Summary: Satan attacked the church and attacks the church often by using opposing philosophies and beliefs held by man.

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The Book of Acts is the record of the “firsts” of the Church: First Sermon. First Invitation. First Salvations. First Baptisms. First Corporate Commitments. First Recorded Miracle…

First Opposition

ACTS 4:1-12

“What About Mother’s Day???!!!???” I realize that some of you may be thinking that I have totally forgotten what today is. Let me assure you that I have not and while the message may seem totally irrelevant for the day when it is all said and done I am going to encourage the woman of God here today. It is like a master cook. The kitchen may be a mess during the process—ingredients all over the place, knives here, spoons there, disheveled hair, etc…--when the finished product comes off the grill or out of the oven it is exactly what it was intended to be. So it will be with this message.

The Opposition 4:1-4

Each group was greatly offended for differing reasons. The priests, rulers, elders and scribes were people who, because of their positions, benefited from a religious system that was being threatened by the new movement that was proclaiming Jesus as the Risen Savior and Lord who came to do what their religious system was unable to do—complete forgiveness of sins. The Sadducees were greatly annoyed because what was being preached did not agree with what they believed. The Sadducees were the doctrinal “liberals” of the day and they rejected any form of resurrection and consequently the afterlife. Jesus was being proclaimed as the Risen Savior and Lord who offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life to those who, by faith, believe in Him. They disagreed with Peter and John’s beliefs so they were greatly annoyed (some things never change). Furthermore, the Sadducees were more concerned with politics than they were with religion even though the position they held was a religious one. They were the wealthy, affluent and elite of society and had as their highest priority cooperation with and appeasement of Rome and its political system/agenda. The Sadducees were greatly annoyed because the crowd was rejoicing greatly over a man who had been healed by Jesus and they perceived another uprising about to begin over this Jesus guy and feared Rome would become alarmed and respond with force. They thought they had done away with this troublemaker Jesus!

The Interrogation 4:5-7

Due to the timing of the event, Peter and John were taken into custody for the night and brought before the religious leaders the following day. When the hearing takes place we find the number of plaintiffs growing as the elders, rulers and many of the high priestly family align themselves with those who are GREATLY ANNOYED at Peter and John’s preaching of Jesus as the Risen Savior and Lord. They begin questioning Peter and John regarding in whose name or by whose power this miraculous healing had been performed. At a fundamental level the religious council was wanting to know on whose behalf they were performing these miracles. They, being the religious council, knew that they had not granted them permission to do something like this so in their mind surely they were not working in the name and power of God. They probably assumed, like they did with Jesus, that these men were doing these things in name and power of Satan. Whatever the motivation behind their questioning, Peter sees this as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” because now he has the privilege of preaching Jesus to the religious ruling council (Sanhedrin) of the Jews.

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