Summary: Our source of strength should come from the Lord.

How to be Strong Without the Spinach

Acts 4:8-12

Sept. 10, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor


A During WWII, meat was in short supply in the U.S. & the government rationed it in an attempt to send it to the men serving in the armed forces in the European theater.

1 Popeye was hired by the U.S. Government to promote the idea of eating spinach as a substitute for meat.

a In the 1890’s a German scientist had shown that spinach contains the same amount of iron as meat (iron is one essential the body needs to build strength)

b The Germans proved that spinach contains iron, but when they published their results, they put the decimal point in the wrong place (10.5-1.05)

c Overestimated the amount of iron in spinach by a factor of 10!

d The substitute they were trying to make wasn’t enough.

2 It wasn’t until after WWII that the correction made it across the ocean.

B Historical Background

1 In Jerusalem, shortly after the day of Pentecost, John & Peter, through the power of the name of Jesus, healed a crippled beggar.

a As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. Acts 4:1-3 (NASB) The police, who worked for the temple, put them in jail.

b The next day, Peter & John were put through an oral examination by the religious leaders (Sanhedrin, who 5 weeks earlier had put a young carpenter from Galilee on trial)

aa The Sanhedrin’s job (Deut. 13) was to protect the Jewish faith, & this meant to examine every new teacher/teaching that sprung up.

bb It was within their right to investigate what the church was doing.

c Not right to arrest innocent men & then refuse to honestly examine the evidence (healed cripple).

d Question was simple, yet scornful: "By what power (doo-nami, might, strength) or in what name have you done this?" When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?" Acts 4:7 (NASB)

2 Peter is once again filled with the Holy Spirit (1 of 3 x’s in Acts 2:4, 4:8, 4:31)

a And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit ...Eph 5:18 (NASB) Eph. 5:18 tells us to be filled with the Holy Spirit if we’re to be effective witnesses for Christ.

b Then Peter lets loose

C Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 "He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. 12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:8-12 (NASB)

1 Peter came with the power of God on his plate when he had to come to the plate (essence of the text in a sentence).

2 Our source of strength should come from the Lord (essence of the sermon in a sentence)

a I pray you will examine what’s on your spiritual plate that pleases God (objective).

b What’s on your plate? (Probing question)

c Let’s browse what kind of substitutes are used for God’s power on people’s plates (transitional sentence).

d Pray

I Some substitutes seem sensible.

A The very council Peter & John stood before was full of sensible substitutes for God’s power.

1 They were religious, knowledgeable men from a long line of religious, knowledgeable men.

a Religious: at temple every time the doors were open, served on the council, did everything a good Jew would do.

b Educated: knew their Bible, Jewish law, history

c Family: to sit on the Sanhedrin, you had to be in the family of the high priest ...and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. Acts 4:6 (NASB) generations of serving in the temple.

2 These men had plates full of self, not things of the Spirit.

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