Acts 4

Day 4, Acts 4

The priests and Sadducees were “greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.”

When we see “the number of men,” we are unsure exactly how many people the author is speaking about since it could be that each man was single or each man represented his wife and an unknown number of children, or some combination of the two.

Looking further, we see the leaders asked by what power or name did they heal. Peter filled by the Holy Spirit,  responded that the man was healed in the name of the man they had crucified, and who had been raised from the dead by God.

Here we see that scripture is clear that Peter was filled by the Holy Spirit.

Further, Peter said, “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

People MUST be saved by the name of Jesus Christ.

The leaders ordered them to not speak or teach in the name of Jesus. Their response?

“Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

The apostles had to obey God. This principle is one which all Christians must decide for themselves – do the laws of the land take presidence over what God has said, or vice-versa.

So the apostles were released, because the leaders could find nothing to charge them with.

In response, the believers praised God, realizing that what ever happened, the people had been gathered together in Jerusalem so as to do whatever God’s hand and purpose predestined to happen. God chose the time, the place, and the people, and what would happen. God uses people, much like our children use legos, to accomplish HIS will in the story that is our lives.

Their prayer continued, “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”

Notice – the disciples did not ask to be delivered from what they were going to go through, nor did they ask for protection. They asked God grant them to speak God’s word with all confidence and for God to heal and do signs and wonders through the name of Jesus Christ.

How did God respond?

“And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.”

GOD shook the building, filled them with the Holy Spirit. Then they began to speak the word of God with boldness – just as they had prayed!

Has God shaken you up? Have YOU been filled with the Holy Spirit? Are you speaking the word of God with BOLDNESS?

Not only were the people boldly speaking the word of God, they were united – of one heart and soul. They did not hold on to things, or claim “anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.” Their lives proclaimed the gospel – they saw to the needs of the believers, even to the point of selling property and giving the proceeds to the church to be distributed as the apostles were led by God.

Should we recognize our debt to God as they did? Should we be able to live lives where we trust God that much? I think the answer is yes. We should be so sold out to God that everything we have is not ours but HIS – including our very lives.

 

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