Summary: There is no gain without pain so being a voice for God will bring you opposition
Sermon Series: Being a Voice for God (a study of Acts chapters 1-4
Text: Acts 4:1-4
Title: No Pain, No Gain
"Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand."
When you become a voice for God there comes a day when you come face to face with opposition. For the disciples Acts 4 is that day. In Acts 4:1-4 we read a combination of good news and bad news. There is pain and there is gain. The pain came in the form of opposition from the religious establishment and the gain came in the form of 5000 men been added to the church. The phrase "No Pain, No Gain" is biblical!!
If we are honest we would admit that we would like the gain without the pain. However it has been said that if you gain without pain, someone else took the pain before you. And if you have pain without gain; someone will gain from your pain after you.
Looking at Acts 4:1-4 we notice that the very same word brought two completely different responses. The same word brought pain from some and gain from others.Truly there is no such thing as a message that pleases all who hear it. What will make one person glad with make another person mad. Being a voice for God will bring opposition. Since opposition is a fact of life then I could just say nothing to anyone. After all No pain is good. But what part of "No Pain, No Gain," hurts you the most? Certainly for Jesus He endured the pain so He could see the gain.and should we not do the same? (Hebrews 12:2)
So what causes opposition anyway? The answer from our text is that opposition is a result of a clash of convictions.Now convictions are not the same as opinions. Opinions change a lot but convictions tend to stay the same. Convictions are those beliefs we would go to jail for. So what was the conviction that brought about the opposition? In verse 2 we are told, "and being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from dead." So the clash was about what we have in Jesus. We believe that we have everything we need in Jesus alone. After all if Jesus can raise you from the dead everything else is easy stuff. If raising someone from the dead is the standard for any religion then every other religion besides Christianity fails to meet the standard. No wonder the disciples face opposition. When you exalt Jesus above eveyone else you are going to make other religions mad.Peter goes on later to point out that only Jesus can heal (v7-10) and only Jesus can save (v12).
So where do we get our convictions from? Well the answer is from the word of God. Believing the word added 5000 more people to the church and to the gift of salvation and resurrection from the dead. In order for our convictions to be correct they must line up with the Word of God.Although the disciples were also convinced of their convictions through seeing Jesus risen they made the point of reminding the opposition that the resurrection of Jesus was in line with the word of God.. In verse 11 they quote Psalm 118:22.
The reality is that some people will never change dispite being confronted with the Word of God. Pride, position and power will blind them to having the right convictions about Jesus. Therefore we also need the courage given by God to live out our convictions. (v13) This courage comes from being with Jesus. Spending time with Jesus will strengthen your convictions. .