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In The Sight of God

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Introduction & Background

Good morning CrossPointe
My name...
Announcement: Partnership is this coming Wednesday

Pray

Prayer

Question / Connection

Do you remember a few weeks ago when the entrance to Wetherbee Road was going to be closed? We were having our potluck and vision lunch that same day and there was great concern. Would people know? Would they be prepared? Would they get lost on their way to church and then just turn around a head home? Numerous people come up to me expressing the need the communicate this information to everyone. We thought about different ways we needed to communicate the information so that nobody was left out.
I appreciate this care and concern
It is also my prayer that we show this same care and concern for the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Do people know? Are they lost, wandering around looking for something but going back to what they already know.
How do we make sure that everyone hears this news?
Jesus shared this same concern and promised the disciples that they would “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon [them] and they would be witness in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”

Background

Command: Wait for the Holy Spirit then Proclaim the Gospel to All peoples
Journey: The disciples began in Jersualem and that is where we are in our study through the book of ,000 new followers of Jesus were added after Peter’s first sermon. Last week:
We learned in Acts chapter 3 how God healed a lame beggar sitting on the steps outside the temple.
This drew a crowd and Peter preached the same sermon basically, “Jesus is the messiah, you killed him, God raised him for the dead to forgive our sins, repent and trust in Jesus.”
Today’s Passage: The proclamation of the gospel is met with resistance by powerful leaders but God emboldens the average disciple to proclaim Jesus as the only hope.

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Prayer

The Question | Connection

Intro

Walk through the passage, understanding the historical context and the original meaning while we see to apply these principles to our lives and situation.
6 Observations for Application:
Historical Context: what these words meant in the cultural context in which they were written. As we understand what it means, then we can accurately allow it to shape our understanding.

1 | The Hope of the Resurrection is powerful to sustain us in moments of persecution

Modern Application: How do these words help us today. We share the same mission as the disciples. Since Jesus has not yet returned in the same way that he ascended to heaven, the church is called to continue the mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all peoples, starting with our neighbors and extending to the nations.

1 | We Know - to Some Degree - What We Are Up Against

Historical Context
“The captain of the temple and the Sadducees”
The Sadducees were the religious aristocrats, and this include the High Priest. They had great power in Jerusalem and among the Jewish people in general. They were the ones who guarded the most holy place in Judaism. The place where God’s presence dwelled. They oversaw the sacrificial system. It was this sacrificial system that the whole relationship between God and the Jews was based and the Sadducees oversaw this system.
This gave them power - economically, socially, and politically. The Roman governor would do his business with the Sadducees. They had troops and the temple police to ensure that people did what they were suppose to and didn’t do anything wrong.
The Sadducees also do not believe in the resurrection. They strongly opposed the resurrection as this was seen as radical, dangerous doctrine - it attacked the status quo and threatened existing power structures. It causes people to think beyond the here and now which leads people to fall in line. instead, the resurrection causes people to beyond the here and now to something better. Something more. Something that makes us willing to sacrifice our immediate comforts because we know that something awaits us after this life.
The Pharisees were also a radical religious populist group at the time and they believed in the resurrection, unlike the Sadducees. They were more willing to cause trouble for the authorities in the present.
“greatly annoyed because 1) they were teaching people and 2) proclaiming the resurrection in Jesus”
Who are you to be teaching? This is “our” temple. You are stepping on our toes by assuming authority to teach these people. The leaders are simply annoyed because someone else would dare to teach the people.
They were also annoyed because they were teaching things they personally disagree with and something that could undermine their power over the people - the resurrection
Jesus is a threat to their entire identity and purpose
The spirit of God now lives in every follower of Jesus, not just the holy of holiness that they guarded
Jesus was the final sacrifice, paying the penalty for sins, so they sacrificial system they oversaw was now obsolete.
Jesus promised that his followers would rise from the dead in the same way as him, meaning this world does not hold the same value - but we look toward a better country (hebrews). The resurrection allows and calls us to live sacrificially.
Another 2,000 men trusted in Jesus that day. It may have felt like a rebellion - loosing control, loosing power, losing authority over the people.
For these thousands it meant freedom, hope, and salvation.
Modern Application
Church Saves vs Jesus Saves
Likewise, in our preaching and teaching, we dare not commend a set of moral rules to make people more acceptable before God. Rather, we should commend the risen Lord Jesus Christ, who alone makes us acceptable. He is the hero of the whole Bible and is the One to whom the whole Bible testifies. He is our message. He is our theme. So may we say with Paul, “We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ” ().
Merida, Tony. Exalting Jesus in Acts (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary) (Kindle Locations 1586-1590). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Moralism (Be Good) vs Resurrection
Rules & Religion do not save. People use rules seek control and power, even when their conclusion is the absence of rules - or an arguement for freedom toward things the bible defines as sin.
How do we live by faith? What should motivate us to live sacrificially for others and follow after after Jesus even when it doesn’t make any sense?
We have a line of people that have gone before us who have walked by faith. They longed for things promised even though they remained for the future. They lives as strangers and exiles on earth. People like this are still seeking a homeland, they aren’t living as though they have already arrived. If you were home then you would just seek comfort and ease. As it is, we long for a better country, a heavenly one. This makes us wanders who seek and sojourn this earth is expectation of something different and better.
How would you live differently than you are right now if you truly believe that this earth was not your final home? If eternity was your true reality and this world is a shadow.
How would you spend your time?
How would you spend your money?
How would your priorities change - if the home you live in was not your final resting place. If the job you had didn’t define your identity - if the car you drive didn’t reflect your status.

