Outspoken for God (Part 2)

08/03/2020 13:18

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Date: 5 March, 2020
Text: Acts 4
Title: Outspoken for God - Part 2
Theme:
Proposition:
Rhetorical:
Introduction:
 
The book of Acts, written by Luke, is a historical account of the birth of the church. We call the church that we read about here, "the early church." This was the church in it's infancy. It had been born in Jerusalem at Pentecost as the Spirit of God came.
 
Much of our practice comes from the example that we find in the early church.
1.) Evangelism and the Gospel - Ethiopean Eunuch, Philippian Jailer, Saul's conversion
2.) Missions  - Barnabus, Saul, John Mark, Luke, Peter
3.) Believer's Baptist by Immersion - Cornelius, Ethiopean Eunuch, Philippian Jailer
4.) Church polity - pastor and deacons 
Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Act 6:3  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
5.) Church planting (starting churches) and discipleship. (Timothy, Titus....)
Act 18:23  And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.
 
Our focus last week  and this week  as we examine Acts 4 is on the boldness of the early church.
 
def. boldness: outspokeness, assurance, confidence
 
Our study last week took us through - Acts 4:1-12
 
13  Now 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.
 
ill. As a student at Bob Jones working on my undergrad, I liked to have some Scripture verse posters laminated and stuck to the top of the bunk or on the back of our door. This was one of the verses I had plastered there. (I knew I needed boldness and this verse told me where to get it.)
 
"THEY TOOK KNOWLEDGE OF THEM, THAT THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS."
 
ill. Our primary example of boldness in Acts 4 is the Apostle Peter who had failed in boldness before Jesus was crucified as he DENIED Him.
exp. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus had told him that WHAT HE NEEDED WAS TO SPEND TIME WITH HIM IN PRAYER.
Mat 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Peter didn't wait with Jesus in prayer and he failed.)
 note: Peter tried to be bold as he slashed a soldier with a sword, but then he denied the Lord three times. (Jesus restored Peter and praise God Peter's faith didn't fail (as Jesus had prayed for Him.)
Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Acts 1:13  And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
Acts 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
 
then: At Caiphas judgment hall when Jesus was on trial - the people weren't struck by the boldness of Peter.
But now: Filled with God's Spirit - the Sanhedrin are struck by the boldness of the apostles.
 
13  Now 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.
 
I. They spoke out boldly in persecution. (We need to speak out boldly in persecution.)
A. When opposed.
B. When losing liberty.
C. When questioned.
 
II.  They spoke out boldly in preaching. (We need to speak out boldly in preaching.)
A. Controversial truth - Jesus is the Christ.
B. You killed Jesus.
C. Jesus is God's corner stone which you rejected.
D. Jesus is the only way of salvation.
12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
 
We need to be outspoken for God. Are you salty salt? Are you bright light? Are you boldly speaking out for God? 
 
transition: Speak out boldly in persecution, in preaching....
 
