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Threats, Scripture and Prayer

Acts 4:21-26

Peter and John were released. The religious court could not decide how to punish them for preaching about Jesus and healing in His Name, because the crowd was praising God for His greatness. To deny that God had healed the man might result in a riot, and reprisals from the Roman occupying forces. To walk after forty years of having to be carried - it was a miracle.

Wickedness Used By God

Acts 4:27-28

After Peter and John had been released from the religious court, the church remembered the words of Psalm 2:1-2, "Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed." (Acts 4:25-26). The Psalm goes on to say that human defiance against God is futile, as the apostles had proved; God always has the last word.

Prayer for Boldness

Acts 4:29-31

The lame beggar rejoiced that he was healed, and the crowd also praised God. But Peter and John were arrested, imprisoned and brought before a religious court. However, their only punishment, without stirring a riot among the people, was to threaten the apostles never to speak about Jesus again (Acts 4:18).

Family Grace

Acts 4:32-33

The Early Church was different. The church, that is the people who believed in Jesus, lived a radically different lifestyle from the people around them.

Sold Out For God - Rightly And Wrongly

Acts 4:34-5:2

The Early Church understood that true fellowship meant sharing. Some people owned property and were willing to sell it so that other believers could have food or whatever was needed.

Religious Lying

Acts 5:3-6

The Early Church was growing. They devoted themselves to learning from the apostles, breaking bread (communion), praying together and sharing their lives with each other (fellowship) as in Acts 2:42. The more they shared, the more they realised that other believers needed financial and material help.

Resisting Repentance

Acts 5:7-11

Ananias had just died after lying to Peter about the gift he made to the church (Acts 5:1-6).

Awesome Power

Acts 5:12-14

Although the religious leaders hoped that interest in Jesus would fade, the people were increasingly intrigued by Him. During His ministry, He taught the truth about God's kingdom, healed the sick and cast out demons (Matthew 11:4-5).

Attractive Power

Acts 5:15-16

This narrative tells of another episode in God's plan to ensure that nobody in Jerusalem forgot about Jesus. Although the religious leaders killed Him, God gave Him new life. When they persecuted the apostles, the church grew. And so many sick people were brought into the streets, lying on straw mats, hoping that Peter would pass by and the Spirit of Jesus in him would be powerful to heal them.

Authoritative Power

Acts 5:17-21a

Jealousy is a powerful emotion. When you fear that what you have will be taken away, you jealously guard what belongs to you. It is right to be jealous for what rightly belongs to you – as God is jealous over His people and will not tolerate their worship of false gods (Exodus 34:14).