Theme: The Church Perseveres
Scripture: Acts 4:1-31
B1 Peter and John arrested Acts 4:1-4
B2 Peter and John questioned Acts 4:5-7
B3 Peter preaches to the Sanhedrin Acts 4:8-12
B4 The Sanhedrin's discussion and decision Acts 4:13-18
B5 Peter and John rebuke the evil Sanhedrin Acts 4:19-20
B6 The Sanhedrin threaten Peter and John Acts 4:21-22
B7 Peter and John give their report to the church and pray Acts 4:23-30
B8 God answers their prayer Acts 4:31
B9 The changed life of the believers Acts 4:32-37
A2 Notes and Questions
B1 Setting: Peter had finished his message to the crowd at the Temple, where the Lord Jesus had healed, through the ministry of Peter and John, the lame beggar (Acts 3:1-26).
B2 The beggar sat at the Beautiful Gate.
B3 After being healed by the Lord Jesus, Peter and John moved to Solomon's Portico, which was on the east side of the Temple. The modern named "Western Wall" is on the other side.
B4 Peter had finished preaching the Gospel.
B5 Acts 4:1 finds the Apostles in trouble with the religious authorities.
B6 Acts 4:1-4
C1 Who came upon the Peter and John? (Officer of the Temple guard, some priests, and some Sadducees).
C2 What were these annoyed at? (The preaching that Jesus had risen from the dead. The Sadducees did not believe in angels, spirits, or in any form of resurrection from the dead. See Matthew 22:23 and Acts 23:8).
C3 When preaching, is doctrine important? (Yes, the Apostles preached the resurrection of Jesus).
C4 These are religious police, for Peter and John were arrested for preaching Jesus and the resurrection. Was it against the law to preach Jesus and His resurrection, or an inconvenience to the Sadducees?
C5 Some people say that if we would see miracles like this, then people would believe the Gospel. Is this true or false? (False, consider…
D1 All the miracles that Jesus had done, but they still did not believe. John 4:48, John 12:37, Luke 16:29-31
D2 Preaching is mentioned on the method of getting the Gospel out to people, not miracles. Romans 10:14, Luke 24:47
B7 Note all the details of this incident. It is as if someone or more was there and telling Luke what had happened.
B8 Acts 4:5-7
C1 The powerhouses of the Sanhedrin were present. This was no small affair. All these were of the High Priest's relatives and were Sadducees.
C2 How would you answer the two questions put forth by the questioners in Acts 4:7?
B9 Acts 4:8-12
C1 Peter was "filled with the Spirit." Does this mean he spoke in tongues, had jerking motions, hissed, smacked his lips, maybe even fell to the floor jerking?
C2 What does "filled with the Spirit" mean?
E1 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.(Luke 1:15 NRSV)
E2 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41 NRSV). Elizabeth said something in her native language. There was no other activity or action. Luke 1:41-45
E3 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: (Luke 1:67 NRSV). What did Zechariah do, running around the room speaking in tongues that no one could understand? No, he said something in his native language. Luke 1:67-79
E4 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. (Luke 4:14 NRSV). What did Jesus show and do jerking and hissing and speaking in unknown languages? No, He started teaching. Luke 4:14-15
E5 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. (Acts 2:4 NRSV) What happened when all the Christians were filled? Did they start jerking, falling to the ground, speaking in unknown languages? No, they started speaking the wonderful acts of God. Acts 2:4-11
E6 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders, (Acts 4:8 NRSV) Peter started preaching in their native language. Acts 4:8-13
E7 When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31 NRSV). They spoke with boldness.
E8 But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. (Acts 7:55 NRSV). He starting preaching. He had a vision of Jesus at the right hand of God. Acts 7:55-56
E9 So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 9:17 NRSV). After Ananias prayed for Paul, what did Paul do? And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, (Acts 9:18-19 NRSV)
E10 But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him (Acts 13:9 NRSV). What did Paul do? He pronounced judgment on this evil man who was trying to not have the proconsul trust in Jesus. Acts 13:9-12
E11 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:52 NRSV) What did they have? Joy that the Holy Spirit gave.
E12 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:18 NRSV) What we the people to do? Pray, praise and thank God, and sing. Ephesians 5:18-20
D2 Did any of these believers ask for this? No
D3 The Holy Spirit lives in each believer.
E1 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9 NRSV)
E2 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" (Galatians 4:6 NRSV)
E3 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 NRSV)
E4 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may abide with you forever, (John 14:16 EMTV)
D4 What is filled with the Spirit as in Ephesians 5:18?
E1 The word "spirit" is nearly if not always interpreted to be the Holy Spirit.
