Books of the Book: Acts

Peter's Second Chance

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Jim & Mark Howard


Series Code: ABOTB

Program Code: ABOTB00007B

00:01 Welcome back to Books of the Book. We were studying here in
00:04 the book of Acts chapter 4 and we were looking at Peter's
00:07 second chance, his opportunity, actually when he came back
00:11 before the very rulers that were present when he denied
00:14 Jesus the first time. So what we're going to see here is
00:17 Peter's response. The Bible says in Acts chapter 4 and verse 7
00:22 that when these leaders met together, Annas, Caiaphas, John,
00:26 Alexander, as many as were of the family of the high priest.
00:30 It says, when they had set them in the midst they asked by what
00:34 power or by what name have you done this? And now, Jim, I think
00:37 about that when they set them in their midst. Why would you set
00:41 somebody in... I mean, how do you picture this. Intimidation.
00:46 You're surrounded by them. Yeah the nature of that whole thing
00:50 is they knew, this is the guy that denied Jesus before and
00:55 watch when we intimidate him. But watch when they intimidate
01:01 him. What happens this time with Peter. In 7 it says, When they
01:05 set them in their midst they asked by what power or by what
01:09 name have you done this. Then Peter, filled with the Holy
01:13 Spirit, said to them, Rulers of the people and elders of Israel
01:16 yet this day we are judged for a good deed done to a helpless
01:20 man and by what means he has been made well. Let it be known
01:23 to you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus
01:27 Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified whom God raised from
01:31 the dead this man's been healed. And he goes on to say in verse
01:35 12, nor is there salvation in any other for there is no other
01:38 name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
01:42 And that's a powerful... I mean, first of all it's powerful that
01:47 Peter, there is not a shred of fear or intimidation in Peter
01:51 here, not a shred. He sees himself as you mentioned before
01:55 the break, there's no way out for him, but it doesn't
01:57 intimidate him in the least. He brings these guys to
02:00 accountability for what they have done to Christ and then he
02:03 basically tells them, you guys are a bunch of lost men unless
02:07 you repent and accept Jesus because he's the only name God's
02:10 given under heaven whereby anybody will be saved. We could
02:13 say a lot about that today. I mean the reality is there are
02:16 people today that want to say well there are a lot of options
02:19 for salvation. But the Bible says that there's only one way
02:22 there's only one way ever been provided and that way is through
02:25 Jesus Christ and I hope that our viewers have surrendered their
02:28 hearts to Jesus Christ and if not we see the opportunity given
02:31 in the scripture here today to give our hearts to Jesus now.
02:34 Now you were going to highlight on part of the argument there
02:37 that Peter brought out from scripture.
02:39 Yeah. When you look here in this passage the one thing that
02:43 stands out is that Peter is ready to die. He has a faith
02:47 that essentially there's nothing they can do to him now that he
02:52 has not already accepted. And that type of surrender leads him
02:56 to what he actually says in verse 11. If we go back there,
03:00 speaking of Jesus in verse 11, he says, this is the stone which
03:04 was rejected by you builders which has become the chief
03:09 corner stone. This particular reference to Psalm 118 is the
03:13 same reference that Jesus used in his own ministry and I
03:18 believe they could remember that reference. Let's go back to that
03:22 I'd like to point to that in Matthew chapter 21. In Matthew
03:26 21 Jesus tells a parable beginning in verse 33 about a
03:30 land owner who planted a vineyard and then he dug a wine
03:35 press, he built a tower and he leased it to vinedressers and
03:39 then he went away. Then when it came time to receive some of the
03:43 fruit from the vineyard he sent his servants to get the fruit.
03:47 But the vinedressers took the servants, they beat them, they
03:51 killed them, they wouldn't give them any fruit. So finally he
03:55 sends his Son. And of course, this is a reference to Jesus
03:59 being sent after the prophets had been sent seeking fruit in
04:03 the lives of the children of Israel and then at the very end
04:07 of this it says, therefore, in verse 40, when the owner of the
04:10 vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers. And of
04:14 course, they answer with indignation, he will destroy
04:18 those wicked men miserably and he'll lease his vineyard to
04:21 other vinedressers who will render to him
04:23 the fruits in their seasons.
04:25 And Jesus then quotes that same passage of scripture from Psalm
04:29 118 that Peter quoted in his sermon. He says have you never
04:33 read in the scriptures the stone which the builders rejected has
04:36 become the chief corner stone. This was the Lord's doing and it
04:40 is marvelous in our eyes. Therefore, I say to you, the
04:43 kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation
04:47 bearing the fruits of it. And the fascinating about this story
04:51 is when you look at verse 45, it says now when the chief priests
04:54 and Pharisees heard his parables they perceived that he
04:59 was speaking of them. I think that's a pretty good perception,
05:02 don't you? He was speaking of them and he was being very clear
05:06 that by rejecting himself as the Messiah that the kingdom of God
05:10 was going to be taken from them and given to someone else.
