Summary: A Missions oriented sermon.
THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS
INTRO: To gain a clearer insight into Bold Missions, let us examine the lives of the first bold witnesses for Christ — the early church. Immediately following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the believers were given the task of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. According to the mandate proclaimed in Acts 1:8 (quickview) , they made Jerusalem their mission base. Because of the impact of their boldness on the Jewish populace, two of these believers, Peter and John, were brought before the Jewish authorities. In our text, we see the example and enthusiasm of these early bold witnessed before the authorities.
I. THEIR EXAMPLE.
“When they [Jewish authorities] saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ig-norant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (v. 13).
The disciples gave us an example of a life of fellowship with Jesus Christ. For too long we as Christian leaders have substi-tuted punch for power and cliches for prayer. Today is the day we must realize that God only uses those who have been with him and have a vital relationship with him. These believers gave us an example to follow.
Also, note that the Jewish authorities noted that they were unlearned and ignorant men. You do not have to be educated for God to use you. You only have to be available.
II. THEIR ENTHUSIASM.
The Jewish authorities were bewildered as to how to handle the situation (vv. 16-18). These two men had healed a lame man, and for this the common people praised God. The au-thorities decided to threaten Peter and John and demand that they not preach in the name of Jesus again.
However, with equal authority, the disciples answered, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (v. 20). Because they were committed to share their experience with Jesus regardless of the consequences, threats could not thwart their enthusiasm.
In The Company of the Committed, Elton Trueblood says, “What we seek is not a fellowship of the righteous or of the self-righteous, but rather a fellowship of men and women who, though they recognize they are inadequate, nevertheless can be personally involved in the effort to make Christ’s kingdom prevail.”
Jesus had changed the lives of these early believers; therefore, they were compelled to share his message with their world.
CONC: “Can I be as bold as these men were?” Their example was based on a fellowship with Jesus, and their enthusiasm was based on their involvement with the task at hand. Following their example we can be bold disciples.