Acts 4:1-12The message of Jesus Christ (the Gospel) has never been a well received message. As we see in Acts 4:1-12, the message was not well received in Peter’s day either. In the previous chapter (3) Peter and John had walked up to the Temple and found a man who was sitting beside the door with a purpose of begging money. Peter and John did not give the man money, but they performed a miracle which healed him in the presence of the others who were also entering the Temple. The impotent man walked (something he had never done before) into the Temple and it astonished the onlookers.Peter took it upon himself to set the record straight. Therefore, he informed the people that the impotent man was not healed by the power of Peter and John, but by the power of Jesus Christ. He went on to explain that the Prophet which Moses promised was Jesus Christ. Peter even continued to inform them that rather than hearing the Prophet’s message, they killed Him! They were not only astonished at the miracle but terrified at Peter’s message.I. The Popularity of the Message (Vs. 1-3)Obviously the message was not popular. Within the crowd of onlookers were the religious leaders including the Sadducees, the Temple Captain, and the Priests. When they heard the message of Peter, they were provoked to anger. They immediately took Peter, John, and the healed man into custody and made them spend the entire night in captivity.II. The Power of the Message (Vs. 4)The power of the message of Christ upon the crowd was marvelous! At least 5,000 people were saved during the message. It was an obvious blessing from God! It was another example of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The power of the gospel can break through the hardest and most confused religious hearts. That should be something for us to remember as we share the gospel in our day.III. The Purpose of the Message (Vs. 5-12)The next morning all of the religious leaders assembled to hear the complaint against Peter and John. The high priest along with all of the other religious leaders are present. They begin by asking a very simple question – “How did you do it?” They asked, “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” They were interested in knowing if this was some magical power or if it was truly done by Jesus Christ.Peter gives the answer to their question. He provides them with key information:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.Peter wanted them to know that the man was healed by the very One they had killed upon the cross of Calvary. It was a troubling message for them. It provided them with their guilt. Peter was not finished with that fact. He continued to tell them that salvation was only possible in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. In fact, Peter wanted them to know that the purpose of Jesus Christ was salvation. Peter also pointed out that their salvation would only be possible by turning to the very One they killed in order to be saved.
This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.Conclusion:What can we learn from this message? First, we can learn that the power of the gospel message can break through and save even the most confused people of society! Often the most confused are those who are mixed up in a false religious system. We can also learn that it requires humility to admit guilt and turn to Christ for salvation. It would have required that out of the religious leaders of Peter’s day, and it requires the same thing in our present day. No salvation is granted outside of Jesus Christ!For the glory of God!Rev. Josh Buice