The early church was flourishing. New people were being saved by Jesus day after day. But in Acts 4 we see their leaders come up against strong opposition that begins to cost them their life. Why? Because the gospel is more than good deeds, it is a message that people are sinners and Jesus is the only Savior. Any and every Christian can tell others about Jesus because Jesus is not looking for the best, brightest, or most educated; he’s looking for men and women who will trust him, depend on the Holy Spirit, and boldly speak the gospel to a dying world. Will you worship Jesus or worship your own reputation? Will you worship Jesus or worship your own life? Your reputation and your life will come to an end, but Jesus, and who you are in Jesus, will never end. Our joy in Jesus and God’s great glory shown in the gospel will keep increasing for all time.
Acts 4:1-22 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
5 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter,filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “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.”
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. 14 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. 17 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. 19 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.” 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.
1. Was there anything from Sunday’s Sermon or the Big Idea that had an affect on you or was new? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
2. What stands out to you in Acts 4:1-22 and why?
3. Why is it important to remember what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12: “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”?
4. What are the two main reasons Pastor Brett gave as to why Christians believe salvation is exclusively in Jesus? How is salvation exclusive, but at the same time radically inclusive? How can these truths help shape how we talk to non-Christians about the gospel?
5. Spend some time praying with and for one another.
Salvation is exclusive, yes. Jesus is the only Savior. But it’s also radically inclusive. Because salvation is by grace (it’s based on what Jesus has done) it is radically inclusive. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, Jesus can save you. Jesus says in John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” Drunks, prostitutes, murderers, thieves, the sexually immoral, adulterers, arrogant know-it-alls, and all types of self-righteous and prideful people find forgiveness, redemption, and rest in Jesus. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, the grace of Jesus can get you in.
- Sermon Mp3 (Listen)
- Sermon Mp3 (Download)
- Subscribe or stream sermons from iTunes
- Pastor Brett’s Sermon Notes ACTS 4 1-22 PDF
- Community Group Discussion 10.15-16 PDF