III. Speak out boldly in position.
13  Now 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.
14  And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
exp. What could they say against Peter's exhibit A  - who was so well known and so clear a proof of the power of Jesus which these apostles preached.
15  But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
16  Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
17  But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
18  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
exp. They couldn't deny the truth of the power of Jesus and so they threatened and commanded the apostles to CEASE SPEAKING ABOUT JESUS.
 ill. The Sanhedrin was a council made up of 70 elders in Israel. It would be like the Supreme Court of Ancient Israel.
question: Can you imagine being called to the Supreme Court of the UK and being threatened and commanded not to speak to anyone about Jesus or preach Jesus. What position are you going to take.
ill. There is an urband legend told about a ship which appears to be on a collision course with another vessel. A high ranking US navy officer commands the the other ship to altar course. A low ranking officer of another country responds and commands the US vessel to altar their course. There is a series of responses until US navy officer says, "This is an aircraft carrier altar your course." The response given is, "I'm a lighthouse. Your call."
 exp. The apostles are being commanded to altar a position given them by Jesus Christ - WHO IS THE ROCK. His position does not move. They take their opsition on the Rock.
A. Boldly take your position upon God's Word.
19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
exp. Peter's boldness remains unflinching. They are judges. He'll let them judge whether they think God would want these to listen MORE to them or to Himself.
 note: Peter uses an important word - "more" because God's Word commands us to obey authority.
Col 3:20  Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Eph 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Heb 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
1Pe 2:13  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
 exp. Authority is God given for order within society. Can you imagine what life would be like if there was no authority.
note: However, when a lesser authority gives a command which violates a greater authority, you obey the greater authority.
ill. One of the reasons the UK voted for Brexit was because the EU had more authority than the United Kingdom. The Treaty of Rome "In an important ruling in 1964, the Court said that the states had agreed to limit their sovereign rights in the areas covered by the treaty and could not adopt national laws that were incompatible with European law. This principle of ‘primacy’ or supremacy of EU law has been accepted and applied by national courts including the UK courts....UK courts are required not to enforce UK laws to the extent that they are incompatible with EU obligations."
 exp. If the UK commanded you to do something which violated EU law, you would appeal to the EU courts and you would be proven to be right to obey THE GREATER AUTHORITY.
exp. The Sanhedrin were an earthly court seeking to overule the heavenly court. Peter and John would take their position with Jesus.
 app. Do you have a bold position on God's Word this morning? Or have you altered your position because an earthly authority has threatened and commanded you to do so?
B. Boldly refuse to change your position from God's Word.
20  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
notice: The disciples didn't make a compromise. They didn't agree knowing they would violate it.
exp. Whether or not the Sandhedrin thought it was right to obey them instead of God, didn't really matter to the Apostles. They would preach and teach Jesus.
ill. We love stories of boldness in God's Word. Stories like David's mighty men.
2 Samuel 23:10  Eleazar arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.
11  And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.
12  But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.
exp. Shammah and Eleazar would take a position and hold it for their king - even if it was just a lentil patch and everyone else is fleeing. THE LORD WROUGHT A GREAT VICTORY THROUGH THEIR BOLDNESS
 question: The disciples couldn't be stopped by persecution, imprisonment, and threatening from preaching the Gospel. Has anything stopped you.
Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
app. Boldly refuse to change your position from God's Word.
 
21  So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
22  For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
 
transition: Speak out boldly in persecution, in preaching, in position....
 