E2 There is a contrast between wine and Spirit.
E3 What is the effect of each?
F1 Wine--the effects of drunkenness. For other effects of living according to the flesh see Galatians 5:19-21
F2 Spirit--the effects of the Holy Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. The context refers to singing and giving thanks to God (Ephesians 5:19-20).
E4 Note we are the vessel and the Holy Spirit is the one who fills.
E5 We have a choice--flesh or spirit, ourselves or the Holy Spirit.
C3 Note that Peter and John did not hesitate to reveal the one who healed this man. They did not take the credit. We must never be ashamed of Jesus. May God help us.
C4 Acts 4:10--was Peter being too harsh in saying, "...whom you crucified"?
C5 Acts 4:12--what do you think the Sanhedrin was thinking after Peter told them this?
C6 Acts 4:12--is their salvation in any other?
B10 Acts 4:13-18
C1 Where did this boldness come from? Was this something new in their lives or was it always there? Compare Mark 14:50
C2 What does Acts 4:14 tell us about the Sanhedrin?
C3 How does John 11:47 relate to Acts 4:16?
C4 Did the Sanhedrin really think that their threat in Acts 4:17 would make any difference?
C5 Who is the highest authority? What can we learn from that? Compare Daniel 3:28 and Revelation 20:4.
C6 Have you ever faced opposition from someone in authority?
C7 How are we to respond to those who oppose the Gospel? (with respect and calmness)
C8 Do we need a theological degree before we can preach the Gospel of Jesus?
C9 How are we going to handle serious government or religious authorities opposing us?
B11 Acts 4:19-20--how do the Apostles respond to the threats?
B12 Acts 4:21-22--the crowd and the Sanhedrin had two different reactions to this healing. Name them.
B13 Acts 4:23-30
C1 After hearing what had happened, how did the believers respond? (They prayed for boldness).
C2 ...to do all that Your hand and Your counsel foreordained to come to pass. (Acts 4:28, EMTV). This does not mean Calvinism is correct. God foreordained the plan for Jesus to die being the propitiation for our sins, and this came about just as foreordained. God did not foreordain the sinful actions of Jews and Gentiles. Isaiah 53 and Acts 3:18 for example. Clarke adds in his commentary on Acts 4:27-28--It is evident that what God's hand and counsel determined before to be done was not that which Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles, (Romans,) and the people of Israel had done and were doing; for, then, their rage and vain counsel would be such as God himself had determined should take place, which is both impious and absurd; but these gathered together to hinder what God had before determined that his Christ or Anointed should perform; and thus the passage is undoubtedly to be understood.
C3 Acts 4:29--signs, wonders, and miracles. Does this happen today? (God heals is not in doubt, but a miraculous healing would be someone who lays hands on a sick person, prays for them, and they instantly rise fully healed and well. This doesn't happen today despite many claims. There is no proof, only claims. This shows that the so called faith healer of today is a false prophet/prophetess and can be safely ignored).
B14 Acts 4:31 God answers their prayer. Being filled with the Spirit equals boldness to speak the Gospel. Why pray? Why have prayer together?
B15 Acts 4:32-37
C1 All things in common
C2 Is this action necessary for Christians today? Many politicians preach income equality. Should we practice this? (No, it is not commanded anywhere in the New Testament. If some do (as Hutterites), it is not sin, but it is not required. It is OK see Matthew 20:12 and Proverbs 10:22. There are problems with money and love of money as in 1 Timothy 6:9-10, Matthew 6:19 and elsewhere.
B15 Ready to share money or faith
C1 Money--with wisdom
D1 Attitude--So having food and clothing we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:8, WPNT)
D2 Acknowledgment--Further, God is able to make all 'grace' abound toward you, that always having all sufficiency in everything you may abound to every good work; as it is written: "He has distributed around, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." (2 Corinthians 9:8-9, WPNT)
D3 Educate--I am not saying this because of lack, since I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:11, WPNT)
D4 Freedom--Your way of life should be free from the love of money, being content with what you have, because He Himself has said: "I absolutely will not desert you; I most certainly will not abandon you." (Hebrews 13:5, WPNT)
C2 Faith--with answers and calm patience
D1 Ready (so we have to study)--Rather, sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready with an answer for everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with meekness and respect; (1 Peter 3:15, WPNT)
D2 Remembering--For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18, EMTV)
D3 Responsibility--holding fast to the faithful word as he was taught, that he may be able to exhort by sound doctrine, and to convince those who oppose it. (Titus 1:9, EMTV)
D4 Resource (first and foremost)--All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be proficient, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, EMTV)