Bowie Apostolic Church
Acts 4: God Adds to the Church
Posted on February 4th, 2013

God Adds to the Church

Acts 4:1 While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. 2 These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. 3 They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. 4 But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of believers now totaled about 5,000 men, not counting women and children.
After Peter’s second sermon recorded in Acts 3, we see something that happens even until this day. When people hear the message of the Gospel there are always mixed reactions. Even though 5,000 lives were changed that day, both Peter and John were arrested. One of the central points of the gospel in all accounts during the Book of Acts is the emphasis on the power of the resurrection. It is so overlooked these days outside of Easter, but it really is still a controversial issue that many people struggle with.

Not only did they preach that Jesus was raised from the grave, but that He will also raise us up from the grave. To hear that the resurrection comes through the power of a “mere man” was disturbing to the religious establishment. But, of course, Jesus is no mere man. He is God.

Controversy about the Name of Jesus

16 “What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. 17 But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.” 18 So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
As it turns out, they didn’t have an issue with the fact that they followed Jesus during His earthly ministry. They didn’t even have a problem with the miracle that was performed with the 40 year old lame man who sat at the gate all those years. They openly admitted that it was a miraculous sign. They knew they had been with Jesus. 

The issue was that all the good news about resurrection and miraculous healing was associated with the name of Jesus Christ. Still to this day, the name of Jesus is controversial. The name of Jesus is offensive. You can say Muhammad on a T.V. sitcom, but not Jesus. Even when we preach that baptism should be done in Jesus Name in accordance with Acts 2:38, the name of Jesus even becomes an issue with Christians. What’s wrong with the name of Jesus? It brings miracles! It brings salvation, deliverance and healing! People want all of this today, but they don’t want Jesus.

The revelation of the Name of God is the revelation of God Himself. Jesus Christ is that revelation to all mankind. Everything is subject to the name of Jesus. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We can either do it now of our own free will or do it later in judgment.

"Be Being" Filled with the Spirit

Acts 4:23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, 

        “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, 
and the peoples plot in vain? 
    26     The kings of the earth set themselves, 
and the rulers were gathered together, 
against the Lord and against his Anointed’— 

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. 

Lastly, it would be remiss of me to not mention the power of prayer. After the promise, after the expectation of the fulfillment of promise, after receiving the promise and finally after the demonstration of God’s power there is now opposition. Opposition will always come against anything that the Lord wants to do. Mankind always opposes Him. Dark powers always oppose Him. What should be the response of the church? Should we complain to God? Should we shrink away from the promise or the commission that God has given us? I’ll tell you what the early church did. They prayed more earnestly, not for protection, but for boldness. What happened after that was powerful. “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” The thing about this passage of scripture was that they had already received the Holy Ghost. God filled them again through prayer.

This is not something that is unusual. In Ephesians 5:18, we can find these very relevant words, “… be filled with the spirit.” In the original Greek, the words “be filled” are more properly translated as “be being filled.” In other words it is God’s will that we are always being filled with the power of God. This is not a onetime thing. The only way that it will happen is if we pray. That is how it happened for us in the beginning. I encourage us all to “be being” filled with the Spirit.

I pray that God would again shake things up with us in prayer like He did with them.


Posted in Acts, Bible 2013    Tagged with gospel, peter, filled, name of Jesus


0 Comments

Leave a Comment


Categories
Acts (28)
Tags
30 pieces of silver About the bible Abraham Agrippa Arm of the Lord Ascension Berea Bethlehem Bramblebush Caesar Corinth Counsel Damascus David Ephesus Ephratah Euroclydon Everlasting Father Felix Festus Fullness of power Galilee Golden rule Herod His suffering Integrity Isaac Ishmael Jerusalem Jotham Judah Malta Mary Messiah Moses Nathan Passover Paul Philippi Right hand of God Righteous Branch Rome Sanhedrin Saul Silas Son of God Timothy Triumphal Entry Virgin Birth ananias angels appointed time arbiter arrested asset management awe baptism betrayal boast bones borrower breaking point brockenhearted bruise business buyer caesarea casting lots centurion character child rearing colt commitment consistency construction conversion correction cosigning culture debt demon devil discernment disrespect edification edify education environment eternal ethiopian ethnic expectation facade faith family filled finances foolish foul words friends gentiles glory gospel heresy holy spirit honor hope humble humor identity idleness ill-gotten gains intimidation iron irreverence jealousy john joke justice knowledge lamb law of moses lazy learning lender lion love the Blesser love your neighbor love loyalty magician martyr mercy ministry miracle mob mocked moment name of Jesus nations negotiation no corruption obedience peace keeper peace pentecost persecution perseverance peter philip poor taste power pranks prayer preach promise prosper rebellion rebuke referee relationships reproach resurrection reverence rich man's tomb ruin sapphire satan self-promotion seller serpent sharpens shepherd ship silent before slaughter simon slave stephen strife submitted surety teacher temptation timidity truth understanding unsubmitted wealth what goes around comes around wicked wisdom words matter work ethic wounds zeal of thine house