BREAKTHROUGH AND BREAKOUT
ACTS 5: 12~ 42
1. The Transformation of Peter. The real breakthrough in this chapter is the complete transformation of Pete. We are probably all familiar with the legendary outspoken, put your foot in it Peter.
2. How did Peter become fearless in the face of persecution, opposition, imprisonment, and punishment?
3. How did Peter become empowered to perform amazing signs and wonders so that people would even bring out their sick believing his shadow would heal them?
4. This breakthrough wasn’t due to the Crucifixion. We know at this time Peter had experienced utter failure denying his Lord three times.
· Yes he was a believer.
· Yes the Blood of Jesus, God The Son paid the price for his and our sins.
· Yet he was just a broken man “Sifted as Wheat”. (“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31~32).
5. This breakthrough was not due to the Resurrection. We read in John 20 verse 19 that along with the other disciples Peter was hidden behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. (“…the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews.”)
· Yes the Resurrection showed God the Father was completely satisfied with the price his Son paid at the Cross. (Are you? The Gospel John 3:16)). (“He (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” Romans 4:25)
· Yes Peter knew that the crucified Lord was alive. And that he was forgiven reconciled and commissioned to feed the Master’s sheep. (see John 21:15~17 “Do you love me … feed my sheep”).
· Yet Peter was not out there preaching the gospel, performing miracles ~ he was hidden away inside! Paralysed. Powerless.
6. So what caused the breakthrough?
Peter was just an ordinary guy, a fisherman from Galilee, with many weaknesses and fears, just like us.When the heat was on Peter wanted to dive into the shadows. To go undercover. Oh he knew Jesus was who he claimed to be but sadly Peter was not able to do the work...The stuff us Christians are suppose to do...Why is it, we withdraw to the comfort zone when the pressure is on?....
Its because thats the thing we do as humans.
Its only when we ask for God to give us an engine (Holy Spirit power) things start to happen
Recently on a mission trip to Havana in Cuba, I was fortunate to have a ride in a pink 50s style Cadillac. I was absolutely dumbstruck looking at this immaculate vehicle. We hopped inside awaiting the roar of the engine, instead it sounded more like a tractor than a Cadillac. The trouble is in Cuba they have the vehicle but can’t get the spare parts to fix them when they go wrong. They will use absolutely anything, washing machines thru to tractor engines to get the vehicle running. Just like us sometimes, we can be born again, we can be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, but we are not empowered. We need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in order to become effective Cadillac Christians.
· God the Holy Spirit transformed Peter on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1~4). He was a Christian, saved by the blood of Jesus, and a witness to the resurrection but still lacked something. But after the fire of God filled Peter he was never ever the same again.
· Peter received the power on high that Jesus promised. That was the breakthrough God needed for his church to break out. (Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power on high”. And Acts 1:8 “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses.”)
7. The results speak for themselves. As the disciples broke out of their comfort zones behind those closed doors they had the anointing and power to proclaim the Good News. Whatever the cost. And there is a cost ~ we too can face persecution and opposition.
8. Being filled with the Spirit is not a once for all time experience. In Ephesians 5:18 we read “Do not get drunk on wine, … Instead be filled with the Spirit. The meaning indicates that the filling is continuous. As DL Moody aptly said we leak! We need to be filled repeatedly so that we are empowered for worship, service and testimony. After all it was not too long after the day of Pentecost that we read in Acts 4:31 the church were filled yet again with the Holy Spirit. (“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”).
9. The results happened as a result of their infilling of the Holy Spirit. Strangely enough I don’t think the disciples were actually aiming for the amazing results that came. It was God drawing people to himself, healing the sick, confirming the Gospel with signs and wonders through his Church.
The change in Peter was not physical it was where it was really needed on the inside. It’s where we need God to utterly change us too. Can I ask:
· Are you forgiven ~ Good! The Gospel John 1:12.
· Are you commissioned ~ Yes you are! (Matt 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples …).
· Are you ready ~ No!
If we want to see God at work in ordinary people like ourselves, to make a difference where we live, to impact our families and communities, then we need God to break through with us just like Peter. We desperately need to receive power on high. Then we will be ready to break out of our comfort and safety zones. Into Lion Country. Are you up for it? Don’t become a "James Bond" Christian (operating under cover)Get out there and tell them!! Keeping good news to yourself never cut it. Become a stepping stone to someone else’s salvation....Theres Treasure waiting for you...In Heaven