Summary: A message concerning personal witnessing about how Christ impacts lives.
“We Can’t Help It!”
(Sunday, April 22, 2001)
Last week we looked the resurrection, and at the en d, I gave you three options for the truth presented.
The first was to reject it. You can choose to reject what you know, but understand that if that is your choice, truth is not the issue for you. Truth does not matter, you choose not to let truth impact your life.
The second was to investigate it further. God is not afraid of your questions, because He is truth, and delights when people seek truth.
The third choice was to accept what you know, and act in a way to make the resurrection and what it accomplished real in your life.
This morning we are going to take a look at the lives of 2 men who took the third choice.
Peter and John were, of course, apostles of Christ. They were with Jesus while He performed His ministry, were present at His arrest and crucifixion, and witnessed His appearances after His resurrection.
After His resurrection, Jesus instructed the disciples to stay in Jerusalem to await the arrival of the Holy Spirit.
A few days later, the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples, and the church is born. The disciples are given power and faith to take the message of Christ to the world.
And they start immediately, with Peter preaching a sermon that brought about 3,000 people to Christ that day.
But our focus this morning is another episode. The story begins in Acts chapter 3, when Peter and John are walking to the temple. They come across a crippled beggar, and God uses Peter to heal the beggar.
An astonished crowd gathers, and Peter takes the opportunity to tell the crowd about Jesus.
This is where we pick up the story in our Scripture passage for this morning.
Please turn with me to Acts chapter 4, and we are going to look at verses 1-22. This is found on page 772 of the Bibles in the seats.
Please follow along as I read.
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. 4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
5 The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is
" `the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone. ’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 "What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name."
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.