First Christian Church
April 18. 2021 2nd Service
      • Bible Trivia
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  • Let The Praises Ring
      • Hebrews 1:3CSB

  • Look To The Son
      • Romans 5:8CSB

  • Unstoppable God
      • John 14:13CSB

  • Beautiful Jesus
  • INTRODUCTION
    I hope you enjoyed Scott coming to share with us this past Sunday! I am looking forward to having him back with us next week.
    Today we are in our second week of a series looking at the proclamations of the early church.
    These proclamations are important first and foremost because they are found in God’s Word, so they are inspired and useful for living out our daily faith.
    But secondly, they provide us with a historical window through which we can glimpse how the first church shared the good news and what that good news was. Today’s message comes shortly after the sermon that Peter proclaimed on Pentecost.
    Once again, the focus of the message is the resurrection of Jesus.
    I know I keep saying this but think about it.
    When Peter is preaching about the power of Jesus, and as we look at the power of Jesus in our message today, none of this makes sense if Jesus is dead in the tomb somewhere.
    We need to make sure that part of our Gospel presentation is talking about the fact that Jesus is not dead, that He rose on the third day.
    The church has continued to grow, and the Apostles demonstrated God's power through signs and wonders. In Acts 3Peter and John heal a man who had been unable to walk.
    In part, the growth of the early church can be attributed to the signs and wonders the Apostles were performing in the name of Jesus, as shown in Acts 3; however, the main reason for the growth was the focus of the message!
    The focus was on Jesus and His death, burial, and resurrection without which, He has nothing to offer to anyone.
    A dead Jesus gives us nothing more than a few good precepts by which to live, but nothing else.
    A DEAD JESUS CANNOT HELP YOU IN THIS LIFE, NOR CAN HE HELP IN THE LIFE TO COME.
    A dead Savior is not a savior; a dead savior is just another dead guy who has nothing more to offer to us.
    Jesus was more than a philosopher; He was more than a great teacher; HE IS THE RISNE LORD WHO IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER!
    Big Idea of the Message: The first church proclaimed the power of Jesus, AND SO SHOULD WE!
    A dead Jesus has no power; a RISEN SAVIOR does!
    Let’s open the Word together to Acts 4:1-10 to start.
    Acts 4:1–10 CSB
    1 While they were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple police, and the Sadducees confronted them, 2 because they were annoyed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 So they seized them and took them into custody until the next day since it was already evening. 4 But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. 5 The next day, their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all the members of the high-priestly family. 7 After they had Peter and John stand before them, they began to question them: “By what power or in what name have you done this?” 8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders: 9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man, by what means he was healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing here before you healthy.
    SERMON

    I. The power to heal.

    The context to what is happening in chapter four is found in chapter 3.
    Let me give you a timeline because the backstory to the passage is even more fascinating when you grip the timeline.
    Jesus died during Passover, Pentecost (From Acts 2 sermon) took place 50 days after the Passover.
    From Acts 1:3 we see that Jesus made appearances for 40 days after the resurrection, and then He ascended.
    Ten days after the ascension, Peter gives the Acts 2 sermon on the day of Pentecost.
    The best estimates are that Acts 3-4 takes place about a month after Pentecost.
    So at this point in our text, we are about 80 days or so after the resurrection.
    In Acts 3Peter and John were heading to the Temple for the time of prayer when a lame man begged them for money.
    Peter and John look at the man and tell him:
    Acts 3:6 CSB
    6 But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!”
    The man walks and praises God; the crowd is astonished as they see the man who was unable to walk, now leaping for joy.
    Then Peter starts to preach to the crowd.
    The crowd is listening carefully when the religious leader goon squad shows up. Because Peter and John were preaching about the resurrection from the dead and were using Jesus as THE example, the goon squad seized Peter and John and arrested them because their custom was not to have trials at night.
    Well, except for Jesus!
    One interesting thing, despite the goon squads' efforts, the number of believers had now grown to over 5,000 men, 2,000 more since Pentecost a month earlier!
    The next day Peter and John were put before the Sanhedrin (the Jewish Supreme Court consisting of 70 men.
    This group used to have complete control of Israel until the Romans pulled out their teeth, as we say.
    The Sanhedrin could not sentence someone to death and carry out the sentence; only Rome could administer the death penalty.
    Part of the Sanhedrin was made of the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection because they only believed in the first 5 books (Pentateuch) of the Old Testament.
    With Peter and John, the Sanhedrin really had no cause to charge them, so they did what they did with Jesus; they hoped to trip them up by asking more open-ended questions.
    They ask by what power (or in whose name) have do done this act? The act of healing the lame man?
    In verse 10, Peter made it known how they did, and whose name and by whose power the deed was done!
    Acts 4:10 CSB
    let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing here before you healthy.
    Jesus healed the man.
    Since Jesus is not dead, He can heal. In the direct context of this situation, Jesus healed the man physically; however, Jesus is not limited to physical healing!
    Jesus can heal you spiritually, which we will cover in a minute; he can heal you psychologically, He can heal the wounds that have afflicted you your entire life.
    Jesus heal relationships!
    Is your troubled marriage bigger than Jesus?
    The religious welcome wagon could care less about the joy of the healed man, all they cared about was their religious stuff.
    Jesus can heal because He is alive!
    Philosophy or great teachers cannot heal you; religious systems can't heal you, Jesus can!
    Peter will dig himself in a deeper hole with the welcome wagon as he pours it on!
    Let’s look at verses 11-12!
    Acts 4:11–12 CSB
    11 This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”

