We live in a time of growing opposition. It’s to be expected: John 15.18-27; 16.33. At this point, what we face is mainly opposition that results in loss of social status and acceptance. Which, may be one of the most effective tools in Satan’s arsenal. The most contentions issue today? How religious conviction gets expressed publicly. Where do you think things will progress as we move into the future? Today, we’ll take a close look at Acts 4. We’ll glean 7 things from the chapter that we need to keep in mind as we live inside a climate of growing opposition.
I. 7 WAYS TO HANDLE OPPOSITION:
- 4.3-7 – Trust that God has a purpose.
- 4.3 – Peter and John arrested and questioned. Didn’t resist. Didn’t fight back.
- Acts 16.25-40 – What ultimately happened? Philippian jailer & family converted.
- 4.8a – Lean on the Spirit.
- Lean on a power greater than yourself.
- God’s way works every time.
- 4.8b-13 – See the Opportunity.
- 4.5-6: Standing before the Sanhedrin. 4.6 – the very men who killed Jesus.
- 4.8 – What does Peter first say? He & John were there because of a good deed done. Their being jailed and treated like a criminal was an injustice!
- 4.10 – Did Peter water down his message? Look at 4.12. Boldness in the greatest degree. Boldness seizes the opportunity. No matter what.
- 4.14-22 – Be obedient no matter what.
- 4.15-18 – they conferred among themselves. Tell Peter/John to never mention Jesus again. Not to speak or teach: Banned form public speaking on Jesus.
- 4.19-22 – Peter’s response: They lived by a higher authority.
- 4.20 – Peter: We must do what God says.
- 4.23 – Bind yourself together with other Christians.
- Upon release: They went to their friends. “To their own company.”
- Opposition and persecution drives us together.
- 4.24 – They praised God. God is Sovereign.
- That’s where our comfort comes from.
- 4.25-28 – God took the persecution of Jesus and turned it into salvation.
- 4.29 – They prayed for more boldness.
- How much more boldness? All boldness.
- What do they pray for? 4.29b – Prayed for power and strength to keep going!
- 4.31 – God answered that prayer!
II. THE EFFECT OF THE OPPOSITION THEY FACED:
- This is how we face opposition and persecution.
- 4.32-35 details what happened as they moved forward in the midst of opposition.
- Why can’t it be the same for us? Why isn’t it?
- We need to be praying for boldness.
- 4.12 – This is our message.
- 4.12 – Have you surrounded to Jesus? Do you believe?