IV. Speak out boldly in prayer.
23  And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
exp. The church was not ignorant of what they were up against. The disciples came to the church and told them all. 
v.24  And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God
exp. I wonder today if we are ignorant that the world is trying to get us to altar our position, if we are ignorant of the persecution and threatening. I wonder because the church isn't really praying.
1.) Do we feel compelled to tarry in prayer until we be endued with power from on high?
2.) Do we possess the Gospel boldness which we find demonstrated in the early church?
3.) Are we compelled to go to prayer when facing Gospel opposition?
A. Boldly attend prayer meeting.
24  And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
exp. The church "company" was gathered together.  "THEY lifted up THEIR voice to God with ONE ACCORD."
 note: There is wonderful power in corporate prayer. Pentecost came after unified praying.
 ill. Tuesday - Day of prayer - question - Do you see the need for bold praying?
ill. John Wesley's biography - the Methodists were persecuted. They would regularly have watch night services where they would go to prayer until midnight, love feasts (spending time with God). app. You may say, pastor why don't we do that? Would you come? Who would come? Praise God for special season of united prayer  WHEN THE CHURCH LONGS TO SEEK GOD TOGETHER.
B. Boldly ackowledge God's control.
 ill. Like Jesus on trial before Pilate - Pilate tried to emphasize His authority and Jesus saw only God's authority. 
John 19:10  Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
11  Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above:
exp. Jesus in persecution knew that God was in control. The apostles acknowledged this as well.
1. God is in control - God said this would happen.
25  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
26  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
exp. The early church lifted up Psalm 2 and said God were living in the reality of these verses. You said it 1,000 years ago and it has happend just as you said.
27  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
ill. Disney World -  Everest - (spoiler alert) I'm thankful that I wasn't completely suprised as we came around the track to find that BIG FOOT (YETTI) had torn the track apart. The next part suprised me and I wish I had been better prepared. 
exp. There is comfort in knowing that things are going as expected.
app. What comfort in prayer to know that God is in control. He said that this would happen.
2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2. God is in control - God allowed this to happen.
28  For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
exp. Like Jesus words to Pilate - you can't do anything without God allowing it to be done. The persecution was not OUT OF CONTROL - it was under God's control. They weren't asking God to take it away. THEY WERE ASKING GOD FOR BOLDNESS TO FACE IT.
C. Boldly bring petitions with you.
29  And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
exp. Aren't you thankful that GOD IS FULLY AWARE of everything we are facing? And because He is aware - He stands ready to intervene IF WE WILL SEEK HIM.
 ill. I read about King Asa in my Bible reading this week. Asa did well when He realied on God but when he trusted in other things he failed. (2 Chron. 16)
7  And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
8  Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.
9  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
exp. What struck me was the excitement of God to SHOW HIS POWER TO THOSE WHO KEEP THEIR HEART TOWARDS HIM. "9  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him."
 ill. Taking our kids ice skating in the US. As a dad, you want to let your child develop by allowing them to feel like they are going along on their own. But, a good father has his hands out ready to give help as often as needed.
app. God was ready to help the early church. All they had to ask. THEY WERE ASKING.
30  By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
app. Of all our consideration here is the source of boldness - IT IS GOD'S SPIRIT FILLING US IN ANSWER TO BELIEVING PRAYER. They prayed until it was obvious God had answered. Are we as bold in prayer?
 
 transition: Speak out boldly in persecution, in preaching, in position....
 
V. Speak out boldly in provision.
 saying: "Actions speak louder than words." Their actions boldly declared that they would provide for the needs of one another.
 exp. The actions of the early church IN THEIR GIVING go beyond anything God has commanded in God's Word with the exception of what our Lord said to the rich young ruler,  Mat 19:21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
 exp. The persecution meant leaving a place of employment or losing a business. There was an incredible need for financial provision and the church would rise to the occasion and boldly supply the need.
app. I think I could say this morning that generally the church likes the idea of boldness in persecution, in preaching, in position and prayer. But, I wonder how much we like the idea of boldness in giving.
A. Boldly give without grudging.
32  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
ill. In the 16th century if there were spoils from war they would take them and divide them equally. The phrase, "Share and share alike" comes from that division of spoils.
  exp. The early church "shared and shared alike" without grudging. "Neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own."
question: How do you view what you possess? Is it your's or is it God's to use as He pleases? 
exp. It's easy to share things without grudging if you view those things as if they aren't your own.
 ill. Pitmans - Beautiful home with two fishing ponds and woods all around. They bough that home not because they needed a lot of space but to use the upper level of their home is made available for missionaries. They used it for God as if it was a stewardship from Him.
app. Are you prepared to give without grudging to God what is His anyway? 
2 Corinthians 9:7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
B. Boldly give by God's grace.
33  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34  Neither was there any among them that lacked:
exp. The great grace from God met every single need of the early church body. They were bold in preaching and they were bold in grace giving. 
 ill. The church at Corinth participated in giving BY GOD'S GRACE (ENABLEMENT.)
2 Corinthians 7: 6  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
question: When I do something by God's grace is it natural or supernatural? supernatural (salvation, sanctification, ministry....) When I give by God's grace, is it natural or supernatural? (Meaning that it is beyond my ability WITHOUT THE GRACE OF GOD.)
 ill. Paul used the church at Macedonia as an example of grace giving.
2 Cor. 8: 1  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
3  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
4  Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
app. If we are boldly giving to God's work by grace, then we are giving "beyond our power." God is supernaturally using us to meet a need by His grace.
C. Boldly give to meet the need.
...for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35  And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
exp. The early church heard about the needs of it's members and boldly gave to meet the need of every man.
 question: What need is there for GRACE GIVING in a local church.
1.) The needs of the local church. (expenses)
2.) The need of supporting a pastor and his family full time.
3.) The future need of purchasing - property, building
4.) The needs of supporting missionaries on their different fields.
5.) Love offerings - for ministry or to meet special needs.
app. Are you a bold giver to God's work? The church is a steward of what is given to God.
D. Boldly give beyond your means.
36  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
37  Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
exp. Barnabus gave beyond his means - like the Macedonian example - he gave himself. 
2 Cor. 8:5  And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
exp. You may wonder where it says, He gave Himself. It's coming in Luke's history of the early church.
Acts 13:1  Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4  So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
question: I wonder if anybody will really learn to give boldly until they give themselves.
Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
exp. The early church was consecrated to God's work and you can see it by their bold giving.
app. If you aren't boldly giving, what may be needed is to get somewhere and give yourself to God. (We call it surrender. It is yielding to God and acknowledging that you don't have a right to your life.) We'll talk about it tonight - you forfeited your rights when you got saved - HE PURCHASED YOU.
 