2 | Difficulties Are Opportunities for Christ to Shine

Historical Content
they arrest them” - spend the night in jail and then the day day...
through verse 7
Jesus sent the disciples into all the world, beginning in Jerusalem. They haven’t even made it out of Jerusalem and they are already spending the night in jail.
Modern Application
It’s at times like this that sometimes Christians get confused. We think that if we are doing the “will of God” then things will work out and come together - “the doors open.” These are phrases we like as Christians. After all, haven’t you heard people say the safest place is in the center of God’s will?
says, “ As Christians, we are called to suffer. Jesus left us an example that we might follow in his steps.”
, the church is told to “not be unaware - following Christ meant being burdened beyond personal strength where the Apostle Paul thought he was going to die.
Why would God allow this: The Apostle Paul says, “to make us not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead - on him we have set our hope.
Often, the difficulties we experience become opportunities for Christ to shine.
How do you pray when life gets hard?
What might it look like for you to look to Jesus rather than yourself for the challenges you are facing?
Holy Inadequacy
I am insufficient as a man, a husband, and pastor - to produce in my family and this church the transformation I long to see.
This should give you great comfort. Our hope is in God, not a man, not a program, but Christ and Christ alone.

3 | The Holy Spirit Gives Us Boldness to Proclaim the Gospel

Historical Content
v. 8 “Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said....”
This is the same people who denied knowing Jesus in front of a young girl
Now he is standing before the top religious figures in the entire city. Annas and Caiaphas are also present - they took a prominent role in Jesus’ trial.
Peter was already indwelt by the Holy Spirit. What we see here is an example of how the HS works in the life of the believer. He is always present - and here, God gave Peter a supernatural strength.
Modern Application
Have you ever experienced God giving you the right words in a difficult situation or conversation?
The same Holy Spirit that filled Peter, lives inside every follower of Jesus.
As we will see in this passage, the enemy often wants to use fear to keep us silent. What will people think? What if I don’t speak clearly? I don’t know exactly what to say? I still get nervous…
Have you ever found yourself on the edge of a hard conversation - maybe you need to talk with someone about something you would rather just ignore but you now you have to say something. The words are swirling around in your head, the silence is slowing down time, you have no idea what you are going to say - and then you simply begin. The first words break the ice.

