Acts 4

Power of God.

Power of man.

Power of the Holy Spirit.

Verses 1-4 The first persecution of the infant church.

It arose from the religious leaders. See Verse 1.

The priest’s represent religious intolerance.

The captain of the temple political enmity.

The Sadducees rationalistic unbelief.

The Sadducees did not believe in resurrection.

The keynote of the apostles preaching was the resurrection—this brought them into open conflict.

Note the phrase in Verse 2 “and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.”

This is an important phrase—it disproves the idea of a general resurrection. Stress “from among the dead.”

Paul expressed the same truth in Philippians 3:11.

“If I might by any means attain unto the resurrection from among the dead.”

Revelations 20:4 There were some who had been martyred for Jesus who were resurrected and reigned with Christ 1,000 years.

Verse 5 There were others who were not resurrected until the 1,000 years were over.

The first resurrection is a great joy and blessedness to the participants. Resurrection of life.

The other resurrection is one of great sorrow. Resurrection of judgment. Great White Throne.

Verse 4 The result of the preaching was that 5,000 men received Christ and were brought into the fellowship.

Verse 5-6 describe those who were present at the trial.

Verse 7 The question put to them. “By what power, or by what name, have you done this?”

Verse 8-12 Peter’s reply

First of all he was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Verse 10 He gives the answer. The name of Jesus—and in the power of the resurrected Christ.

Verse 11 Is an O.T. reference to prove the resurrection.

Verse 12 There is no salvation without Him—He is the only Savior.

These wonderful words were spoken by the same man who had denied the Lord three times with a thousand curses.

Verses 13-22 The council forbids the disciples to teach or preach.

Verse 13 The Sanhedrin’s opinion of the disciples.

1. They were ignorant and unlearned.

2. They had been with Jesus.

Verses 16-17

The council was in a predicament.

They could not deny that a miracle had been performed.

The healed man was there—he was over 40 years of age.

Verse 18 They decided to prohibit the disciples from speaking or teaching.

Verse 19-20 is Peter and John’s reaction.

Verses 23-31 When the disciples were released they went to their own company.

Verse 24 They praised God. “Lord” Absolute Master.

They praised Him as the Creator—therefore superior to the creatures who were opposing them.

Verses 25-28 They see the prophecy of David partially fulfilled in their present circumstances.

Verse 31 When they had prayed

1. The place was shaken. A physical expression of the spiritual power that was present.

2. They were filled with the Holy Spirit. Obedience—yieldedness to God.

3. They spoke the word with boldness.

There are seven times in the Acts when men are said to be filled with the Spirit.

Notice the purposes on the results.

1. For speaking Chapter 2:4, 4:8, and 4:31

2. For serving Chapter 6:3

3. For shepherding Chapter 11:24

4. For rebuking Chapter 13:9

5. For dying Chapter 7:55

Read Acts 4:1-12, Verse 31, Chapter 5:1-11

These are four things for today’s study.

1. The power of God.

2. The power of man.

3. The power of the Holy Spirit.

4. The power of Satan.

    1) The power of God.

    The healing of the lame man. Chapter 3

    2) The power of man. Chapter 4:1

The priests—organized religion.

The military—Herodians.

The Sadducees—the intellectual intelligence—no resurrection.

Verse 5 The next day.

Rulers—priests and officials.

Elders—the heads of the chief families of Israel.

Scribes—the interpreters of the law and the teachers of the people.

Verse 6 Annas—Caiphas—John—Alexander. Plus the friends and family of the High Priest.

Possibly the Sanhedrin was present. 72 of the most prominent of the nation.

There were judges: the greatest and highest in the nation. The power of man.

Now for a look at the accused.

Peter and John—Galilean fishermen—unlearned and ignorant…then there was the healed man. (See Verses 10-14) and also the unseen but ever present Holy Spirit.

Illustrate the Hebrew children—Daniel in the lion’s den.

Verse 7 Quote

Verse 8 Peter’s reply. Filled with the Holy Spirit.

The old Peter…the new Peter.

When Peter was finished they admitted four things.

1. That they were bold

2. That they were unlearned

3. That they had been with Jesus

4. They noted that a notable miracle had been performed.

Verse 18 The verdict. No more preaching—miracles.

The Power of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 23 “And being let go, they went to their own company.” The fellowship of Spirit-filled believers.

“They lifted up their voices to the Lord.”

Did they ask for the persecution to stop? NO

Quote Verse 29 here.

Verse 31 The disciples again filled with the Holy Spirit.

The powers of Satan.

Give the background to the incident.

Chapter 4:34-37 Example of Barnabas.

These were tremendous days for the young church.

They were happy in the Lord, and with each other.

But somehow Satan got inside.

Wherever there is a work of God, there is always opposition from Satan.

Annanias and Sapphira, true born again believers, suddenly decided to become liars and hypocrites. They lied to the Holy Spirit.

Describe this—the consequences.

Sin is a serious thing.

No sin is little…Eve…Abraham…Miriam…Prodigal…David.

Does God judge sin today?

See 1 Corinthians 11:30…Some are sick…weak…and some sleep.

Verse 4 “Great fear came upon all the church.”

These believers had felt the love of God.

They had experienced the power of God.

Now they were seeing His purity and absolute holiness and because of this, a great reverential fear came upon them.