Browse By

#carmelprays – Acts 4:1-22

Opening Song: All Heaven Declares

Read Scripture: Acts 4:1-22

A Bold Church That Has Been With Jesus

Introduction

And when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled, and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13

What are our lives as Christians marked by? Is it boldness for our faith? Are our lives marked by the fact that we had been with Jesus? How do we respond in the face of challenges and persecution?

Acts 4 verse 1 opens with the persecution of Peter and John, but verse 21 concludes with all men glorifying God for what He had done. How did the multitude journey from persecution to praise in the span of 21 verses? The answer lies in how God moved amongst the multitude by using Peter and John’s testimony and constant choice to boldly live out, practise and proclaim their faith.

The Context of Acts 4 – Practice & Proclamation Provoked Persecution

Acts 4 begins with the arrest of the disciples, and ends with all men being arrested by the glory of God and glorifying God for what He had done. 

What were Peter and John being arrested for? Acts 4:2 tells us that the priests, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees were greatly disturbed by their teaching of Jesus’ resurrection: a teaching they taught after healing a lame man in Acts 3 in the name of Jesus.

They were being persecuted for (a) practising and living out their faith by healing a lame man; and (b) boldly proclaiming the word of the Lord. 

How was this boldness manifest? 

  1. They chose what was right in God’s sight over what was right in the sight of men (v19)
  2. They could not help but speak of the things which God had done which they had seen and heard (i.e. that they were witnesses of) (v20)

Their bold practice and proclamation of their faith provoked a multitude of reactions:

  1. The priests, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees were grieved that they taught the people and preached that Jesus resurrected and arrested them (v1-3)
  2. Many heard the word and 5000 believed (v4)
  3. People glorified God for what He had done (v21)

What is amazing is that outcomes (b) and (c) occurred even though the authorities had just arrested John and Peter. This is a reminder to us that God’s word has the power to work and convict no matter how hard the circumstances seem physically, including an arrest. And a reminder that we should make the choice to choose to serve the Lord with boldness, no matter the circumstance: for will we judge it right to serve God or men?

Application

And when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled, and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13

If someone were to hold a lens to our life, would this be their verdict on our lives too?  That our lives are marked by the fact that we had been with Jesus? As lights of the world, would people be able to attribute any light that we shine to our God, and attribute the power that rests upon us to our God?

How should we serve the Lord? With Boldness. 

What should we pray for in the midst of challenges and persecution? Should such difficulties deter us from doing the Lord’s work?

No. The disciples faith was a living manifestation of the promise in Romans 8, that nothing can separate us from the Love of God: not even persecution. 

May we pray for much wisdom and boldness today to live for our Lord and stay true to His word!

What kind of Church, and what kind of Christian do we wish to be? May this be said of our lives too, that people would marvel, take knowledge of us, not of our skills or our talent or our accomplishments: but that we had been with Jesus.

Questions

  1. How was it so evident that Peter and John had been with Jesus?
  2. Are you living your life boldly now? What are certain decisions that you need to make for Christ?
  3. Would people say of your life that you had been with Jesus?

Pray in response to what God has spoken to you about.

Pray in Response

Father God, we stand in awe of Your power. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead, is given to us through Your Holy Spirit. By Your Holy Spirit, the Church has been built, passed down through generations by faithful men and women all over the world. Continue to empower us for Your glory and desire to reconcile all men to Yourself. Grant us wisdom and boldness to share the Gospel and testify of Your goodness. Grant us patience and perseverance when we encounter oppositions or don’t see any results. Above all, grant us love and humility – as Christ has shown us in His life.

May we make conscious decisions to share the word through the living of our lives and be His witnesses!

“Make me a witness like You, dear Lord,
Showing the love of the cross.
Sharing Your Word
Till all have heard,
Serving whatever the cost”
(Lyrics from “Servant’s Heart”)

Amen.

Response Song: Servant’s Heart


By Jennifer Lim

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In-person worship services and activities are resuming gradually and safely. Join us this weekend! Worship with us in-person | Worship with us online | Latest announcements | Latest Covid-19 advisory

X