Summary: We need to demonstrate extreme courage daily as we stand for Christ.
EPIC Gathering-10/13/02-Extreme Courage (Acts 4)
Open to Acts 4
Story that took place not long after Christ’s death
One afternoon two of His followers, Peter & John, went to the temple for the 3 o’clock prayer service.
-come across a beggar, who had been unable to walk since birth
-asks for $, but they heal him instead
Classic understatement, vs. 12-Peter saw his opportunity
Preached in the temple.
Background for our text, ch. 4
Read vs. 1-22
Source of persecution-Saducees-the elite, wealthy ruling class
They had just “gotten rid of Jesus” weeks earlier
Now a small band of His followers are standing to continue to proclaim His message.
Want to silence them
-message was subversive-threatened their position w/ the Romans
-allowed them to occupy a position of power
-message also contradicted their teaching
-they denied the doctrine of the res. That Christ had so clearly shown to be a fact.
The apostles teaching was disruptive to their religious system.
World today-religious system-truth is subjective, many ways to God,
Against that Jesus stands to say “I am the way, the truth and the life”
And followers of Christ are labeled as bigots and narrow minded.
The truth of God, the message of His son Jesus Christ, is still, today disruptive to the worlds religious system.
Arrested Peter & John, put them in jail overnight, but the power of their message could not be contained-vs. 4-5,000 believers
2 questions we must answer:
What is righteousness & 2) how do we hunger & thirst for it?
Righteousness biblically has at least 3 aspects: Legal, moral and social
Legal righteousness is justification-having a right relationship w/ God.
Gen. 15:6, James 2:23-Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous.
Legally before God our righteousness is not based on what we do, it is based on our faith in Him.
Because of what Christ did, in taking our sins on the cross-when we accept that we are declared righteous and receive the righteousness of Christ.
Our right standing before God, not based on what we do-based on what Christ has done.
Second aspect-moral righteousness-this flows out of that first aspect of righteousness-because of who we are through Christ our lives are changed and we live lives of righteous character and conduct
This type of righteousness is not the stuff we do to try and earn God’s favor-we have that
This comes as the result of being in a right relationship w/ Him.
Third aspect-social righteousness, this is when we look at the world around us and see the injustice and oppression and long to see those things made right, work to fight hunger, slavery, seek justice in the courts.
Justice project/Compassion/World Vision/Samaritins Purse, etc.
So how do we hunger and thirst for this righteousness that God has called us to?
Fix your eyes on Jesus-Hebrews 12:2
Long for Him
Keep His company
Hungering after righteousness is at its core a continual hunger and thirst to know the Lord more and more each day.
What would you do differently in your life?
‘We cannot stop. We will not quit responding to what we have seen and heard. We are going to keep on keepin’ on. God, don’t worry about us.’ In the face of terror and torture, Peter and John didn’t stop. Why? They knew that the resurrected Lord was with them.
Quote I came across this week:
"Courage is when you are scared to death and you saddle up anyway."
Tonights theme extreme courage
#1 example-Jesus Christ going to the cross for us.
Early church-proclaiming the gospel in the face of persecution-We cannot stop telling about the wonderful things we have seen and heard.
We need to demonstrate that courage daily as we stand for Christ.
This is a place as you take that stand, for you to bring those who are seeking, respond at the cross or on the wall