Acts 4. Forum Discussion

Boldness

In chapter 4, Peter and John find themselves on the receiving end of persecution from the local leaders.

“As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.  And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening.” – Acts 4:1-3.

Luke writes that Peter and John were threatened and thrown into jail. They were released the next day and commanded not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

For Christians, that is perhaps the worst thing that somebody could ask us to do. It is in direct contrast to “The Great Commission” given by Jesus and found in Mathew 28:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Mathew 28:19.

How did Peter and John react to being told not to speak or teach about Jesus?

Luke writes that Peter and John answered the leaders as follows:

“Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” – Acts 4:19-20.

That is bold! For many people, this command, accompanied by the threats and imprisonment, would have been frightening enough to force their compliance. That is not what happened with Peter and John. They were emboldened by the Holy Spirit and determined to continue their work for the Lord.

Peter and John were taking a stand and were not swayed by the threats of the rulers, elders and scribes. They had been well prepared for the work at hand, and none of this would have come as a surprise to them.

Their boldness to share the good news of Jesus, regardless of the cost to them personally is something for us to admire and learn from.

Boldness is defined as, “Willingness to take risks and act innovatively; confidence or courage.”

Peter and John were willing to risk everything to spread the gospel. Their belief in Jesus, along with the help of the Holy Spirit, gave them confidence and courage to continue serving the Lord.

God wants us to be bold in our faith. The following scriptures speak to this point:

  • The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” - Proverbs 28:1.

  • “He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” - Acts 28:31.

  • “In whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” - Ephesians 3:12.

  • And  when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” - Acts 4:31.

  • “Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech.” - 2 Corinthians 3:12.

  • “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9.

As we live our lives to serve Jesus, the devil will try to disrupt our plans any way possible. As it says in 1 Peter 5:8:

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

The devil works in deceptive ways. As we go through disruptions and hardships in our lives, we can learn from the example of John and Peter in the Book of Acts, and resolve to be bold in our service to the Lord. As we serve God, we can be emboldened in our knowledge that God is always with us, and that He is stronger than any adversary that we may face!

We will end today’s lesson with the following scriptures about courage and hope:

  • “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6.
  • “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith.” - 1 Corinthians 16:13.
  • “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” - 2 Timothy 1:7.
  • “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13.

Thank you for studying with us today!  Please join us again tomorrow as we look at Acts 5. Our topic of discussion will be, “Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.”  May God’s blessings be upon you until then.  Amen

Comments

Michelle

To me it means keeping your eyes upon the Lord no matter what comes against you. Standing for GOD in all times no matter what.

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Tobi

"Pray, apply scripture, and trust God." - Amen!

Reply