Summary: Steps in becoming as determined as Peter and his colleagues to make Christ known.
Determination To Make Christ Known
By a show of hands how many of you like fishing?
Explain how Arnhem Land ruined me!
Well, I want to tell you a story about three people who went on a fishing trip together: A priest, a pastor, & a rabbi went out in a boat to catch fish. They tried every kind of bait, but the fish wouldn’t be in it! So after awhile, the priest got out of the boat and walked across the water to a better place. Then the rabbi got out & walked across the water to a good spot. The pastor thought to himself, ‘I’m not going to be left out of this’, so he stepped out of the boat - & BLOOP! sank. He floundered around, climbed back into the boat, & tried again - and again & again & again. Exhausted & just about at drowning point he got ready to try yet again! The priest looked at the rabbi, the rabbi looked at the priest & the priest said, ‘You reckon we should tell him where the stepping stones are?’
This morning we’re going to look for the stepping stones - stones that provide help in making Jesus known. I have called today’s message, ‘Determination to Make Christ Known’. The priest and the rabbi knew where the stepping stones were to enable them to fish – let’s find some stepping stones to help us present Jesus Christ.
I suppose the first question we need to address is this - should we in fact have a holy determination to make Christ known?
Turn to Acts chapter 4, where we’ll try to discover some stepping stones.Penny will read vss 8-12 and John Doodt vss 13-22.
Listen carefully to the Word of God as it is read to us. See if you can discern critical truths, stepping stones, to help us in our quest to make Christ known.
(READ – ACTS 4:8-12 FOLLOWED BY 13-22)
We heard in those verses a portion of Peter’s address to the Sanhedrin. What was the Sanhedrin? A lame man had been healed (we reed about that in chapter 3), and the Jewish authorities go ballistic! Yet nothing could silence Peter and his colleagues. They were ‘Determined to Make Christ Known’. Why were they determined to make Him known?
Well verse 11 gives us our first stepping stone and part of the answer as to why these men were determined to make Christ known. Their eyes had been opened to the fact that this Jesus was the one spoken of by the prophets – at your own leisure look up Ps 118:22; Is 28:16; 1 Cor 3:11 and Eph 2:20 where we are told that -
1. HE (that is Jesus Christ) IS THE FOUNDATION STONE
You see the primary stepping stone is Jesus Christ Himself. He (verse 11 tells us) is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Or the cornerstone, or the foundation stone – the primary stone is none other than Jesus Christ. Peter and John were determined to make Him known not because they wanted the challenge, or to win the theological argument, but because they knew Him to be essential.
We need to understand that Jesus is essential. And that should compel us to make Him known.
So the chief stepping stone we discover from God’s Word when looking at the example of Peter & John is to see that all things hold together in and through Jesus. And in presenting Him we need to convey that.
In your own mind ask yourself this question right now, ‘Do I believe that Jesus is essential?’ If you answered ‘yes’, then you have a responsibility to communicate that to others.
He is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.
The second stepping stone we discover in looking at the example of Peter and John is to -
2. PRESENT JESUS AND HIM ALONE
This is not fashionable! We live in an age of tolerance & acceptance & equality. An age that does not know the meaning of love. An age where truth takes second place to feelings & love is determined by feelings.
Listen to Isaiah 45:22
Listen to John 10:7-9
Listen to John 14:6
Rescue is found in a Person, & there’s only one person in whom it’s found. That may not sound politically correct, but it’s true! The Spirit proclaimed through the apostle Peter, Salvation is found in no one else, there is no other name under heaven given by which we must be saved.Deliverance comes in the Person of Jesus Christ. Not through any other person, or creed, or church, or system or works. It’s only found in the Person of Christ.
A way in helping us to become determined in making Christ known is to see Him as the only answer to man’s need. Answer this question honestly before God – ‘Do I see Him as the only way?’