Summary: Dr. Wood used this sermon to encourage the listeners that in the midst of opposition all Christian can draw from a higher power, and that power is from the Holy Spirit.
Some history must be covered before we can understand what took place and how we can apply this passage of Scripture to our lives today.
First take note of verse 2 they, the apostles taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
In verse one if we were to do a literal translation from the Greek we could find that the Sadducees were “they burst upon them suddenly and expressed a hostile attitude of anger”
What we find in the verses of the focus scripture is a meeting of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin was a supreme judicial legislative court in Jerusalem presided over by the High Priest.
There were three groups and two parties that made up the Sanhedrin. The groups can be found in verse 5 – the rulers, elders, and scribes
Rulers were the chief Priest
Elders were tribal family heads
Scribes were experts in the law
The two parties that make up the Sanhedrin were the:
The Pharisees – they were committed to the preservation of the law and Jewish tradition. They were committed to every minute detail of regulations. They were known for their every detail of legalism. Theologically they believed in the possibility of the resurrection, they were still waiting for the coming messiah (many strings were attached to this idea for them)
Today they may be the people who are upset if we do not take communion on the second Sunday of the third month of each quarter.
The Sadducees – they were landowners and controlled the wealth. They held the power close to the chest. They held dialog with foreign leader for material gain. Their desire was to keep peace at any price. They did not want to see any change in power. Theologically they were n conflict with the Pharisees. They did not believe in the spirit realm, they did not look for the messiah. They recognized the fact that if the messiah were to come, their world would be turned upside-down.
Both parties wanted to keep things just the way they were and the apostles were beginning to cause a change for their traditions.
One may ask who are today’s Pharisees and Sadducees.
Are they in the church or outside the church? A quick answer to that question is both.
Make note that the apostles were arrested and put in jail overnight. Why did they not call the Sanhedrin together right away? There was a rule that prohibited this counsel to be called together at night. This was not the case here. They wanted to get their act together and build a coalition with the Pharisees.
Today this coalition takes place in impromptu meeting places. The coffee shop, Dinner table, Breakfast meetings all become a council meeting. Recently Dr. Edwin Jenkins of The Alabama Baptist state board of missions said he pastured for 20 years and one of the spots this coalition took place was at the Texaco bench.
Look at some aspects of facing down opposition.
I. Holy Boldness
a. In verse 13 we see that Peter and John were uneducated and untrained. These rulers recognized this as an inadequacy. What they did not realize was that they were not un-learned.
i. Both learned the power of the Holy Spirit and His indwelling boldness.
ii. Peter and John chose to respond from the heart and not the head.
iii. Education and training comes from the head, but learning will come from the heart.
iv. People may know the Bible and be educated and trained in it but until we learn of the Bible’s power we are useless.
b. If you refer back to the trial of Jesus you will find the very names these guys were confronted with.
i. Imagine the opposition and sense of intimidation.
ii. Peter and john both recognized that the Holy Spirit is both a purifier and a power Giver.
1. Act 1:8
c. Peter – “Filled with the holy Spirit” this is different from being full of the Holy Spirit.
i. To be full of the Holy Spirit is to be surrendered and to be both a container and a transmitter of the Spirit of God.
ii. Peter was “filled” this is a passive participle the Greek word pimplçmi comes from the root word plçthô, play´-tho
iii. Simply put Peter was totally surrendered to be used totally by God. There was not any of Peter left.
II. Namely Boldness
a. The very name of Jesus was the boldness of Peter and John and in fact all of the disciples.
i. We are told of missionaries going into a tribal area and teaching about God and Jesus Christ. The people are amazed, they say oh we knew He existed but we now have a name and that name is Jesus
b. If we look back it was the name of Jesus that they had healed the lame man. It was the name of Jesus why they were there.