4 | Jesus Alone is the Sufficient Cornerstone & Stumbling Block

Historical Content
Peter preaches the same message to the religious leaders that he preaches to the multitudes
This man was healed by Jesus Christ or Nazareth
You crucified him - he doesn’t shy away from this little nugget of truth
God raised him from the dead
Peter adds:
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone
Quoting from
There’s also some previous history with this phase in
Jesus was teaching on the temple mount the chief priests, scribes, and elders came an asked, “who gave you authority to teach and do these things?”
Jesus then answers them with a question but they wouldn’t give him an answer
Jesus then begins to tell the people a parable of a man who planted a vineyard and left it to tenants. The man sent servants back to his vineyard for some fruit but the tenants beat the servant and sent him away empty handed. This happened several times until finally the owner sent his son to the vineyard but the tenants decided to kill the son so they could get the inheritance.
Jesus then asks - “What will the own of the vineyard to them? He will destroy them and give the vineyard to others.”
The religious leaders exclaimed, “surely not!”
Jesus looked directly at them and said, “it is written, “The stone that builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Adding Jesus says, “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it fall on anyone, it will crush him.”
The religious leaders perceived he was talking about them so they wanted to kill him.
There is salvation is no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.
Modern Application
Our culture does not have a problem with Christians saying that Jesus is “A” way to heaven. But, as soon as people hear that Jesus is “THE” way to heaven, exclusively, then there is a problem, conflict.
Let’s be clear - the bible says, JESUS is the only name under heaven by which we can be saved.
This Jesus of Nazareth - perfect life, death on the cross, God raised him from the dead. This Jesus. Not another “form” of Jesus that people try and create
The message of the gospel will be life for some people and it will be a stumbling block for others.
Some will hear this truth and celebrate that God provided a way for salvation
Others will hate this message because it does not fit their thinking - because it challenges their life - because this message transforms and it changes us - some people want salvation without giving up anything.

5 | Credentials are Not Required to Make an Eternal Impact

Historical Content
“They saw the boldness of Peter of John”
It’s not that Peter though himself bold or power
The religious leaders are astonished. These fishermen just stood up to some of the most powerful men in all of Jerusalem. They were unafraid and spoke for passion and power.
“common men”
Not religious leaders
Not pastors or elders, professors, or professionals. Just men who had been with Jesus
These aren’t politicians or public officials. Just people, the average Joe.
“They recognized that they had been with Jesus”
What a simple and yet profound statement.
Modern Application
How would you describe yourself? Religious scholar, leader, or just the average Christian.
How would you describe your responsibility in relationship to the great commission?
Have you ever made excuses why God should choose someone else. In Moses said to God that he wouldn’t make a good spokesman because he gets tongue-tied.
In the same way that God uses hardships for his glory to shine
God uses the weak and powerless so that his power might shine through more clearer.
Illustration of John Stott
In 1958 he was leading an outreach in Sydney, australia. The day before he was suppose to teach he received nws that his father had passed away. On top of that he was beginning to lose his voice
When he stood up to speak he had to get within half an inch to the microphone and he said he croacked the gospel like a raven. His personality couldn’t come through and and he couldn’t more. He stood still, and delivered the gospel in a monotone voice. When it came time to give the invitation the students began flocking forward.
Similar experience in student ministry
What about you?
Are you more fearful of your weaknesses? OR
Are you faith-filled in God’s power? - You don’t need credentials, you need faith.

6 | We’re Free to Trust God with the Results of our Evangelism

Historical Content
Peter and John preached the same message - the same gospel to the average person and to the leaders
In one group, thousands of people began following Jesus. In another group they received threats.
v. 28-29 “asking God to do what he is planning to do. Help us speak with boldness while you stretch out your hand to heal.
We preach
God saves
Modern Application
Application is simple - Let’s pray, share the gospel, and trust God.

Conclusion

God is at work around you right now.
The challenges you are facing are an opportunity to you to trust and know God more deeply and experience his power at work in you and through you.
You don’t need some special blessing from the church - if you have placed your faith and trust in Jesus then the Holy Spirit is living inside you and he will give you the boldness to proclaim that Jesus is the only way to be saved.
We can trust God to empower, embolden, and to save.
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