Summary: To establish that the man of God cannot be silent regarding the word of the Lord. Even amidst threatenings, persecutions and the fear of death; he will speak the truth boldly, in the face of dignitaries, dungeons, or degenerated people.
Peter and John’s Preaching
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing the first lesson in our series on the theme: “We cannot but speak.” This lesson deals with the challenges of the men of God that speak the word of God in truth. We will see how neither threatenings, beatings; imprisonment or the face of death could silence them. There will be times we will be called upon to speak unto both those desirous to hear our message; and before those that would rebel against: “Thus saith the Lord.” The Lord has not given us: “The spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” 2 Timothy 1:7. We must be, “bold fearless preachers” because the Lord has sent us to speak His word with confidence and without fear.
2. We will consider the preaching of Peter and John before the High Priest and elders of the Sanhedrin council. Peter and John had just performed a notable miracle, by healing the man that was lame from birth before the Temple of God. For this miracle and preaching of the name of Jesus of Nazareth; they were brought before the Jewish council after being charged, not to speak anymore in this name. Peter and John answered: “And said unto them, whether it (is) right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard,” Acts 4:19-20. With this introduction, let’s consider our first point: “Peter and John’s Preaching.”
BODY OF LESSON
I PETER AND JOHN’S PREACHING
A. A miracle at prayer time. Truly, a notable miracle had just been witnessed, the healing of a man that was a crippled from his mother’s womb. While Peter and John were entering into the Temple called Beautiful, he was begging alms from the people. Peter looked upon the man and said: “Silver and gold I have not; but that which I have I give thee. Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” Notice:
1. The response: “And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”
2. The witnesses: “And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the temple gate, called Beautiful.”
3. The effect: “And they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering,” Acts 3:1-11.
a. Luke states, the people came together with amazement unto Peter, being filed with excitement and joy. Truly, something spectacular has happen in this city today; “the lame man had been healed!”
b. The people said of Jesus’ healing of a man with palsy: “And he went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion,” Mark 2:12. We have never seen anything like this before! Some of us might say: “This blows my mind!”
B. Peter’s preaching. This miracle prompted the preaching of Peter, who gave the glory of this miracle unto Jesus: “And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or, why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?” See Acts 3:12. Don’t look on us as the ones that are doing these things! Notice:
1. This is the work of God. Peter continues: “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses,” Acts 3:13-15. It appears that the audience has changed; but, the message remains the same (Jesus Christ and Him crucified!).
2. The name of Jesus: “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all,” Acts 3:16.
3. The message: “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled,” Acts 3:17-18.