Acts 4

Author

Joel King

Scripture

Acts 4:1-37

Observations

· The Sadducees had Peter and John arrested because they were preaching about Jesus and that there is a resurrection
· They were put into jail for a trial the next day
· The message that they had preached before being arrested saw the number of followers of Jesus grow to about 5,000
· The next day Peter and John were questioned before the entire council in Jerusalem
· The primary question was by what power or in whose name had they performed the miracle
· Peter answered that it was by the name of Jesus that the man was healed.
· He declared that the same Jesus who had been crucified was now raised
· Then he quotes Psalm 118:22 to confirm that they had rejected Jesus who was the one from God they should of received
· Peter also declares that only through Jesus can someone be saved
· They were astonished at the boldness and courage of these uneducated men. However, they took note that one of the explanations was that they had been followers of Jesus.
· It was hard to find fault in Pater and John because the healed man was standing right there.
· The religious leaders excepted the miracle happened, but rejected that it authenticated the message
· They then ordered the two not to preach Jesus
· But Peter and John declared that they couldn’t follow that order because they were compelled by God to tell others about Jesus.
· Because of the miracle and the support of the people the religious leaders had to let them go.
· Peter and John then reported back to the church about what had happened, and then the church gave praise to God
· They thanked God for the Messiah and prayed straight from Psalm 2:1-2 which speaks of the Messiah
· They prayed for boldness ion the midst of opposition from the city leaders
· They also prayed for signs and miracles to accompany their message
· Then the Holy Spirit moved in them and they all spoke about Jesus boldly (like they prayed)
· A brief description of the church at this time is given
o Everyone was willing to share with the others
o The apostles declared the resurrection of Jesus
o There was no one that had an unmet need because those that had means shared it with the church as need arose
o It ends with a specific example of Barnabas selling a piece of land and giving all the proceeds to the apostles to help anyone in need.


Application

· When I share about Jesus I need to make sure one of the main things I share is the resurrection
· I am qualified for ministry, not because of fancy Bible education or importance on my part, but by the power of the Holy Spirit in me. It should be evident that I have been with Jesus.
· I should not be dissuaded from sharing Jesus with others if I feel God is calling me to do so. I am to obey God over mankind.
· I need to be more open handed with what God has blessed me with and share it with others in the church that are in need

Prayer

Father,

Thank you for your love in sending your only Son as Messiah that through him I might receive salvation. Show me who I need to share boldly with the message about your love, the resurrection, and the salvation found in Jesus. Help me put you above all else. If there is a brother or sister in need that you want me to be more generous with, please open my eyes and stir your generosity within me.

In the name of my savior, Jesus, I pray. AMEN


2 comments (Add your own)

1. Rob Schulze wrote:
What a rich chapter reflecting the Spirit's power through ordinary men & women. Similar application-action steps spoke to me... especially about the resurrection. When I was a new Christian I remember someone saying people can disagree with what I believe but it's hard to challenge a changed life. This crippled beggar (over 40 years old!... thanks Luke...) who seemed to be a fixture at the temple for years is now walking around and the religious leaders are in a bind. They cannot find a way to challenge a changed life.

"Lord, may we testify to how you are changing us and others with the same power that you raised Jesus from the dead. May ALL of us at Trinity be praying expectantly and then go speak the word of God boldly as we see here in your early church."

Tue, February 10, 2015 @ 6:18 AM

2. Phil Payne wrote:
OBSERVATION

1. Peter, John, and healed lame man (4:14) are arrested on order of priests and Saducees because they were teaching the people in the temple, usurping the priest’s prerogative, and proclaiming the resurrection, which was contrary to belief of Saducees (Luke 20:27).
2. Trial before the council – By what authority are you acting? Peter speaks boldly, as he is empowered and directed by Holy Spirit

a. Peter says he is working through the authority of Jesus, who God raised from the dead after the council crucified him. Their request to Pilate for Jesus’s death is the same as having done the deed.

b. Christ is the cornerstone. The trial pivots on verses 11 and 12. “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected, by you, the builders, and which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.” Peter did not have to say more, for his answer pointed to the words of Jesus (Luke 20:18-20) when representatives of this counsel had questioned His authority. Jesus had used the “rejected cornerstone” reference to link his vineyard parable (Luke 20:9-18) to the prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 28:14-17), warning that the wicked rulers who reject Him would themselves be rejected by God. Now the Holy Spirit pronounces judgment against the council for or a third and final time.

In context of Luke’s vineyard parable, the cornerstone could also be the stone of the winepress. Of course it would be discarded by the builders – after all it is round and unsuitable for construction. But in the winepress this cornerstone crushes the grapes and releases their fruit. When God wants to use a man greatly He first must be broken completely.

Jesus, the cornerstone that the builders reject, is also the gateway to salvation and everlasting life (Psalm 118:18-24).

c. The evil leaders are more concerned about their reputation than the mercy of God to the lame man. His life has been restored – but to them He represents a sign, and a political problem. They continue to reject and suppress the Truth by ordering Peter and John to stop preaching Jesus.

d. Peter and John are respectful even as they reject the council’s spiritual authority and gag order. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, but we must tell what we have seen.”

3. The Church is Centered on Bold Witness

a. By quoting Psalm 2 the church recognizes that human rulers are hostile to the Christ, yet Father-God is sovereign and the evil schemes of man are in vain because nothing can be done apart from the will of Father-God . Even the ruler’s effort to destroy Jesus on the cross brought Him to greater authority as the risen Christ and now gives everyone an opportunity to be saved.

b. Because God is sovereign, they pray for continued boldness and miracles that glorify Jesus.

c. The church is unified with three priorities – to preach Jesus, to pray for miraculous works that glorify Jesus, to love one another for Jesus’s sake. The wealthier Christians sold their possessions to fund the ministry and provide practically for the poor who were among them.

APPLICATIONS

1. Do I follow the Holy Spirit’s lead in my witness for Jesus.? This could require acting when I would choose to do nothing or speaking up when I would rather be silent. It could also mean shutting my mouth when I would prefer to argue or pass judgment.

2. Do I ask the Holy Spirit to instruct my words or actions? Do I answer the question the person (or above, the council) is asking, or have my own agenda for a witnessing interaction?

3. In a post-modern secular society that resists Christian talk, miracles done in the power of the Spirit and authenticity of our love will be a more powerful witness. Prayer: that my love may abound – in Christ – with power and discernment.

4. Am I willing to be broken by Christ, the falling cornerstone, so that He may live more fully in and through me? Prayer – Prune from my life the things that limit my purpose. Crush the strongholds of pride or idolatry that resist you.

5. Am I willing to share my wealth with those who have been impoverished when they are persecuted on account of Christ? What love and support would I give to one of our own congregation if that person lost a job by giving Christian testimony when company or government policy commands silence?

Tue, February 10, 2015 @ 12:57 PM

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