Welcome Home everyone
We finally get to the moment the Sanhedrin begins to hear the testimony of Peter & John.
My big idea for today is let’s not allow fear or false thoughts rob us from experiencing the real Jesus Christ. My prayer for us today is that by hearing this message we would move one step closer to knowing and walking in the mind and character of Christ. If you have your Bibles today you can join me in Acts chapter 4, verse 5
The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”Acts 4:5-12
In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points. The first thing that stood out for me is…
POINT #1: Religious Authority
The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”Acts 4:5-7
Most human conflicts center around 1 thing; control. This case is no different. There is a power/authority struggle happening here. The struggle was religious, it was political, & It was spiritual in the heart of every individual that was present. The struggle was real. Annas was the real high priest according to the Jewish leadership, but… There’s always a but, right. The Romans have installed Caiaphas (Annas’ son-in-law) as a political high priest because he was more agreeable/malleable in dealing with the Roman officials. The question of authority for the Jewish council is a sore subject. They had no control of their country/politics. And religious matters are the only thing They have left. They must have felt that they still had authority on all religious matters.
Their authority was challenged, not because they have differing viewpoints, rather Peter proved capable with supernatural power under the Holy Spirit. This display of power by the Holy Spirit confirmed Peter & John’s authority in Christ Jesus. It was made evident to all of Israel. The religious establishment were thinking religious authority, But Peter and John were operating in spiritual authority and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-21
Because Jesus Christ Himself, has granted Peter & John/you and me all authority In His name, power has gone out and influenced not the religious realm. Not just the spiritual realm. But the physical realm too. All power and authority = Authority in all realms (natural & spiritual).
Here’s my question for you…Are you struggling for a false sense of control or authority in your life or does the authority belong to Jesus? Are you dying to your flesh daily and surrendering will and authority to Christ? Are we grasping at the same things the world is grasping for or are we driven by relationship with Christ and motivated by Kingdom goals? Peter & John understood something. They know that suffering was part of the Job.
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,2 Timothy 3:12
My fear is that we struggle for false authority because we think (subconsciously) that we will be able to avoid the suffering of persecution. We think that As Christians we should be sparred any and all persecution/suffering.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses [Martyr] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8
The power and authority in Christ come with a measure of suffering/persecution. We share in the death burial and resurrection of Christ and because we share in His suffering we will also share in His inheritance. So, I’ll ask the question again, what are we really struggling for? Acceptance with the world? Respectability? Jesus Christ and the power and authority given through His Holy Spirit.
I’ll move on to my next point.
POINT #2: Exclusivity of the name of Jesus
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.Acts 4:8-12
11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected
which has become the cornerstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
The temptation here is to make the gospel of Jesus Christ more palatable to seekers so that we may appear to be growing in numbers.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6
But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heavenMatthew 10:33
The Gospel we tell must be consistent with the biblical facts (what Jesus said and did). And it must be consistent with who Jesus Christ actually is. The Holy Spirt is a truth telling Spirit, telling the truth about Jesus Christ. And If that same Spirit dwells in us we cannot grieve that Spirit by doing or saying anything that is not consistent with the Character of the Godhead.
The world will tell you that the safe/PC answer is that there are many roads to God. Here’s the rub, the Bible teaches the exclusivity of Jesus Christ.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”Acts 4:12
Here’s my commitment to you and to God. I/Living Water AG will preach and teach the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ Crucified for our sins and resurrected on the 3rd day exalted in glory and is coming again soon.
I’ll close with this. If we intend to follow Christ, we must live like Him, In His character, In repentance, the leading of the Holy Spirit, and obeying the commands of God. We cannot struggle for false authorities and we must hold to the exclusivity of Christ
Will you join me as we seek an authentic relationship united in Christ and each other? Rejecting division, embracing God’s reality in Jesus, and encouraging one another. It’s just between you and God. Here’s the thing, If we love God and abide in Christ we will find ourselves more and more loving each other. You will we more and you will love better. We will experience God in spirit and in truth and we will share that amongst each other. Share all the ways God has shown you mercy and grace. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to stir faith in someone through your testimony? Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ? These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The intentional actions of the body of Christ. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy. Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan! He’s stealing from your neighbor, your family, and your loved ones today.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late.
It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’