Summary: In this passage Peter and John provide us with a rich example of men who brought change through the Spirit without losing the disciplines of their traditions. The apostles continued to observe the traditions of temple prayer three hours everyday without b
In this passage Peter and John provide us with a rich example of men who brought change through the Spirit without losing the disciplines of their traditions.
The apostles continued to observe the traditions of temple prayer three hours everyday without being Pharisaical. They could have insisted that Jesus came to bring about freedom from all aspects of the law since Christians are free to live under grace, but they chose not to.
Peter and John could have insisted that Jesus brought new rules, models and approaches to true worship but they did not want to unnecessarily turn people off.
Application: Ask the Lord to give you the wisdom, grace and cultural sensitivity to keep the disciplines of your spiritual traditions while bringing about change through the Spirit. Trust God to help you preserve the good of the old while integrating the best of what is spiritually new.
2. Peter and John knew that it would be bring greater qualitative and quantitative growth to the Christian church if they were to pray in the temple. The apostles knew that Christ had promised to build His church and this is best done in cooperation with others rather than by disjointed individual effort.
Application: Ask the Lord to give you the ability to work cooperatively with other members of the body of Christ instead of merely by yourself.
3. Peter and John did not use their new faith to prematurely bring about radical changes. The apostles chose to integrate the essential aspects of Christian worship into their fellowship while leaving the non-essential methods to be worked out by each congregation.
Application: Most people object more to who, why and when changes are made than their substance. Ask the Lord to help you to carefully watch the timing, methods, and agents of your changes.
4. Peter and John learned how to improve upon their rich religious traditions instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Spirit led people learn how to integrate new ideas, programs and methods with their spiritual traditions in a way that synergistically builds up rather than tears good things apart.
Application; Ask the Lord to help you improve people, programs and ministries instead of tearing them down.
5. Peter and John knew that the Christian changes would bring about great opposition from some people. The apostles eventually were led by the Spirit to find ways of amicably resolving the conflicts that change brought about.
Application: When conflicts become unmanageable, seek the wisdom of Godly arbitrators as the apostles did in the Acts 15 Jerusalem council. Trust the Lord to help bring in wise arbitrators, consultants and men of proven Godly authority to help mediate the conflicts brought about by change.
6. Peter and John believed in getting people to Christ before they expected them to change the ways of public worship.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you enhance peoples’ commitment to Christ, to His word and to His will before expecting them to change their worship styles.
7. Peter and John relied on the Spirit of God to bring about lasting and effective change. The apostles were wise enough to know that they should not fight Godâs battles for Him. Trust the Lord to help you win the victory over all problems.
8. Peter and John prayed in the temple courts so that others could learn from their prayers. When you are seeking to bring about changes publicly pray with others so they may learn and benefit from your spiritual devotion.
9. Peter and John learned that real change must happen internally before it can occur externally. Ask the Lord to bring about spiritual, mental, and emotional maturity in your people before expecting them to change in their lifestyles.
10. Peter and John emphasized obedience to the Lord in their innovations. Change for its own sake is worthless. The apostles knew that people must be convinced that the change is from the Lord and for His greater kingdom and righteousness or conflicts will result.
Application: Ask the Lord to help your changes come from firm Spirit led convictions in the leaders.