Key Principle #5: Grant to Your servants...boldness


Key Principle #5: BOLDNESS (part 1)

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.

Acts 4:13

        We saw in Acts 3 that God promises refreshing, blessing and the very presence of the Lord when we repent of our sins. And when we do that, everything will go smoothly the rest of our lives.

        Well, not exactly.

        If that were true, then Peter and John would not have been arrested in Acts 4. “Yes, and all those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution,” (2 Tim. 3:12). Peter and John were arrested but that was a small consequence of having a total number of 5,000 men to be converted.

        Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead or the afterlife at all. In our walk with Christ, we face those of different beliefs. Imagine the intimidation Peter, a lowly fisherman, could have felt, standing in before priests and the captain of the Temple and the extremely well-educated men who didn’t even believe in any type of resurrection, let alone that Jesus was raised from the dead. Not to add any pressure, but the next day, they brought in Annas, the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander, the family of the high priest. They might as well have brought in Caesar himself!

        Now let’s see, where have we heard the name Caiaphas before? Oh, yes, seems that Jesus went before Caiaphas in Matthew 26:57-58 and look, who was that following there in distance. “But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.” This didn’t look good for Peter. The last time he was in this predicament, he was anything but bold.

The Growing Need for Boldness

        During the 20th century, the church, at least in the Western world, didn’t struggle with a need for boldness because many Christians didn’t suffer much in persecution for living godly lives. However, with the dawn of the 21st century, we are seeing this change rather quickly, militant groups target those who take a stand for godliness and protesting Christians as “hate-groups.” Pastors are willing to forgo their tax-exempt status for their churches and some have even faced jail sentences for preaching the Word of God in the United States. Christians who go into predominately hostile neighborhoods, proclaiming salvation and freedom through Christ, need police escorts for their safety. But this is nothing new for the church compared to its 2,000 year history and it is certainly not new for churches in the rest of the world, especially areas dominated by other religions.

        The church, even the church in America, will be needing boldness in the coming days.

        So how did Peter, the man who denied Christ three times in the court of the high priest, do in front of the man who accused Jesus Christ of blasphemy on months earlier?

8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel…10 let it be known to you all, 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 stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, 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 and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

        Not bad for a rookie preacher. Now what gave Peter and John such boldness? It wasn’t their education, for they were lowly fishermen. It wasn’t their proper training because they were untrained by the “accredited schools,” of the religious leaders. However, it was very apparent that Peter and John had been clearly trained by Jesus. Being “filled with the Holy Spirit” put a fiery boldness on Peter’s tongue.

        The boldness of Peter’s proclamation in verse 12 was especially profound when you remember that this was only a few short weeks since Jesus was crucified. Peter not only stated that there was a resurrection, but it can only be achieved through the power of Jesus’ name.  There was no earthly reason why the religious leaders could not have been harsher with Peter for what he said, especially by claiming that very man, “whom you crucified,” was the very Chief Cornerstone rejected by the builders.

 

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