Summary: A midweek Bible study on Acts 4
“TAKE A STAND” ACTS 4
FBCF – 6/3/20 Midweek Service
The Cheyenne Dog Soldier wore a long leather sash on the back of his warrior regalia. In a fight he would drop this sash on the ground with it still attached to him. He would place a sacred arrow that he carried through the end of it and stand there and fight until he either was killed or had won the victory. He would "stand his ground" to the end.
Acts 4 is a TAKE A STAND kind of chapter.
- Peter & John – both apostles of Jesus
- Had healed the lame man at the temple
- Peter capitalized on the opportunity to preach the Gospel when the stunned crowd gathered at Solomon’s portico (3:11).
Let me talk about what it means to be an apostle:
- “apostle” – one who is sent out
- In NT, word used to refer to the actual 12 apostles who were w/ Jesus. Also refers to individuals who were sent out to be messengers & ambassadors of Jesus Christ.
- The 12 apostles had a unique place at a unique time in Christians history:
o First messengers of the Gospel after Jesus’ death & resurrection
o They were the foundation of the Church w/ Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone – Eph. 2:19-21
o This type of apostle is no longer present in the church. Specific qualifications:
? Eyewitness to resurrected Christ
? Specifically chosen by the Spirit for this ministry
? Ability to perform miraculous signs & wonders
o Their specific responsibility – to lay foundation of Church – is done. No longer needed today.
o But all of us are to serve as apostles in the sense of being sent out as messengers of the Gospel.
v. 1-4 – THE ARREST OF THE APOSTLES
“And as they were speaking…” – “While Peter & John were speaking…” – The religious leaders interrupted them to stop the spread of the Gospel.
- Priests – Jewish priests w/ special influence. Sometimes relatives of the High Priest.
- Captain of Temple Guard – 2nd in command just below the High Priest
- Sadducees – small but powerful group that didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead
“greatly annoyed” – disturbed, irked – The Gospel has the tendency to do that.
- 1 Cor. 1:18 – “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
Arrested them & took them into custody. But not before a couple thousand more men got saved, meaning that the total # of Christians could have been in excess of 10,000 now.
- Incredible growth of the Church!
- You can’t stop the Spirit!
- You can’t stop the Gospel!
- “If there is anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness [in the church], it is in the matter of sending the Gospel to a dying world.” (Spurgeon)
v. 5-12 – THE MESSAGE OF THE APOSTLES
After the spend night in jail, brought before all the religious leaders (v. 5-6).
Asked them about the power with which they had healed the man, or the name they had used (v. 7).
v. 8 – That was like pouring gas onto a fire!
“Peter, filled w/ the Spirit” – Remember what Jesus told His disciples? Luke 12:11-12 – “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues & before the rulers & authorities, don’t worry about what to say in your defense, for the HS will teach you what needs to be said even as you are standing there.”
- I LOVE THIS PROMISE!
- Still applies to us today!
v. 9-12 – Peter then turned the table on the leaders &, instead of he & John being on trial, he put the council on trial by showing them that the one that THEY HAD CRUCIFIED had risen from the dead & HE was the One who had given them the power & authority through His name.
- Peter made it clear that it was JESUS who had done this!
o ALWAYS point to Jesus!
o It was Jesus who had done this! It was the power of the resurrected & ascended Christ. HE is the One who had such power!
v. 11-12 – Then Peter drove the point home by emphasizing that Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone, even though the Jews had rejected Him.
- There is no other Head than Jesus
- There is no other Name than Jesus
- No preacher is able to save. No teacher is able to save. No priest is able to save. No apostle is able to save. ONLY JESUS can save!
o He alone is the Savior!
o His name alone is the Name that will save!