Summary: There is no name like the name of Jesus. This message shows the power of the name of Jesus in the early church and reminds us that that power has not faded. Jesus still heals, He still saves and He is still on HIs throne. 5 main points in the message.

“The Powerful Name of Jesus”

Acts 4:13-31

These men who stood here and witnessed the courage of Peter and John were now in a huge dilemma. No matter which way they turned they were trapped. They couldn’t deny the miracle that this lame man had been healed because he was standing there-completely on his own. Not only standing but he was shouting and leaping and praising God right in front of the church. They were trapped. They could not explain how unschooled, ordinary, uneducated men could heal someone. Peter and John were fishermen, they weren’t professionals like the scribes and they weren’t ministers at least not officially. These men had one claim to fame...they were disciples of Jesus but there was one small problem. According to the Jews, Jesus was dead.

There are at least 4 things here that the scripture seems to point out about Peter and John. (1) They had courage. Defying the authorities in Jerusalem could get them sentences to a quick execution. (2) They were unschooled. They had no formal religious training like the Rabbis did. (3) They were ordinary. No religious qualifications. (4) They had been taught by Christ....they had been with Jesus.

Now here was the problem. The Jews were really responsible for the crucifixion; they hated Jesus and these two men were his disciples. Now the Sanhedrin didn’t have very many options. The Sanhedrin is made up of 70 members plus the high priest. They were basically the Supreme Court, the final authority in religious matters. But they had come to the conclusion that punishment was not necessary. But they still had the problem that they could not deny what had happened.

So it brings us to a very important point. (1) God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary work. It has always amazed me that God has chosen certain people to do His work. Myself included. He chooses ordinary, average people. Following the events of September 11th, 8 years ago, Lisa Beamer the wife of Todd Beamer who along with one other man took on the terrorists on Flight 93 and caused the plane to go down in a field rather than at our nation’s capitol. Lisa said about her husband, he was an ordinary guy. He was ordinary to his family but to the world he was extraordinary. You know the story already. Todd was on flight 93 headed for San Francisco. On that tragic day when nearly 3000 people were killed, Todd Beamer was on that flight. When it became evident that the terrorists were going to take the plane down, they had apparently already killed the pilot, Todd knew that he was going down as well. Everyone on that plane was. So Todd Beamer picked up the airfone and called the airline. He spoke to an agent told her that they were being hijacked, he prayed with her...together they recited the Lord’s prayer and then he told her to please call his wife and tell her I love her and the boys also.

Then he put down the phone. The agent remained on the line...she heard screams...lots of noise and then she heard Todd’s final words. He said Let’s roll! Those were words he used often at home. Todd had enlisted another man,

Jeremy Glick and together they guided the plane down to a field where there would be no other tragedies. Instead of landing in the nation’s capitol the landed in a field. This was an ordinary man but he will never be forgotten. Peter and John-ordinary men but with extraordinary commitment. The things they did to help launch the early church were certainly not ordinary. These are the kinds of people God uses...because they break away from the norm.

2nd we notice that God’s people must make difficult choices. Will we obey God or man? Verses 15-20. This is a difficult circumstance for anyone. Consider these verses of scripture.

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and unto God the things that are God’s.” Jesus spoke these words.

1 Timothy 2:2-3 (NIV) for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. [3] This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

Romans 13:1 (LB) Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power.

Acts 5:29 (LB) But Peter & the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than men.

A few principles we see here... (1) Give God what is His. Give the government what is theirs. Don’t confuse the two. Don’t give your tithe to the government and don’t give your tax money to the church! (2) If your employer or anyone for that matter asks you to do something unethical or immoral don’t do it. Find another job if necessary. But obey God! (3) you will increase your testimony by being a good citizen. (4) Pray for our government and get involved. Our country was founded on Christian principles and it is up to you as believers to make sure these principles stay in place.

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