THE EARLY CHURCH WAS OUTSPOKEN IN THEIR PROVISION.
 
CONCLUSION:
 
We need to be outspoken for God.
 
1.) Are you bold in persecution?
2.) Are you bold in preaching?
 
3.) Are you bold in position? Do you ALWAYS OBEY GOD rather than men? Staying on the Rock?
Gal 1:10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
 
4.) Are you bold in prayer?
A. How important is corporate prayer to you?
B. Are you claiming God's authority over all circumstances?
C. Are you asking God (not for God to remove the persecution) but for boldness to face it?
 
5.) Are you bold in your giving?
A. Boldly giving without grudging? (viewing it as giving BACK to God what is His.)
B. Boldly giving by God's grace? 
C. Boldly giving to meet needs in the local church and missions?
D. Boldly giving beyond your means? (Giving yourself)
 

Date: 5 March, 2020

Text: Acts 4

Title: Outspoken for God - Part 2

 

Introduction:

The book of Acts, written by Luke, is a historical account of the birth of the church. We call the church that we read about here, "the early church." This was the church in it's infancy. It had been born in Jerusalem at Pentecost as the Spirit of God came.

 

Much of our practice comes from the example that we find in the early church.

1.) Evangelism and the Gospel - Ethiopean Eunuch, Philippian Jailer, Saul's conversion

2.) Missions  - Barnabus, Saul, John Mark, Luke, Peter

3.) Believer's Baptist by Immersion - Cornelius, Ethiopean Eunuch, Philippian Jailer

4.) Church polity - pastor and deacons 

Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Act 6:3  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

5.) Church planting (starting churches) and discipleship. (Timothy, Titus....)

Act 18:23  And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

 

Our focus last week  and this week  as we examine Acts 4 is on the boldness of the early church.

 

def. boldness: outspokeness, assurance, confidence

 

Our study last week took us through - Acts 4:1-12

 

13  Now 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.

 

ill. As a student at Bob Jones working on my undergrad, I liked to have some Scripture verse posters laminated and stuck to the top of the bunk or on the back of our door. This was one of the verses I had plastered there. (I knew I needed boldness and this verse told me where to get it.)

 

"THEY TOOK KNOWLEDGE OF THEM, THAT THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS."

 

ill. Our primary example of boldness in Acts 4 is the Apostle Peter who had failed in boldness before Jesus was crucified as he DENIED Him.

exp. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus had told him that WHAT HE NEEDED WAS TO SPEND TIME WITH HIM IN PRAYER.

Mat 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Peter didn't wait with Jesus in prayer and he failed.)

 note: Peter tried to be bold as he slashed a soldier with a sword, but then he denied the Lord three times. (Jesus restored Peter and praise God Peter's faith didn't fail (as Jesus had prayed for Him.)

Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:13  And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

14  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Acts 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

then: At Caiphas judgment hall when Jesus was on trial - the people weren't struck by the boldness of Peter.

