Summary: When we meet Peter and John in Acts 4, they are in a situation that we would expect to produce fear. Fear is a rational response. •They have been arrested and thrown in prison. Their very lives are threatened. •Yet instead of fear, we see boldness a
Standing Firm on a Solid Foundation
Fear. It is perhaps the common human emotion. And we all have things we are afraid of.
•There are scientific names for every fear imaginable.
•There is claustrophobia, the fear of enclosed places; acrophobia, the fear of high places; agoraphobia, the fear of open places
•One fear made famous by Steven Spielberg in his movie of the same name is Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. My wife has serious Arachnophobia. She will call me from any duty I am doing to come kill a spider.
•There are all kinds of obscure phobias: anthropophobia, the fear of people; bacteriophobia, the fear of bacteria; zoophobia, the fear of animals; eisopetrophobia, the fear of mirrors; metophobia, the fear of money; telephonophobia, the fear of the telephone; blennophobia, the fear of slime; musophobia, the fear of mice; microphobia, the fear of small things; neophobia, the fear of new things
•There are still more: scotophobia, fear of darkness; carcinophobia, fear of cancer; hydrophobophobia, the fear of rabies; algophobia, the fear of pain; kinetophobia, the fear of motion; tachophobia, the fear of speed; autophobia, the fear of being alone; There is triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number thirteen; oikophobia, the fear of home; thanathophobia, the fear of death; hypegiaphobia, the fear of responsibility (I know a few guys who have that one); that can be related to gametophobia, the fear of marriage;
•There is even phobophobia, the fear of fear. And if you can’t make up your mind. There is pantophobia, the fear of everything.
•If you are here this morning, you probably don’t have Ecclesiophobia, the fear of church. Gymnasiaphobia – I just made that one up.
Fear is in fact a good thing. Without it, we would not know when to run; when to tread cautiously.
•Fear of snakes is a good thing, for example, when a 7 foot rattler lying in front of you on the hiking trail.
•Fear of the dark is a good thing when walking alone at night in a dangerous neighborhood
When we meet Peter and John in Acts 4, they are in a situation that we would expect to produce fear. Fear is a rational response.
•They have been arrested and thrown in prison. Their very lives are threatened.
•Yet instead of fear, we see boldness and courage. Boldness and courage that could only come from the power of the Spirit of God in their lives.
Turn with me to Acts 4
•Last week we saw how Peter and John healed a man who had been lame at the Temple gate.
•The man was begging and called out for money; Peter had no money, but he gave him something better, he healed him in Jesus’ name.
•When a crowd formed Peter seized the opportunity to tell them about Jesus.
Our story today picks up where that one took off. Just as Peter is finishing preaching, the Temple authorities show up.
•They are concerned by the crowd, which could mean a riot; and they don’t like what Peter is saying so they arrest him and John and throw them in jail overnight.
•Read 4:1-3 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.