Sunday, June 23, 2013 pm

Acts 4:13

     In Acts 3 we find the church in its infancy.  Peter and John are together going to the temple at the hour of prayer.  They see a lame man begging alms who had been born that way.  When the man asked them for alms, Peter looked at him and said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”  Immediately the lame man received strength and was healed.  He goes into the temple rejoicing.  Peter and John begin preaching to the people about Jesus Christ.  In chapter 4, as they taught, the priests, Sadducees and captain of the temple guard come and put them in custody.   The next day, Peter and John appear before the council and are questioned about what they had done.   They said, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”  Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit began teaching them, convicting them of having crucified Jesus, and noting that it was through His name that we must be saved (Acts 4:12).  As a result of this we read in vs. 13, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”   Of course they were unable to do anything because the evidence was great – a miracle had occurred that they could not deny (Acts 4:16), the lame man (who was over 40 years old) was standing there in their midst, and the things said about Jesus were true.  So they further threatened them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus and let them go.  Peter and John then go to their brethren and encourage them and glorified God.

In this account I want to notice what the council saw in Peter and John and they spoke and acted – that they had been with Jesus.  They knew what had happened to Jesus in the city (His condemnation, death, burial and resurrection) and how many were following after Him.  For the ungodly who reject Jesus there was great cause for concern.  This is why they threatened them to stop preaching.  We know that didn’t work  

But that leads me to a question I want to discuss this evening.  As the world looks as us, do people see Jesus in our lives?  Consider: If “Christianity” were outlawed, would there be enough evidence to convict us?  Let us talk about this tonight.

 I.                    What it means

a.       We know Him – to be like Jesus, we need to know Jesus.  Obviously, we cannot know Him like our neighbor or family, but we still know Him.  We know He is there and know about Him and seek a relationship with Him. 
Phil. 3:8-10, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,” 
1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”
1 Pet. 1:6-9 speaks of loving Him even though we have not seen Him.
We do that through studying His word!  We examine His life and teachings.  Gal. 1:11-12 – Paul’s message came from Jesus Christ.
Luke 24:44-45 – Jesus opened their eyes to the things about Him. 
1 Pet. 2:21, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps…” 
Phil. 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…”
We are His disciples!  The word disciple means a student or a learner.  We are to be disciples (Matt. 28:19-20).  1 Cor. 11:1 calls for us to imitate Christ.

b.       We have changed – when one obeys the gospel there needs to be a change. 
Romans6:3-11, we have buried the man of sin and been raised to walk in newness of life.
Romans 12:1-2, he will say we are to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
2 Cor. 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…”
Consider our text – Peter and John.  Just months earlier, this same Peter had denied Jesus 3 times.  Now, with boldness he proclaims Jesus as Lord.
1 Pet. 4:3-4, we have spent enough time living in sin in our past lifetimes.  Furthermore, our “friends” think it strange that you do not run with them anymore.

c.        He is now the focus of our lives – the only service God will accept is that which puts Him first.
Jesus Himself taught some strong lessons about this – Luke 14:33 says that one must be willing to forsake all that he has to be His disciple.  The text is dealing with commitment (25-33).
Matt. 16:24, to come after Him you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him.
 Gal. 2:20 finds Paul describing himself as having been crucified with Christ; it is now about “Christ living in me”.
Phil. 1:21, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

d.       We are being an example – the best way we can influence the world is by being a proper example.  If you have been with Jesus, and influenced by Him, you will SEEK to be a godly example in all things – Matt. 5:13-16 describes us as both salt and light. 
Phil. 2:14-16 describes us as shining as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. 
Going back to our text, Peter and John were being proper examples.  They were manifesting Christ in their lives.
Consider also 1 Pet. 2:11-12 which speaks of having honorable conduct among the Gentiles, “that whey they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.  Think again about Peter and John on that occasion.  The council was against them, but they really didn’t have anything to charge them with – because the conduct of Peter was honorable.

e.        We will not keep it to ourselves – we will manifest courage and boldness in our lives for Him. 
What caused Peter and John to be so bold on that occasion?  They openly rebuked the religious leaders.  They even accused them of crucifying Jesus (“whom YOU crucified” – Ac. 4:10).  AFTER being threatened Peter and John said, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19–20)  What brought about their boldness?  THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS!
Friends, if we have been with Jesus we will be bold in telling others about Him.  Throughout the life of Jesus we find many examples of this:
John 4:28, 39-42 – the Samaritan woman.  Notice how when they had been with Jesus they were convinced for themselves.
Luke 24:32, after Jesus walked with 2 men on the road to Emmaus and discussed the resurrection with them, He was revealed to them.  They immediately went back to Jerusalem to tell the apostles they had seen Jesus.  They also said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road?”  They couldn’t keep it to themselves.
In the Parable of the Great Supper, when the invited guests rejected the invitation, the master commissioned his servant, “‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.'  22 And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.'  23 Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Luke 14:21-24)
We could use a little of that “fire” in our lives - 2 Cor. 5:10-11
Col. 1:28-29, “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
Acts 8:4, they went everywhere preaching the word.


 II.                  It is Seen In:

a.       Having described what it means to be with Jesus, let us make some application as we conclude this study. 

b.       Being with Jesus will be seen in our lives – as we study His word we will both do what He commands us to do and cease doing that which He commands us not to do.  Col. 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  The idea of “the name of the Lord” is by His authority or respecting His word. 
What about the clothing I wear?  Is it less than modest?  How important do my actions demonstrate my loyalty to His church? (Attendance, participation, etc.)  What type of entertainment do I choose to participate in?  Let us ask ourselves, CAN THEY SEE THAT I HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS when they observe my conduct?

c.        Being with Jesus will be seen in our speech – Col. 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”  James 3:2 tells us that if we can control the tongue we can control the whole body.  Do we ever talk about Him to others?  Is our speech consistent with our profession?  Does our speech betray us?  Do we use profanity?  Are we completely truthful?  CAN THEY SEE THAT I HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS when I open my mouth?

d.       Being with Jesus will be seen in our doctrine – 1 Pet 4:11 says, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”  Paul warned Timothy to preach the word “in season and out of season” because the time would come when they would not endure “sound doctrine.” (2 Tim. 4:2-4)
Titus 2:1 says, “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.”
Sound doctrine means that which is TRUE!  Do we hold fast the word of life (Phil. 2:16, 2 Tim. 1:13)?  Are we willing to compromise the truth to get along with others?  Do we teach the whole truth?  Will we accept “all things I have commanded you”? (Matt. 28:20)  CAN THEY SEE THAT WE HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS as we teach the word to others?

e.        Seen in our faith – Heb. 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  One of the ways the world can see Jesus in us is if we live with trust for Him.  They need to see that we put our confidence in Him, even if it makes matters uncomfortable or difficult.  They need to see that trust during the difficult times as well as the good times.  CAN THEY SEE THE WE HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS by our faith?

 Some 2000 years ago, on that day, the council saw that Peter and John had been with Jesus.  While we are not of that generation, we can still live with the same boldness and conviction they had.  Do we?  Are we presenting a TRUE picture of Jesus, or is it just a façade?  Think about it.