But now: Filled with God's Spirit - the Sanhedrin are struck by the boldness of the apostles.

 

13  Now 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.

 

I. They spoke out boldly in persecution. (We need to speak out boldly in persecution.)

A. When opposed.

B. When losing liberty.

C. When questioned.

 

II.  They spoke out boldly in preaching. (We need to speak out boldly in preaching.)

A. Controversial truth - Jesus is the Christ.

B. You killed Jesus.

C. Jesus is God's corner stone which you rejected.

D. Jesus is the only way of salvation.

12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

We need to be outspoken for God. Are you salty salt? Are you bright light? Are you boldly speaking out for God? 

 

transition: Speak out boldly in persecution, in preaching....

 

III. Speak out boldly in position.

13  Now 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.

14  And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

exp. What could they say against Peter's exhibit A  - who was so well known and so clear a proof of the power of Jesus which these apostles preached.

15  But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,

16  Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.

17  But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.

18  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

exp. They couldn't deny the truth of the power of Jesus and so they threatened and commanded the apostles to CEASE SPEAKING ABOUT JESUS.

 ill. The Sanhedrin was a council made up of 70 elders in Israel. It would be like the Supreme Court of Ancient Israel.

question: Can you imagine being called to the Supreme Court of the UK and being threatened and commanded not to speak to anyone about Jesus or preach Jesus. What position are you going to take.

ill. There is an urband legend told about a ship which appears to be on a collision course with another vessel. A high ranking US navy officer commands the the other ship to altar course. A low ranking officer of another country responds and commands the US vessel to altar their course. There is a series of responses until US navy officer says, "This is an aircraft carrier altar your course." The response given is, "I'm a lighthouse. Your call."

 exp. The apostles are being commanded to altar a position given them by Jesus Christ - WHO IS THE ROCK. His position does not move. They take their opsition on the Rock.

A. Boldly take your position upon God's Word.

19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

exp. Peter's boldness remains unflinching. They are judges. He'll let them judge whether they think God would want these to listen MORE to them or to Himself.

 note: Peter uses an important word - "more" because God's Word commands us to obey authority.

Col 3:20  Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

Eph 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Heb 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

1Pe 2:13  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

 exp. Authority is God given for order within society. Can you imagine what life would be like if there was no authority.

note: However, when a lesser authority gives a command which violates a greater authority, you obey the greater authority.

ill. One of the reasons the UK voted for Brexit was because the EU had more authority than the United Kingdom. The Treaty of Rome "In an important ruling in 1964, the Court said that the states had agreed to limit their sovereign rights in the areas covered by the treaty and could not adopt national laws that were incompatible with European law. This principle of ‘primacy’ or supremacy of EU law has been accepted and applied by national courts including the UK courts....UK courts are required not to enforce UK laws to the extent that they are incompatible with EU obligations."

 exp. If the UK commanded you to do something which violated EU law, you would appeal to the EU courts and you would be proven to be right to obey THE GREATER AUTHORITY.

exp. The Sanhedrin were an earthly court seeking to overule the heavenly court. Peter and John would take their position with Jesus.

 app. Do you have a bold position on God's Word this morning? Or have you altered your position because an earthly authority has threatened and commanded you to do so?

B. Boldly refuse to change your position from God's Word.

20  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

notice: The disciples didn't make a compromise. They didn't agree knowing they would violate it.

exp. Whether or not the Sandhedrin thought it was right to obey them instead of God, didn't really matter to the Apostles. They would preach and teach Jesus.

ill. We love stories of boldness in God's Word. Stories like David's mighty men.

2 Samuel 23:10  Eleazar arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.

11  And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.

12  But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.

exp. Shammah and Eleazar would take a position and hold it for their king - even if it was just a lentil patch and everyone else is fleeing. THE LORD WROUGHT A GREAT VICTORY THROUGH THEIR BOLDNESS

 question: The disciples couldn't be stopped by persecution, imprisonment, and threatening from preaching the Gospel. Has anything stopped you.

Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

app. Boldly refuse to change your position from God's Word.

 

21  So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

22  For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.

 

transition: Speak out boldly in persecution, in preaching, in position....

 

IV. Speak out boldly in prayer.

23  And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

exp. The church was not ignorant of what they were up against. The disciples came to the church and told them all. 

v.24  And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God

exp. I wonder today if we are ignorant that the world is trying to get us to altar our position, if we are ignorant of the persecution and threatening. I wonder because the church isn't really praying.

1.) Do we feel compelled to tarry in prayer until we be endued with power from on high?

2.) Do we possess the Gospel boldness which we find demonstrated in the early church?

3.) Are we compelled to go to prayer when facing Gospel opposition?

A. Boldly attend prayer meeting.

24  And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

exp. The church "company" was gathered together.  "THEY lifted up THEIR voice to God with ONE ACCORD."

 note: There is wonderful power in corporate prayer. Pentecost came after unified praying.

 ill. Tuesday - Day of prayer - question - Do you see the need for bold praying?

ill. John Wesley's biography - the Methodists were persecuted. They would regularly have watch night services where they would go to prayer until midnight, love feasts (spending time with God). app. You may say, pastor why don't we do that? Would you come? Who would come? Praise God for special season of united prayer  WHEN THE CHURCH LONGS TO SEEK GOD TOGETHER.

B. Boldly ackowledge God's control.

 ill. Like Jesus on trial before Pilate - Pilate tried to emphasize His authority and Jesus saw only God's authority. 

John 19:10  Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

11  Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above:

exp. Jesus in persecution knew that God was in control. The apostles acknowledged this as well.

1. God is in control - God said this would happen.

25  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

26  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

exp. The early church lifted up Psalm 2 and said God were living in the reality of these verses. You said it 1,000 years ago and it has happend just as you said.

27  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

ill. Disney World -  Everest - (spoiler alert) I'm thankful that I wasn't completely suprised as we came around the track to find that BIG FOOT (YETTI) had torn the track apart. The next part suprised me and I wish I had been better prepared. 

exp. There is comfort in knowing that things are going as expected.

app. What comfort in prayer to know that God is in control. He said that this would happen.

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2. God is in control - God allowed this to happen.

28  For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

exp. Like Jesus words to Pilate - you can't do anything without God allowing it to be done. The persecution was not OUT OF CONTROL - it was under God's control. They weren't asking God to take it away. THEY WERE ASKING GOD FOR BOLDNESS TO FACE IT.

C. Boldly bring petitions with you.

29  And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,

exp. Aren't you thankful that GOD IS FULLY AWARE of everything we are facing? And because He is aware - He stands ready to intervene IF WE WILL SEEK HIM.

 ill. I read about King Asa in my Bible reading this week. Asa did well when He realied on God but when he trusted in other things he failed. (2 Chron. 16)

7  And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.

8  Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.

9  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

exp. What struck me was the excitement of God to SHOW HIS POWER TO THOSE WHO KEEP THEIR HEART TOWARDS HIM. "9  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him."

 ill. Taking our kids ice skating in the US. As a dad, you want to let your child develop by allowing them to feel like they are going along on their own. But, a good father has his hands out ready to give help as often as needed.

app. God was ready to help the early church. All they had to ask. THEY WERE ASKING.

30  By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

31  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

app. Of all our consideration here is the source of boldness - IT IS GOD'S SPIRIT FILLING US IN ANSWER TO BELIEVING PRAYER. They prayed until it was obvious God had answered. Are we as bold in prayer?

 

 transition: Speak out boldly in persecution, in preaching, in position....

 

V. Speak out boldly in provision.

 saying: "Actions speak louder than words." Their actions boldly declared that they would provide for the needs of one another.

 exp. The actions of the early church IN THEIR GIVING go beyond anything God has commanded in God's Word with the exception of what our Lord said to the rich young ruler,  Mat 19:21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

 exp. The persecution meant leaving a place of employment or losing a business. There was an incredible need for financial provision and the church would rise to the occasion and boldly supply the need.

app. I think I could say this morning that generally the church likes the idea of boldness in persecution, in preaching, in position and prayer. But, I wonder how much we like the idea of boldness in giving.

