Dr. John Hartmann

Proclaiming the Whole Counsel of God

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Proclamation and Persecution- the Continuing Story of the Spread of the Gospel and Growth of the Early Church in Jerusalem

June 26th, 2011 · No Comments

A Miracle of Healing Leads to Witness and Conversion (Acts 3:1-4:3)

The narrative of the early church and the gospel mission that began at Pentecost continues in Acts 3:1-4:31 with the account of a miracle of healing wrought at the hands of Peter, which took place one day at the Temple during the time of prayer associated with the evening sacrifice (3 pm), all of which resulted in a large crowd gathering to hear Peter preach the gospel, with many that day coming to faith, as the number of the men who believed now comes to be about 5000 (excluding women and children).

The Apostles stand trial before the Jewish Council (Acts 4:4-22)

The Jewish Council was made up some Pharisees (the minority), and Sadducees (the majority), with a few priestly families at its head. Jesus had foretold that His witnesses would be brought before religious and political authorities, giving them opportunity for testimony. The Lord would be with them and give them utterance to speak with a wisdom that none of their adversaries could refute. This is exactly what happens here. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, again indicts the Jewish leadership for the murder of Jesus the Nazarene, and boldly bears witness of His resurrection from the dead, adding that He is the stone which they the builders had rejected, but Who has now become the chief cornerstone, salvation being found in no other Name than His. Peter thus turns the table on his judges, who are themselves now put on trial for the murder of an innocent Man, Whom God had vindicated by raising Him from the dead, a fact to which the apostles are bearing witness. The proof that their testimony was true was right before the eyes of the Council: a man lame from his mother’s womb, now over 40 years old, stood before them whole, and the apostles are declaring in no uncertain terms that this had happened through the power and authority (Name) of the One they had crucified.

The trial ends with the Council threatening the apostles to speak no more in the Name of Jesus. They in return make known their intent to continue speaking in this Name, for they must bear witness of those things they have seen and heard. After further threatening, the apostles are released and return to their own company.

The Prayer Meeting (Acts 4:23-31)

The apostles immediately gathered for prayer, asking the Lord to behold the threats of their persecutors and to grant them boldness to continue testifying of Jesus and that signs and wonders would continue to be granted to confirm the Word of God they were proclaiming. They are filled afresh with the Holy Spirit and continue to speak the Word of God with boldness.

Tags: Sermons

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