Read Acts 4
In Acts 4:1-12, we find that the priests, captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees are not happy (of course, because they are “sad-you-see”) with Peter, John, and the apostles are preaching in the name of Jesus and so many are being converted (over 15,000 now). And so they grab Peter and John and Peter, under control of the Spirit, faces persecution directly and preaches the gospel. He preaches that they were guilty and there is “salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men which we must be saved.”
In Acts 4:13-22, the Sanhedrin were faced with a tough situation. They knew that the apostles had broken no laws and they had performed verifiable, true miracles but they had to stop the preaching the incriminating truth that they had executed an innocent man. And so they tell the Peter and John to stop talking. But Peter and John say “we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
In Acts 4:23-37, Peter, John, and the others pray for boldness to speak the word of God and trust in God’s sovereign plan (vs. 28). And therefore, they continued to speak with power and conviction and people were being saved and changed from the inside-out.
- What do you read was the main reason why Peter and John were put into jail and so angered the Jewish leadership?
- Most of us have not had leadership or a judge bring us before them angry at us preaching the gospel, but you may have had a friend or family member who became enraged or angry at you simply telling the gospel to them. What do you believe is at the heart of their anger? (Romans 3:9-20 may help in answering this tough question)
- Take a minute and think about the exclusivity of Christ (vs. 12). Many people hate that Christianity says there is only one way. Why is this a glorious truth?
- We see in the apostles prayer for boldness, that God is in control “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” How does God’s sovereignty strengthen you in the times of persecution and hardship?
- The believers in the book of Acts are being changed significantly and is growing in practical holiness (generosity, kindness, love for others, etc). How has God been growing you in practical holiness?
Read this blog post titled “One Way.” Reflect on the terms “Only Christ.”