Acts 4

Acts 4

What are some excuses people use for not sharing the gospel?

When is it most difficult to share the gospel?

Acts 4:1-12
The religious leaders were upset that Peter & John were teaching resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in jail until morning. Many had believed because of their preaching since Jesus' death.  About 5,000 men; not counting women & children had become believers.

The next day, the leaders asked "by what power or in whose name have you done this?
Done what? Healed a cripple man
This is the lame man at the Temple gate - begging for alms (money). Peter and John said silver & gold we don't have but such as we have in the name of Jesus get up and walk. And he did. Peter saw the crowd and took the opportunity to preach again. Went through the whole story again about the coming of Jesus being prophesized and that Jesus was the Messiah and they had killed Him through ignorance - been resurrected from the dead - and this was all a part of God's plan.

Peter was taking every opportunity since Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection to preach.

Back to Peter talking to the religious leaders the next morning, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke boldly to them. He boldly testified to the power of Jesus Christ, saying that only through Him can anyone be saved.

Acts 4:13-22
The ordinariness of Peter and John astonished the officials. They weren't exceptionally educated. They didn't boast of seminary degrees. They boldly proclaimed that they would obey Christ before they obeyed their earthly authorities. God calls us first and foremost to obey him.
1. God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
2. Did the disciples give up when the situation got sticky?
3. Did they back down in their message?
4. Because the disciples were so ordinary in these verses, the authorities knew their miraculous works came from a power beyond them.

The Bible is full of examples of God using the weaknesses of people for His Glory.

Ordinary Characteristic
Genesis 18:12; - Abraham and Sarah were old
Exodus 4:10; -  Moses was a poor speaker
1 Samuel 16:11;  - David was a simple shepherd boy
 Hebrews 11:31;  -  Rahab was a prostitute
1 Timothy 4:12.  -  Timothy was young
 
What about us? What about you? God can use you if we will let Him.
What does He want to do through you?

Acts 4:23 - 28
Everything was done according to God's will.

Acts 4:29-31
The disciples and God's children gathered together to acknowledge that God was the author of Peter and John's bravery. They interceded for continued boldness to share the Gospel in a hostile environment. They fell on their faces in prayer, and the place they were meeting was shaken.

When was the last time that your place of prayer was shaken after a prayer meeting?

Consider your own prayer lives.
What is your typical habit of prayer?
Is it only on selfish desires? Is it only intercessory prayer for others physical needs?
Do you ever ask God to grant you boldness to be His witness?

You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses...

Pray for that power, that boldness.

People either know Jesus or they don't. There's no in between.

What kind of a witness for Christ are you--bold, quiet, weak, avoiding the issue, or inconsistent?