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"Faithfulness In The Face Of Persecution" - Dr. Gary Cass

November 14, 2021 Preacher: Gary Cass Series: Acts

Topic: Faithfulness, Persecution Passage: Acts 4:13–4:22

FAITHFULNESS IN THE
FACE OF PERSECUTION

INFUSION CHURCH 11-13-2021
Acts 4:13-22

Acts 4:8: … “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been 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, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

I. ASTONISHING BOLDNESS

Vs.13: Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

The evidence of being a true Christian is nothing less than the change of your entire being as you are conformed to the image of Christ in true righteousness, holiness and boldness.

Luke 24:36ff; As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved…

Matt 28:16-17: Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.

Peter and John were formally uneducated men, yet they proclaimed the most exalted message that had ever graced human lips.

These were common men, yet they declared the most uncommon message the world would ever hear.

Are people astonished when they see your spiritual boldness?

II. THE VAIN PLANS OF MAN

Vss. 14-16: But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.

What these Jewish leaders should have done is thank God for His great healing mercy and commended the Apostle’s for their obedience to God and then asked Peter and John to pray for them.

Vss.17-21; But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus… 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

Man’s futal attempts to stop the gospel have always failed and will always fail.

The ark of history is bent towards Christ and His Kingdom.

III. THE CHRISTIAN IMPARATIVES

A. YOU ARE WHITNESS OF HIS MAJESTY.

Vss.19-21 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

2 Pet 1:16: For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

I John 1:1; That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—

Luke 9:28ff: This is my beloved Son whom I have chosen- hear Him.

Acts 2:43: awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles…

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

2 Cor 5:11: Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.

Rom 15:16: … a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

B. THE COURAGE OF YOUR CONVICTIONS

Vs 19: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

In the words of the Apostles we see the precedent for what will become a glorious Christian tradition of resistance to tyranny.

Resistance to tyranny is a common thread throughout the Bible.

Judges 3:20: Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat. 21 And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly.

In 2 Kings 11, wicked Queen Atheliah is later deposed and killed by the generals and the priests.

The disciples had been rightly trained by Jesus and knew that “rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

An omnipotent state is a demonic, humanistic monstrosity, Dragon or Leviathan.

Will you dare to be theologically correct, ethically correct, morally correct, or politically correct?

Patrick Henry’s question: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”

Conclusion

Stand strong in the gospel and in your hope of Christ’s victory!

Romans 16:17ff: I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.