Summary: The purpose of this mesage is to show believers the qualities of Christian Courage and encourage believers to tell the gospel story with truth and courage.
A. As I study a book of the Bible or a particular passage I do a lot of reading in commentaries.
1. Three of my favorites are The Pulpit Commentary, The Biblical Illustrator, and The Preacher’s Homiletic Commentary.
2. They each have their own style and some are easier to read than others
a. However, each of these is set up in about the same manner
b. They give a particular commentary on a verse or passage and then they give a lot of short outlines and brief messages from a variety of other men.
3. In them can be found good illustrations, interesting points and many different views.
4. But every now and then you come across a very good jewel.
5. And you wish you could hear the originator preach it, but often this is not possible because the author has probably been dead for years.
6. So the next best thing is to study the Scriptures in light of the material given and then set out to preach it yourself.
7. Such is the case tonight.
B. The following, entitled Christian Courage, is a reconstructed and expanded message, developed from a message entitled “The Courage of the Apostles” by H. Johnson, D.D. (The Preacher’s Homiletic Commentary, Vol. 25 – The Acts of the Apostles; 1996; Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI pp. 105-106)
1. As the title states this message is about courage
2. Its about the type of courage that should be manifested in Christians of all ages
3. Its something we need to hear about and I believe God would have us see from this passage Acts 4:1-14.
C. As we move through this passage I believe we need to see four things:
1. The Occasion of the Courage
2. The Secret of the Courage
3. The Characteristics of the Courage
4. The Effect of the Courage
5. May the Lord impart courage unto us, His children, in the time, manner and place that brings glory to Him!
To set the stage we need to first look at
I. THE OCCASON OF THE COURAGE, Acts 4:1-3, 5-7 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,  Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.  And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide… And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,  And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.  And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Here we see two things that are noteworthy concerning the occasion:
A. They were brought before Sanhedrin
1. This was the ruling body over the Jews in Jerusalem.
2. It was made up of
a. Sadducees, lawyers, Pharisees and Scribes
b. It included the high priest and many from his household.
3. It was in imposing assembly, made up of the intellectual and governmental and ecclesiastical power of the Jewish nation.
4. And as I mentioned last week, it was this group of people and this body that had condemned Jesus to death and saw to it that their desire was carried out by the Roman government.
5. To say the least, This was a formidable foe that had arrested them and brought them to be questioned!
B. But maybe more important was the Reason they were brought,  And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? - healing of the cripple and the preaching of the Gospel
1. Why is this important to us today? Because the occasion for courage has to do with the testimony and glory of God!
2. It one thing to stand before a court (which is what this was for all intensive purposes) for having done something evil, but for doing something good?
3. Many of us would have become irate or indigent about the situation.
4. We may look at this situation or others like it and wonder if we could be courageous
5. The answer to that will be found in our relationship with the Lord at the time of it happening. So we don’t have to worry about it ahead of time
6. Jesus had already warned them, But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. Matt 10:19