Summary: We examine the strongholds operating in Peter and John when they were confronted by the religious leaders
The last time we were together, we began looking at ways of thinking that the Apostle Paul describes as “strong holds.” Found only in 2 Corinthians 10:4, “strongholds” are wrong thoughts and beliefs about God that have been emotionally hardwired into our minds that hinder, what 2 Timothy 2:4 describes is a desire “to come unto a knowledge of the truth.”
Strongholds are lies that have been engrained so deeply into our minds and belief systems that we believe they are true.
Second Corinthians 10:5 says when it comes to dealing with strongholds – and let’s see how Paul describes them – we must “cast down imaginations, and every high thing.” He says strongholds are “imaginations” and “every high thing.”
Let’s turn to 2 Corinthians 10. We’re going to read verses three, four and five.
(3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh;
(4) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
(5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Paul is creating an image of a person forcefully pulling down and demolishing lies and wrong beliefs that have been elevated above the truth of God’s Word. Strongholds, as used here in Second Corinthians, are untruths about God that have been elevated above truths about God.
So, how do we deal with beliefs that are not true when it comes to God? We must demolish the untruth by imposing God’s truth on them and we do this by creating new strongholds in our minds based on God’s truth. And ladies and gentlemen, God’s truth is only found in God’s Word. God’s truth is only found in the Bible.
Today, we’re going to look at Acts 4 and the strongholds operating in the lives of Peter and John as they confront the religious leaders. But before we do that, let me remind you of the definition of Godly strongholds.
Godly strongholds are ways of thinking about God, based on His Word, that have been so engrained in our minds and belief systems that we know and confess that they are true.
Now turn to Acts 4. We’re going to read a chunk of verses, beginning with verse 13. But to understand the context of what we’re about to read, I encourage you to read Acts 3 and the first 12 verses of Acts 4 because I’m only going to touch on a few things from Acts 3.
Peter and John are walking toward the temple at the hour of prayer. They see a man who has never walked; he was born crippled.
Let’s read some of Acts 3. We’re going to pick it up in verse 2.
(2) And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb and carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which was called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered the temple;
(3) Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
(4) And Peter, fasting his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
(5) And he gave heed (The man did what Peter asked him to do.) unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
As the man asks for alms, Peter looks at him and says, and I love this.
(6) Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: (Now I want you to pay attention to “the such as I have” that Peter gives to the man.) In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
(7) And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
(8) And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping, and praising God.
Do you see what’s happening? Can you imagine the commotion this must have caused? A man that the people knew and walked past every day for years is now walking and leaping! Can you say running! And he’s praising God at the top of his lungs! Wow!
The wonderful and miraculous power of Jesus was on full display, ladies and gentlemen, simply because Peter said “What I have inside of me – a life that has power to bring the miraculous – I am going to share it with you.”
The same life that lived in Peter now lives in us! We have power – the same power – that can bring the miraculous! The power is in us, ladies and gentlemen. It is resident in our born again spirits! It’s the same power that lives in Jesus! It’s the same power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead! It’s now in us!