Sermon Summary - Boldly Speaking the Truth (Acts 4:13-22)
Boldly Speaking The Truth
Question: Where did Peter and John (and where do we) get such clarity and boldness when it comes to testifying to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ? According to Acts 4:13, it comes from fellowship with Jesus. Remember the context, Peter and John had been used by the resurrected Lord Jesus to heal a man in his forties who had never before walked. This drew a large crowd, Peter preached the gospel, and 2000 came to saving faith. Then Peter and John were arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. Peter boldly proclaimed that it was by the name of Jesus that the man was healed (Acts 4:10-12).
The council is dumbfounded by the boldness of Peter (an uneducated man, Acts 4:13). Jesus dumbfounded them too (John 7:15). The council recognized that Peter and John had been with Jesus. That is the most important prerequisite for being a witness of Jesus Christ, not a seminary education or degree. In order to boldly speak the truth we must have communion with the resurrected Lord Jesus, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, over the truth of God’s word. Every one of you is articulate over what you are passionate about. Our words are the mirrors into the clarity or the fuzziness that is in our minds, especially concerning the gospel. Peter’s boldness came from being with Jesus, but also from being filled with the Spirit (Acts 4:8), and that caused him to have no desire to be praised or accepted by men.
The council’s response to Peter and John’s boldness (Acts 4:14-18) - they had no response. They were stumped. What becomes clear is the way that sin muddles the intellectual faculties of otherwise intelligent persons. In essence, the council is saying that they’re not interested in truth, but in retaining their power, which is threatened by Jesus and His message. “When people stop believing in God they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.” - G.K. Chesterton. And we are all susceptible to this effect of sin upon our reasoning.
Crucial application of this text: respond like Peter and John (Acts 4:19-20). Peter calls out the Jewish leaders for going against the one true God, in the name of their religion. Peter and John know that Jesus is alive, and that emboldened them. Thus they will hold to and testify to the truth of God and that Jesus is the only way to God (Acts 4:12). And so will we. We learn from Peter and John that we need to stand on the truth of Scripture and speak it without worrying what the legal system or the culture thinks. One big take home: even though we live in a time when basic Scriptural assumptions about reality are no longer assumed, we just need to go on believing and speaking, testifying to what we have seen and heard in the gospel of Jesus Christ without worrying about what the culture thinks.
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