Summary: Let’s consider from this text what should happen once we’ve been released from the prison of sin. 1- When released we must go to God’s people 2- When released we must raise our voices in prayer 3- When released we must allow God’s Spirit to work
INTRO.- ILL.- The warden of a Midwest prison sent a note around to inmates asking for suggestions on the kind of party they’d recommend to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The prisoners all had the same idea—OPEN HOUSE.
ILL.- Not long after a wealthy contractor had finished building the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery and sentenced to several years in the prison he had built! As he was escorted into a cell of his own making, the contractor said, "I never dreamed when I built this prison that I would be an inmate one day."
Sometimes we build our own prison. Have you ever been in jail?
Someone is there who probably thought she’d never be: Paris Hilton. And others may follow. If you play, you pay. And she’s paying these days for ignoring the law.
ILL.- Paris Hilton’s Jail Time Is On. That was the news headline. The 26-year-old heiress reported on Sunday night, June 3rd, to the Century Regional Detention Facility to start serving time for violating her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.
Well, as we all know or heard, Paris got out of jail after only three days and then the judge sent her back to jail and that’s where she’s been ever since June 8th.
I think most people think that she is just a little spoiled, rich girl who deserved to go to jail for ignoring the law.
It will be interesting to see how jail affects Paris Hilton, if at all. Some say it will simply make her more famous like it did for Martha Stewart. At least, it got her a lot of press.
Here is what Paris Hilton is saying now that she’s spent some time in jail "I’m much more grateful for everything that I have, even just to have a pillow at night or food."
"I’m claustrophobic, and my cell is really small. There’s nothing to do but basically sit. A room with a bunk-bed and a toilet and a desk. I was going a little bit crazy in the beginning. I’m getting used to it now. In a way, I’m really glad this happened because it changed my life forever.”
How will being in jail change Paris Hilton? I don’t think it will make a Christian out of her, but it should make her think about obeying the law and it just might make her realize how good she has it in life. It will definitely humble her. It already has.
In our text, the disciples had been put in jail for preaching Christ. It didn’t do much to make them celebrities in the world.
Acts 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. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.”
Later, they were released from jail. Whether you’ve ever been in jail or not, YOU HAVE BEEN IN JAIL! How so?
Gal. 3:22 “But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.”
We all were imprisoned by our sin. Sin dominated and/or controlled our lives at one time. On our bad days, it may still do that, but basically, we’ve been set free from sin by the power of Christ.
Rom. 6:17-18 “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
Once we accept Christ, believe Him, believe in Him and his death and surrender to Him, we should be released from sin and some good things should happen to us.
PROP.- Let’s consider from this text what should happen once we’ve been released from the prison of sin.
1- When released we must go to God’s people
2- When released we must raise our voices in prayer
3- When released we must allow God’s Spirit to work
I. WHEN RELEASED WE MUST GO TO GOD’S PEOPLE
Acts 4:23 “On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people…”
When Peter and John were released they went to be with their own people. They went to be with their Christian brothers and sisters.
ILL.- One lady said, “DURING A VISIT with a friend at an assisted living center, I was invited to stay for lunch. As we entered the cafeteria, she leaned toward me and whispered, ‘They have two lines here. We call them cane and able.’”