A. Boldly give without grudging.

32  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

ill. In the 16th century if there were spoils from war they would take them and divide them equally. The phrase, "Share and share alike" comes from that division of spoils.

  exp. The early church "shared and shared alike" without grudging. "Neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own."

question: How do you view what you possess? Is it your's or is it God's to use as He pleases? 

exp. It's easy to share things without grudging if you view those things as if they aren't your own.

 ill. Pitmans - Beautiful home with two fishing ponds and woods all around. They bough that home not because they needed a lot of space but to use the upper level of their home is made available for missionaries. They used it for God as if it was a stewardship from Him.

app. Are you prepared to give without grudging to God what is His anyway? 

2 Corinthians 9:7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

B. Boldly give by God's grace.

33  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34  Neither was there any among them that lacked:

exp. The great grace from God met every single need of the early church body. They were bold in preaching and they were bold in grace giving. 

 ill. The church at Corinth participated in giving BY GOD'S GRACE (ENABLEMENT.)

2 Corinthians 7: 6  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

8  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

question: When I do something by God's grace is it natural or supernatural? supernatural (salvation, sanctification, ministry....) When I give by God's grace, is it natural or supernatural? (Meaning that it is beyond my ability WITHOUT THE GRACE OF GOD.)

 ill. Paul used the church at Macedonia as an example of grace giving.

2 Cor. 8: 1  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;

2  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

3  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;

4  Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

app. If we are boldly giving to God's work by grace, then we are giving "beyond our power." God is supernaturally using us to meet a need by His grace.

C. Boldly give to meet the need.

...for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

35  And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

exp. The early church heard about the needs of it's members and boldly gave to meet the need of every man.

 question: What need is there for GRACE GIVING in a local church.

1.) The needs of the local church. (expenses)

2.) The need of supporting a pastor and his family full time.

3.) The future need of purchasing - property, building

4.) The needs of supporting missionaries on their different fields.

5.) Love offerings - for ministry or to meet special needs.

app. Are you a bold giver to God's work? The church is a steward of what is given to God.

D. Boldly give beyond your means.

36  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

37  Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

exp. Barnabus gave beyond his means - like the Macedonian example - he gave himself. 

2 Cor. 8:5  And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

exp. You may wonder where it says, He gave Himself. It's coming in Luke's history of the early church.

Acts 13:1  Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

2  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

3  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

4  So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

question: I wonder if anybody will really learn to give boldly until they give themselves.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

exp. The early church was consecrated to God's work and you can see it by their bold giving.

app. If you aren't boldly giving, what may be needed is to get somewhere and give yourself to God. (We call it surrender. It is yielding to God and acknowledging that you don't have a right to your life.) We'll talk about it tonight - you forfeited your rights when you got saved - HE PURCHASED YOU.

 

THE EARLY CHURCH WAS OUTSPOKEN IN THEIR PROVISION.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

We need to be outspoken for God.

 

1.) Are you bold in persecution?

2.) Are you bold in preaching?

 

3.) Are you bold in position? Do you ALWAYS OBEY GOD rather than men? Staying on the Rock?

Gal 1:10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

 

4.) Are you bold in prayer?

A. How important is corporate prayer to you?

B. Are you claiming God's authority over all circumstances?

C. Are you asking God (not for God to remove the persecution) but for boldness to face it?

 

5.) Are you bold in your giving?

A. Boldly giving without grudging? (viewing it as giving BACK to God what is His.)

B. Boldly giving by God's grace? 

C. Boldly giving to meet needs in the local church and missions?

D. Boldly giving beyond your means? (Giving yourself)

 

 

 May God help us by His Spirit to be a bold church like the early church?

 May God help us by His Spirit to be a bold church like the early church?