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Boldness From the Spirit

Pastor Dan's Sermon from Saturday June 30th, 2018

· Teaching

ACTS 4:5-22

The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas,John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being 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 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’[a]

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind 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 Sanhedrinand then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them 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, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, 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.

 

Wow. Peter is so filled with the Holy Spirit. The Jews are falling in love with Jesus and the rulers are losing their grip and starting to breathe threats to stop their "leading the people astray," or else. Peter is not phased by any of this and he stands firm in God's calling to preach the good news. 

 

We need this today like man has needed it from the beginning of time. We need boldness to fill us up and move us to do what God asks us to do no matter the material/worldly consequences. 

 

The Jewish leaders are so maddened by the movement of Jesus Christ. They want to maintain their grip on the population and see this Jesus movement as a cancer that ends with their political/societal death. The man at the temple gate, called Beautiful, is miraculously healed. 40 years from birth he has been crippled, and he is instantaneously healed. The people are in awe and are swept up in the preaching of Peter and their hearts are moved to salvation bearing faith. What a move of God! So what do the religious leaders do? They imprison Peter and John for this act and question them with intense scrutiny. They cannot hold them forever. The people are moved by these acts of the apostles and to kill/severely hurt these two might insight a riot. At this point the Jews are looking to put the dagger in this movement's hearts by threatening these follower's of Jesus with violence if they do not stop what they are doing. 

 

Peter's response is so bold and faithful to Jesus' calling over his life. He knows that Jesus was crucified and rejected by these leaders (and everyone else) but has risen again. He has seen it, felt it, heard it. This has happened and no one can stop him from telling the truth because God is on his side. The leaders let him and John go with more threats. Peter and John move on to make Jesus known. There is such an obvious power in the church that all the persecutors can do is threaten them to stop.

 

We see this filling of boldness by the spirit with Jesus and Stephen as well in the midst of the persecutors. They are unmoved by the crowds of powerful men threatening them so that they will stop. They would rather die than to forsake the truth and the God who has created them. We need this. Acts 1:8 says that when the Spirit comes on those who believe THEY WILL not be able to help but speak of Jesus. We will be witnesses. We are witnesses as believers today. Witness to what God has done in your life and what He has done throughout all time and all creation. 

 

We need to be bold like Peter and share the name of Jesus. We don't need to dull down our message to make it palatable for the world and easier for us to share. We share the Truth as it is. It must be clear that we are with Jesus and who He is and what He is doing. "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." We need to be clear that Jesus is moving. Not so we can fulfill some checklist/bucketlist for our own pride, but for the sake of the one who longs to dwell with us for eternity. We need to be confident not in our own boldness but in Jesus' promises to be with us wherever we go and to go in His authority (MATT 28.)

 

Boldness of Christ will confound people and will make people love or hate us. It's not about that. Let these words motivate you from Peter to share Jesus', "But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

 

God bless you as you go about your week. Let us know if you need prayer or wanna know how you can get more involved with what God is doing here in Parkland. God bless you!!!!!

 

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