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The Scriptorium

Here We Go Again

Same challenge, same result.

Acts (4)

Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 4 (Lesson 4) by clicking here.

Read and meditate on Acts 4.1-4.
What does it say about the tight grip and informing network of these religious leaders that they were able to react so quickly to this situation? These men were serious about preserving their status (cf. Jn. 11.48), and they were going to nip this thing in the bud – again. They hoped. The religious leaders regarded themselves as the arbiters of social, cultural, and spiritual life, and they were determined to keep it that way.

For reflection
1.  As Peter and John were doing the follow-up from Peter’s brief sermon, they were taken into custody and charged with teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead (v. 2). Guilty as charged. Would this charge stand up if it were brought against you? Explain.

2.  Note that they were arrested near evening. Peter and John had gone up to the temple in the middle of the afternoon. They had been working this crowd for several hours, and that helps to explain why their ministry bore such wonderful fruit (v. 4). Peter and John had gone into the most prominent cultural arena in Jerusalem, where they brought the healing, restoring, and reconciling life of Christ to a lame man. What are the most prominent cultural arenas in your community?

3.  Now the tiger is out of the cage. The Holy Spirit is loose in the world, and nothing will be able to stop the advance of Christ’s rule on earth as it is in heaven. Peter and John knew this, and they had absolutely no fear that the religious leaders of Jerusalem, who thought they had stopped the work Jesus began to do, would have any more success impeding the work He was continuing to do. What are the primary hindrances keeping us from proclaiming Christ and His Kingdom like Peter and John?

4.  The religious leaders seem almost comical here as they fuss about, trying to silence the preaching of Jesus and the resurrection. Rather than scorn these men, however, we should look upon them with sadness and pity, for the depth of their spiritual blindness is great, as we shall see. How serious a matter is it to be lost in sin? How can we nurture more sympathy and love for our lost neighbors?

5.  How do you think you would feel if what happened to Peter and John happened to you? How could you have the kind of boldness and confidence Peter and John show in this chapter? What’s preventing you from becoming a more consistent witness for Christ with the people in your life?

The keepers of the unbelieving status quo are ever vigilant against anything that threatens their place of authority and privilege. In their folly and blindness, they thought a harsh warning would get them their way. Were they in for a surprise! What’s the primary insight or lesson you take away from Acts 4.1-4?

Closing Prayer.
I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble.
To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
For God is my defense,
My God of mercy.

Psalm 59.16, 17

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. For more insight to His work in our here and now, order the book,
The Kingship of Jesus, from our online store by clicking here.

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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