Summary: THE PASSAGE BEFORE US THIS MORNING IS THE RESULT OF ACTIVITIES IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER. IF YOU WERE TO FLIP THE PAGE BACK INTO CHAPTER 3, YOU WOULD SEE THAT PETER AND JOHN, WHILE WALKING UP TO THE TEMPLE, ENCOUNTER A MAN WHO CANNOT WALK, AND THROUGH THE
RESPONDING TO OPPOSITION
Proposition: OUTWARD OPPOSITION NEEDS TO BE RESISTED AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.
Introduction: THE PASSAGE BEFORE US THIS MORNING IS THE RESULT OF ACTIVITIES IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER. IF YOU WERE TO FLIP THE PAGE BACK INTO CHAPTER 3, YOU WOULD SEE THAT PETER AND JOHN, WHILE WALKING UP TO THE TEMPLE, ENCOUNTER A MAN WHO CANNOT WALK, AND THROUGH THE POWER OF GOD, HEAL HIM! THIS CREATES UPROAR IN THE TEMPLE, WHICH BRINGS US TO OUR TEXT FOR THE MORNING! THE RESULT OF THIS COMMOTION IS THAT THESE EARLY BELIEVERS FACE DOWN SOME SIGNIFICANT OPPOSITION TO THE GOSPEL.
Transition: THEIR SITUATION PROVIDES US WITH INFORMATION ON HOW WE SHOULD RESPOND AND DEAL WITH OPPOSITION WE WILL RECEIVE IF WE ARE SEEKING TO FOLLOW CHRIST.
I. RESISTANCE TO THE GOSPEL CAN COME AT ANY TIME AND IN A VARIETY OF FORMS
a. RESISTANCE CAME FROM DOING GOOD
Acts 4:9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed,
Acts 4:16 "What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it.
b. RESISTANCE CAME FROM A VARIETY OF CULPRITS – ACTS 4:1-6
i. CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
v. TEACHERS OF THE LAW
vi. HIGH PRIEST
x. OTHER MEN OF THE HIGH PRIEST’S FAMILY
c. RESISTANCE COMES FROM A CONFLICT OF BELIEF
i. SADDUCEES DENIED THE RESURRECTION, AND PETER AND JOHN WERE SAYING JESUS WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD.
ii. THIS GROUP WAS THE SAME GROUP THAT EXAMINED JESUS AND PUSHED FOR HIM TO BE CRUCIFIED
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: OUR IMPERATIVE IS THAT WE HAVE A LIVING GOSPEL TO SHARE. IF WE HAVE A LIVING SAVIOR, THEN WE HAVE A LIVING GOSPEL. IF WE HAVE A LIVING GOSPEL, THEN WE HAVE A CHOICE OF ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE.
GOD’S WORD GROWS OUT OF OPPOSITION
II. THE ACTIVITY OF RESISTANCE – WHAT HAPPENED TO PETER AND JOHN
a. THEY WERE DETAINED BECAUSE IT WAS TOO LATE FOR A TRIAL.
b. THEY WERE ARRESTED FOR CREATING A DISTURBANCE
c. THEY WERE RESTRICTED IN THEIR ACTIVITIES
d. THEY WERE COERCED TO GET THEM TO STOP
2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Acts 20:22-24 "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.