    II. The power to save.

    I am not sure if Peter was aware of the significance of what he was saying in verses 11-12, but I find them rather poetic.
    Jesus Himself used verse 11, which is a quote of Psalm 118:22, which was considered a Messianic Psalm ( A Psalm was written about the coming Messiah) in Matthew 21, at verse 42 when Jesus spoke before the very members of the Sanhedrin on the great day of questioning.
    Just before He used this verse, Jesus told the parable of the vineyard wherein a nutshell; the workers killed the owner’s son hoping to get the vineyard.
    Then Jesus quotes Psalm 118:22 and the religious leaders KNEW He spoke of them and their desire to have Jesus put to death.
    I wonder if the Sanhedrin grasped the irony?
    In the Old and New Testament days, the cornerstone was the first stone that was laid for a building.
    Sometimes the cornerstone could be 7x14 feet in size.
    The building got its alignment and strength from the cornerstone.
    A crooked cornerstone and all the walls would be crooked and not square.
    A weak cornerstone would result in a weak building.
    Peter says that this Jesus, whom they rejected, is the cornerstone, and He is the one who saves us!
    There is no other name under heaven given to people by which we MUST be saved!
    Religion will not save you; a relationship with Jesus will!
    Great teaching will not save you; a relationship with Jesus will!
    Your own made-up well-intentioned efforts will not save you; only Jesus can save you!
    Peter’s proclamation, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (v. 12).
    This is a remarkable claim to make to a group of religious experts.
    Everyone there that day would have known that the Scriptures were clear: only God can save (Isaiah 43:11).
    And yet Peter is saying that salvation is found only in the name of Jesus.
    This proclamation of Peter focuses on the power of God in Christ.
    Let’s look at verses 8, 13-14!
    Acts 4:8 CSB
    Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders:
    Acts 4:13–14 CSB
    13 When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And since they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in opposition.

    III. The power to witness.

    The message you are afraid to share because you are afraid you will mess it up, Jesus will give you the power to witness to others.
    When Peter addressed the Sanhedrin, he was filled with the Holy Spirit!
    Look at verse 13 with me. This is interesting to me, and it goes to the power of Jesus.
    Acts 4:13 CSB
    When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.
    Peter just amazed the Sanhedrin with his teaching when they realized he was uneducated, untrained, and they noticed something else.
    They realized Peter and John had been with Jesus!
    Let’s talk about that for a minute.
    Remember our timeline?
    Jesus dies during the Passover; He is raised on the third day. He makes many public appearances for 40 more days. Pentecost happens 10 days later.
    We are now about 80 days out from the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
    Where Peter at the time of the crucifixion?
    He denied Jesus three times. He was hiding in fear of his own death.
    Now, do you realize whom Peter is preaching to?
    The Sanhedrin, the SAME group that declared Jesus was to be put to death.
    Peter is preaching with boldness without an ounce of fear before the very people who 80 days earlier he was terrified of!
    Author Tim Keller shows how the presence of these ordinary men proclaiming Jesus to the extraordinary religious leaders demonstrates the power of the gospel.
    He writes, “But the reason they were astonished was because they did not grasp the gospel.
    The gospel is that one’s past record is never pristine (it is full of selfishness, pride, and sin) and that therefore ‘ordinary men’ can be saved and chosen and gifted by God for service.
    Peter and John have this confidence because they have received their position with God and their position in his service all by grace”
    (Tim Keller, Evangelism: Studies in the Book of Acts [New York: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2005], 46).
    They pointed to Jesus in this proclamation, and the ordinary was eclipsed by the glory of God.
    CONCLUSION
    Application Point: So often, we can get lost in trying to sell our faith; instead, we should point people to Jesus and let him do the rest.
    Let’s make sure the message of the Gospel does not get lost in the wrapping!
    Jesus is alive and well; He has power because He is alive!
      • Acts 4:1–10CSB

      • Acts 3:6CSB

      • Acts 4:10CSB

      • Acts 4:11–12CSB

      • Acts 4:8CSB

      • Acts 4:13–14CSB

      • Acts 4:13CSB

  • Lead Me To The Cross
  • Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise)
  • O Come To The Altar
  • Your Grace Is Enough

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