Summary: God showed a sign, the Believers prayed with unity, they asked for boldness, and as a result, God showed a sign, they were unified, and they were emboldened by the power of God!
Believers’ Prayer for Boldness
First given in 2001, Sterling C. Franklin
Translation used in this sermon: NIV
Brief Outline --
Believers’ Prayer for Boldness
(Broader Context: Acts 3 & 4)
I. God Showed a Sign (Acts 3)
II. They Prayed with Unity (4:24)
III. They Asked for Boldness (4:29-30)
IV. God Showed a Sign (4:31)
V. The People Were Unified… (4:32)
VI. …As they spoke with Boldness (4:31-33)
(1) Healing of a Beggar at the Temple Gate called ’Beautiful’ (Acts 3)
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-- at three in the afternoon.
2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.
3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.
4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!"
5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
Note: People saw him and wondered.
Peter explained that it was by faith in Jesus that the beggar was able to walk.
(2) Reproof from the authorities for speaking in Jesus’ Name (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.
Note: Peter also witnessed to these rulers. They were not educated scholars standing before the Sanhedrin, but they were boldly proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ, and the Lord had granted the power of the Holy Spirit to back it up. They stated that it was more important to obey God rather than men, and they were beaten and sent away.
Now we come to our text.
23 And when they had been released, they went to their own companions, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
24 And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, "O Lord, it is Thou who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them,
25 who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Thy servant, didst say, ’Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples devise futile things?
26 ’The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord, and against His Christ.’
27 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
28 to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur.
29 "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond-servants may speak Thy word with all confidence,
30 while Thou dost extend Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Thy holy servant Jesus."
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them.
33 And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.
In the midst of pressure, the Apostles were faithful in following God over men.
Hopefully authority goes hand-in-hand, but when reign is wicked, it becomes less common.
They were preaching about His Death & Resurrection -- as we celebrate and commemorate this week, let our hearts be introspective as well as joyful.