Radiant Church, October 13, 2019 Mike Rydman Acts 4:1-31 Psalm 2:1-3 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” The first persecution of the church John 15:18-21 if the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Interrupted by the religious establishment Acts 4:1-4 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them into custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. Sadducees: religious liberals (materialistic rationalists) Aristocracy (controlled by a small number of families) The Pharisees were the ones persecuting Jesus, but the Sadducees were the ones doing most of the persecution of the Church in Acts Bold before the religious establishment Acts 4:5-12 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means is this man healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead – by him this man is standing before you as well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Bold because the resurrection is true (v.10) Bold because of love for unsaved people (v.12) Bold because of the exclusivity of the gospel - Incompatible with universalism (that all will be saved) - Incompatible with inclusivism (those with religious experience will be saved) Sincerity of faith does not save – the object of our faith does save The religious establishment paralyzed before Peter and John Acts 4:13-18 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. but in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Peter shouldn’t be this smart! The lame guy shouldn’t be walking! The religious leaders care more about their power than their souls Peter and John bold in response to threats Acts 4:19-22 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old. The Church is bold in response Acts 4:23-30 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against His Anointed.’ – for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch our your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Prayer is rooted in: God’s attributes The Scriptures A desire for effective mission rather than personal comfort Insensitive, harsh Christians will have persecution, but no praise Cowardly Christians will have praise, but no persecution Christians who are close to Jesus will get both Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. Boldness to share the gospel comes from confidence in the God of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit gives us both confidence and boldness Romans 8:11 if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. For us? When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus is the focus of our lives We must spend time in God’s Word. The light of Jesus reflects off the Word and into our faces and our words We must spend time with God’s people. We become like the people we spend the most time with We must spend time in prayer. It is fellowship with our Lord. We become most like the ones we spend the most time with 2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere.