Summary: The name of Jesus was the secret of the boldness of the apostles. The Lord had promised to be with them and whatever they asked in His name would be given them.
THE BOLDNESS OF THE NAME
ACTS 4:9-12 P2.
Mini-series...by next time much of excitement is gone...
Review...vs. 7...8 Peter filled with boldness
The name of Jesus was the secret of the boldness of the apostles. The Lord had promised to be with them and whatever they asked in His name would be given them.
As we have seen, it was in the name of the Lord Jesus that they had healed the lame man who now stood before Sanhedrin as living proof. And yet, it was with a prideful, mocking tone that the high priest had asked by what name they had performed the miracle.
He was implying that it was by some magical formula or words of an exorcist that had caused this miracle to take place. But Peter's response was much more than the Sanhedrin had bargained for.
At that time, the word "name" meant the nature, personality, authority and power of a person. We talked about this before. In Hebrew, the name of God was synonymous with His presence.
For example, 2 Samuel 7:13 speaks of the name of God dwelling in His sanctuary. The biblical name for God indicates His attributes. Jesus came in the name of the Lord and sent His disciples out to preach and heal in His name.
To speak or act in the name of another was to invoke his presence and power. Note that when Jesus healed or did a miracle, He did not do it by God's name. He was the name Emmanuel, God with us.
The authority and power which was in Him was now delegated and entrusted to the apostles and the church. By His name -His presence- they were empowered to do what He had done during His ministry here on earth.
I've repeated this point over and over the last several weeks, but it needs to be repeated until you really catch hold of the truth and impact it has for each of you.
Just as Jesus had said to the man by the pool of Bethesda, "Rise, take up your bed and walk" (John 5:8), so too in His power the apostles said to the beggar, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6).
It had worked just as Jesus had promised. The power of the living Christ was at work through them. The actual evidence of healing had revived and increased their faith.
This explains the boldness before the Sanhedrin. Personal experiences of the power of the name working through us make us unafraid, ready for anything people.
The question is...have you experienced - personally - the power of the name? If not, why? What holds you back from taking God at His word? What keeps you from believing that Jesus really is the same yesterday, today, and forever?
Peter did experience it...and now he begins to soar in his clear, driving witness. He wants no mistake as to what name healed the lame man. It was Jesus of Nazareth, the same Jesus that the Sanhedrin crucified.
Peter actually accused the leaders of the death of Jesus. Bold! Then he went on to make very clear that this Jesus was none other than the Messiah.
He quoted Psalm 118:22, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone" and Isaiah 28:16. "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily."
This was another vital source of boldness for Peter...the standard and the authority of Scripture. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the prophets of old...
He was the foundation stone or the keystone at the top of the corner, binding the walls together where they meet. Both meanings are intended by Peter.
The point for us is that when we are founded on Scripture, on more than our own ideas, feelings, or experience...we are able to speak with unbridled audacity.
Peter had the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures that contained the prophesies about the Messiah. Throughout the preaching of Acts and the teaching of the epistles, there is always a fresh explosion of excitement and enthusiasm when ancient Scripture is identified with the coming of Christ and His ministry among us.
My life is spent studying the Scriptures and working with people... and the two can never be separated. Boldness in loving, and preaching & teaching, and helping people discover the power of Christ is empowered by daily inspiration in the Word of God. The power of the name almost explodes from every page.
The powerful name of Jesus is available to us today. It's time we discover that the power in His name unlocks the resources of God. In the name of Christ, we have access to the heart of God...and an assurance of His availability through the Holy Spirit.