Summary: When was the last time shared your faith journey?
Is There a Witness in the House?
Opening words: You know the story. Jesus was executed on a Friday. Everyone thought it was over. However, everyone was wrong. It was just beginning. On Sunday morning a few women showed up at his tomb to pay their final respects. They made the discovery that changed the world. Jesus was alive! For forty days walked the face of this world in his resurrected state. During that sacred time period he did two things. First, he proved his was a bodily resurrection. In other words, he wasn’t a ghost. Second, he taught about the Kingdom of God. Next, Jesus ascended into heaven and entrusted the ministry to the disciples. On their own, the task of evangelizing the world seemed impossible but when the Holy Spirit arrived all things seemed possible. The church was created and the divine helper was changing lives. On a single day 3,000 people claimed the name of Jesus and were saved. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching’s, the fellowship and to worship. The apostles were changing too. They were learning how to trust the Holy Spirit and Peter healed a cripple. That leads us to today.
This summer’s sermon series is called Church Planting. We are looking at the Book of Acts and today we are in the forth chapter. This is the background. The news of Peter’s healing of the cripple had reached the ears of the Jewish ruling council, the Sanhedrin. They were the same group that had Jesus executed. They were not pleased about Peter’s healing and wanted to silence him. They arrest and interrogate Peter. May God give you ears to hear this morning’s scripture, Acts 4:1-22. Let me call this message Is There a Witness in the House?
Acts 4:1-22 1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
Warren Wiersbe once said, “Let God be the judge. Your job is to be the witness.” On Monday evening I was standing in the parking lot talking to a good friend. We talked about a variety of things when she suddenly looked at me and said, “Russ, did I tell you my witness?” This is her story so I will try to do it justice.