurrection, which they denied, as they also denied the existence of angels. There were many Sadducees among the "elders" of the Sanhedrin. They seem, indeed, to have been as numerous as the Pharisees (Ac 23:6) They showed their hatred of Jesus in taking part in his condemnation (Mt 16:21 26:1-3,59 Mr 8:31 15:1 Lu 9:22 22:66) They endeavoured to prohibit the apostles from preaching the resurrection of Christ (Ac 2:24,31,32 4:1,2 5:17,24-28) They were the deists or sceptics of that age. They do not appear as a separate sect after the destruction of Jerusalem.
    • Did not temper their message!!
    • They were imprisoned…
    • Just as they were delighted in the death of Jesus… they would relish locking up two of his key disciples!!
  • But… persecution doesn’t nullify the power of the Gospel… in fact dedication to the message is often crystallized in tough times!!
  • It is easy to believe in good times… easy to stand in a crowd… much harder to be one of two jailed…
  • A real possibility…

Discriminatory publication (BC Human Rights Code)

7 (1) A person must not publish, issue or display, or cause to be published, issued or displayed, any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation that

(a) indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person or a group or class of persons, or

(b) is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred or contempt

because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or that group or class of persons.

  • Publisher in Ontario…
  • One day they may very well come for your Pastor(s)
  • Does that mean we stop…
  • What did Peter and John do…

Persecution Met

1)      Be submissive… (4:5-7)

a.       God is in control

b.      Look for God-ordained opportunities

c.       Didn’t fight incarceration

2)      Be filled with the Spirit

a.       Evidenced in trust

b.      Evidenced in words

c.       Evidenced in Action

3)      Be aggressive… seize the opportunities

a.       Do not be frightened into silence

                                                              i.      Witness need to speak

b.      Do not be frightened into compromise

                                                              i.      Witness to commitment to message

c.       Use your mind… on trial because a sick man was healed?

                                                              i.      Healing took place in the citadel of Sanhedrin’s power (on their turf)

d.      Point out the dichotomy… (troubled Sanhedrin)

                                                              i.      Jesus couldn’t save himself

                                                            ii.      NIV Psalm 118:22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; (corner stone)

                                                          iii.      Dealt with their common ground!!

e.       Point out the hope… lack of compromise

                                                              i.      12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

f.       Lean on God!!

                                                              i.      NIV Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

                                                            ii.      Do not have to PhD defender of the faith… key is to be Spirit-filled.

g.      God will baffle… he will use his willing vessels!!

  • This is how to face persecution – face it with the boldest proclamation of the truth!!

4)      Be obedient to God at all costs (4:14-22)

a.       Witnesses to miracles

b.      Defended by OT Truths

c.       They have a problem!!

ANSWER:  17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name."

 18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

THEIR RESPONSE:19 But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

e) Peter and John did not hesitate…

NIV 1 Peter 3:13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; {14 Or not fear their threats} do not be frightened." {14 Isaiah 8:12} 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

d.      The Sanhedrin was cornered… Peter and John drew the line…

e.       With no legitimate charges to stick on them… to many witnesses to the miracle… the good teaching… the solid defence…they were released…

5)      Be committed to fellowship 4:23

a.       Not time to hide

b.      Time to encourage and strengthen

6)      Be Thankful 4:24-28

a.       Not dejected

b.      Rejoicing in God’s sovereign control

c.       Rejoicing in opportunity

d.      Rejoicing in his predestined plan… planned beforehand!

7)      Be desirous of great boldness… 4:29-31

a.       Pray for strength

b.      Pray for courage

c.       Pray for BOLDNESS

d.      God responds!!

Conclusion:

God will strengthen us

God will provide opportunity

God will provide boldness

God will lead many into the Kingdom

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