Apr 28, 2019 // By:Dave // No Comment
Acts 4:21 When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) aon account of the people, because they were all bglorifying God for what had happened;
“threatened them further”
who is doing the threatening ?
what was the threat ? (prison, beaten, stoned)
Acts 4:22 for the man was more than forty years old on whom this 1miracle of healing had been performed.
(we have a miracle, that even the sanhedrin admits can only be from God, and those who are able to explain the miracle give credit to Jesus … and the sanhedrin wants the disciples to stop explaining the power behind the miracle)
like having a doctor remove a cancer from my chest, asking the nurse how she did it, then telling her to stop telling me the name of the doctor who actually did the surgery. (because I don’t believe doctors in New Bedford area have the training to do cancer surgeries)
Pride (resists authority)
Darkness of self preferred to light of God
the pharisees knew the scriptures (so does satan)
2 Cor 3:14-16
2Cor. 3:14 But their minds were ahardened; for until this very day at the breading of cthe old covenant the same veil 1remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.
2Cor. 3:15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;
2Cor. 3:16 abut whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
John 1:5 aThe Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not 1comprehend it.
John 14:15 ¶ “aIf you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another 1aHelper, that He may be with you forever;
John 14:17 that is athe Spirit of truth, bwhom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
John 14:25 ¶ “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.
John 14:26 “But the aHelper, the Holy Spirit, bwhom the Father will send in My name, cHe will teach you all things, and dbring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
James 4:6 But aHe gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “bGOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”
1 pet 5:6
1Pet. 5:5 aYou younger men, likewise, bbe subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with chumility toward one another, for dGOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
1Pet. 5:6 ¶ Therefore ahumble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
1Pet. 5:7 casting all your aanxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
Acts 4:23 ¶ When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
(guess what just happened to us on the way to the temple last night !!)
Acts 4:24 And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said,
“O 1Lord, it is You who aMADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM,
Acts 4:25 who aby the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,
‘bWHY DID THE 1GENTILES RAGE,
AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS?
Acts 4:26 ‘aTHE KINGS OF THE EARTH 1TOOK THEIR STAND,
AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER
AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS 2bCHRIST.’
(psalm 2:1-2 verse 3 talks about getting free from the authority of God)
Acts 4:27 “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy 1aservant Jesus, whom You anointed, both bHerod and cPontius Pilate, along with dthe 2Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
Acts 4:28 to do whatever Your hand and aYour purpose predestined to occur.
(acknowledging further the total sovereignty of God)
Acts 4:29 “And 1now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may aspeak Your word with all bconfidence, (give us more of what just almost got us killed)
Acts 4:30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and 1asigns and wonders take place through the name of Your holy 2bservant Jesus.”
what have they NOT asked for ? (remove them, make them like us, take away all obstacles, keep us safe, etc) just give us boldness even though it may get us in trouble, even though it may cost us …
(take up your cross)
1Pet. 5:8 aBe of sober spirit, bbe on the alert. Your adversary, cthe devil, prowls around like a roaring dlion, seeking someone to devour.
1Pet. 5:9 1aBut resist him, bfirm in your faith, knowing that cthe same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your 2brethren who are in the world.
1Pet. 5:10 After you have suffered afor a little while, the bGod of all grace, who ccalled you to His deternal glory in Christ, will Himself eperfect, fconfirm, strengthen and establish you.
1Pet. 5:11 aTo Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Matthew 16:24-26 English Standard Version (ESV)
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
(Matt 10:38, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, Luke 14:27)
As we turn our attention to the church’s prayer in this chapter, consider three observations.
This prayer is rooted in God’s attributes (vv. 24–30). (the praises)
The gathered believers address God as “Master” (v. 24) or “Sovereign Lord” (ESV). This title ascribes absolute authority and rule to God. The church, at the outset, reminded themselves of God’s control of all things (vv. 24–25).
Thinking about God’s sovereignty should bring us great comfort and security. Our God is the One with unchallengeable power! Everything that was, and is, and ever will be answers to him.
This prayer is rooted in the Scriptures (vv. 25–28). (the psalmetry)
In quoting Psalm 2:1–2 the church reminds itself of God’s sovereignty and providence over all history. Psalm 2 in its entirety describes the victory of the Lord and his Anointed One against the conspiracy of the nations. Equipped with a Christ-centered understanding of Scripture, the church rightly understands Psalm 2 as foretelling gospel events (Acts 4:27–28). The descendant of David would suffer rejection but emerge victorious as ruler over all the nations. This is precisely what we see in Jesus’s life, death, [Acts, p. 65] resurrection, and promise of return. It appears the early church kept that truth in view.
God told his people beforehand that the nations would conspire together against the Messiah, yet he would be triumphant and become ruler over all. The church realized they were in the final chapter of a great unfolding drama, and the next step is the return and reign of Christ. They trusted this promise and let that make them bold. We too should realize that we are in the final chapter of the true story of the world. No matter what you might face today, Jesus is indeed coming back soon. And then every knee will bow and confess he is Lord. Let this embolden you as you speak and live for the King.
This prayer is for mission above comfort (vv. 29–30). (the petition)
The church aligns itself with Christ and his sufferings. In this hostile first-century context, having more boldness meant more gospel preaching, but that preaching would inevitably put believers in difficult circumstances. In their mission, then, the church prayed for boldness and perseverance rather than comfort. They knew Jesus was worth more than their lives.
Suffering is unavoidable for the Christian. In every generation the gospel always cuts against cultural convictions and norms in some way. Paul would later write, “All who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12).
Thinking about all this in light of the freedoms we in the United States enjoy, I wonder how our prayers might differ from those offered by the early church in view of the “American dream” ideology that permeates our culture. Could it be that our prayers are more about our comfort being maintained or enhanced than they are about asking that God’s greater glory be displayed? When we pray for a fellow citizen facing opposition, for instance, it’s not usually sufficient to pray, “Father, alleviate this!” Rather, we might add, “But Lord, if you choose not to, may the gospel advance because of this struggle!”
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