I am excited to offer you a video Bible study of the Book of Acts, and I invite you to watch the video of “Being the Church” on Youtube OR Vimeo . . . for Vimeo, see the link in the Blogroll in the right column on my blog screen. Just as with my sermons, I’ll post notes to accompany each Bible study video. I’m posting this a week early because I am traveling next week.
Session 8 — Acts 4:1-22
Persecution will come . . . that’s part of “Being the Church!”
Matthew 5:10, 5:12 Blessed are you!
Acts 22:4 Paul persecuted the Way, even to death!
Verses 1-3 — As Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were approached by hard-hearted men. The Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection (Mt. 22:23) which Peter preached in Acts 3:15.
So they were greatly disturbed by John and Peter’s teaching! The priests and temple guard accompanied them. They weren’t there to ask John and Peter questions — they brought the temple guard. Their purpose was to arrest them and jail them!
Verse 4 — But because of their words, and the healing of the man born lame in Acts 3 — 5,000 believed!
The 71 members of the Sanhedrin, who were like the Supreme Court of Judaism, were arranged in a half circle. In front of them were three scribes — one wrote down the words of them that favored acquittal, one wrote down the words of those who favored conviction, and the third wrote down the words of both. (Originated from the seventy elders from Numbers 11:16-17, who assisted Moses on rulings regarding the Mosaic Law.)
Verses 5-6 — Now, Peter and John stood before them, as well as the man who was healed (see Verse 10).
Verse 7 — By what power! In what name! The Sanhedrin demanded to know!
Verse 8 — Peter, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” began to speak. What? Wasn’t he filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2?
This is not evidence of a refilling. Jesus promises that being filled with the Holy Spirit is permanent (John 14:16). But the Spirit-inspired Luke frequently uses this expression “filled with the Holy Spirit” for a special moment of inspiration. The word “filled” is in the Greek aorist tense, which means “at that moment.”
Need more convincing? Listen to Jesus . . .
Mark 13:11 “When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.”
Ah! A moment of inspiration!
Verses 9-10 — Listen to the boldness! He asks, “Are we on trial for making a sick man well?” Well, then, let this be known to you:
By this name — Jesus Christ the Nazarene whom YOU crucified, whom God raised from the dead (again, this flies in the face of the Sadducees’ beliefs).
Again, Peter and John’s faith is in view, since the lame man was only looking for money and not healing. Christ’s character and fruit in them. For that reason, the man stands before them in good health.
Verse 11 — Peter reasons from the scriptures again — Jesus is the Stone the builders rejected (Psalm 118:22). And YOU rejected and crucified Him! But He is the chief cornerstone. On Him and Him everything else must be built and properly rest!
Verse 12 — And there is salvation through no other name under heaven by which we must be saved! We MUST be saved! We are not saved by good works, as the members of the Sanhedrin teach. We are saved by the One they rejected!
Verses 13-14 — The Sanhedrin observed the confidence — in the Greek, “boldness of speech” — of Peter and John. But how could that be? They are:
— uneducated AND
— untrained (flunked rabbi school and went to apprentice with their fathers)
So how can they can reason in the scriptures with the expert Sanhedrin?
NOTE: Jesus also was untrained and uneducated (see John 7:15)!!!!
So they noted that Peter and John had been with Jesus. What does that mean?
It is evidence of being with Jesus (not just taught by Him, for they couldn’t reason in the scriptures until they were filled with Him, but now He is in them)! They certainly HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS, because Jesus and the Father made their abode in them when they were filled!
And what is worse, here is the man who had been healed. We cannot deny all of this!
Verse 15-17 — They order Peter and John and the healed man to be taken out. They could not refute Peter and John (Luke 21:14-15).
What would they do? A noteworthy miracle had been done! They could not deny this fact, with the healed man standing in front of them!
But they don’t want “it” to spread any further among the people, so . . .
Verse 18 — The command of the Sanhedrin — Do not speak or teach in this name any longer!
Verse 19-20 — Peter’s response:
— Is it right in God’s eyes to give heed to you rather than God?
(He and John take their orders from God.)
— You be the judge
— Peter shifts the blame to the Sanhedrin BEFORE GOD, if they silence Peter and John.
For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard!
Verse 21 — The Sanhedrin issue a few more threats and then release them.
— They’ve committed no crime
— The people are glorifying God for this miracle of healing
Verse 22 — The man’s healing is all the more miraculous since he was over 40 years old, lame from the time he was born! Lame for a lifetime, yet instantly healed completely and in perfect health!