05:13 And now Peter referencing this same scripture...
05:16 No need for perception here.
05:18 No, no need for perception. He's very plain. You crucified him
05:22 and he is that stone which was rejected by you builders and has
05:26 become the chief corner stone and there is not salvation in
05:31 any other. By not accepting Jesus Christ you are lost. Whew!
05:35 That was a very plain and powerful and might I say one of
05:39 the most fearless declarations every seen and it just gives
05:43 me hope and I think that we can agree that our viewers should be
05:48 hearing in these passages a message of hope. That message is
05:52 that you may have denied Christ in your life, through your
05:56 practices you may have had many shameful experiences that you
06:00 don't know how to recover from. But if you look at the story
06:03 here of the apostle Peter it's one of the most miraculous
06:06 transformations in all of scripture and it gives evidence
06:11 that God can restore fully and take someone who is of little
06:16 depth and give them the strength of character that is actually a
06:21 reflection of the Lord Jesus himself. That's right. Now if
06:25 you look further in verse 13 it was clear that they perceived
06:29 this. In verse 13 it says, Now when they saw the boldness of
06:32 Peter and John and perceived that they were uneducated and
06:36 untrained men they marveled and they realized that they had been
06:41 with Jesus. You have to imagine they were looking back to and
06:45 thinking back to wow we've never heard anybody preach with such
06:50 authority, power, clear reasoning except for Jesus of
06:56 Nazareth. And they knew when they saw this. This is only from
07:00 the Lord Jesus. They must have been with Jesus. It doesn't say
07:04 that they admitted that they had been with Jesus, it doesn't say
07:08 they confessed that they had been with Jesus. They were
07:10 trying to outwardly say Jesus was dead, he's buried, but they
07:14 realized, in their hearts they knew, they recognized that they
07:18 had been with Jesus. Powerful.
07:20 Yeah absolutely. And what's interesting about that is, Jim,
07:24 it goes on to tell us that... Look at verse 14. It says, and
07:28 seeing the man who had been healed standing with them...
07:31 In other words, the Lord Jesus had provided them an evidence
07:34 so that in addition to them seeing the power and the
07:38 confidence and the change in Peter, there was that man
07:42 standing there as a living testimony that Jesus was alive.
07:46 So the Lord Jesus provided that proof. So there they stand with
07:51 Peter's direct indictment and there's the man standing with
07:56 them and it says, they could say nothing against it. And it goes
08:02 on in verse 16 to say that... Well we'll read on in verse 15.
08:06 It says when they had commanded them to go outside of the
08:09 counsel they conferred among themselves, which that's
08:12 interesting isn't it? They didn't go to scripture, they
08:15 didn't inquire of the Lord and say Lord are we doing the right
08:18 or wrong thing. You see their motive here is really not
08:21 sincerity and I want to say that sometimes we can find ourselves
08:25 in that place where we really are not sincerely wanting to
08:28 know and follow truth. We just want to sustain what we already
08:31 believe. They conferred among themselves and sometimes when
08:35 we're faced with some new truth in scripture that is different
08:39 that what we've always believed, instead of going to God and
08:42 saying Lord if this is your truth show it to me, we go to
08:45 people who think like us and we bolster ourselves and encourage
08:50 ourselves by saying well none of them believe either. And we see
08:53 that here. They conferred among themselves, what shall we do and
08:57 notice indeed that a notable miracle has been done through
09:01 them as evidence to all who dwell in Jerusalem and we cannot
09:05 deny it. But so that it spreads no further, let us severely
09:09 threaten them. Why don't they want it to spread
09:12 if it's so irrefutable? They can see they can't refute
09:17 it but they don't want this getting out. So in spite of all
09:21 that, hey in spite of the evidence, we're going to make
09:25 sure this message doesn't get out. So they called them in,
09:28 they threatened them and I love Peter's response. Verse 19 says,
09:31 Peter and John answered and said to them, Whether it is right in
09:35 the sight of God to listen to you more than God, you judge.
09:38 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and
09:43 heard. And that is such a true statement for every one of us.
09:47 If we really had an encounter with Jesus, if he's really
09:51 changed our lives we cannot but speak of him. I mean, don't tell
09:57 any more about the thing that you're so excited about. How
10:00 many times had Jesus healed somebody and said now don't tell
10:02 anybody. I don't think it ever worked.
10:05 You know, I know there's a lot of people who say I couldn't
10:09 imagine sharing with others, that's not my gift, you know,
10:14 I'm not an evangelist, that's not me. The truth is that we're
10:18 all evangelists. We're just evangelists in what we are
10:21 confident in. I mean, I remember one dear sister in a church that
10:27 I was pastoring who was a wonderful cook and she was
10:34 always bringing the best dishes to potluck and that sort of
10:37 thing and I remember her finding out that I did not like brussel
10:42 sprouts. And I mean, who would like brussel sprouts. But she
10:46 was sure that she could get me to like brussel sprouts.
10:49 She said, you're going to love my brussel sprouts. I don't
10:52 remember what she did. I think she just dunked it a bunch of
10:55 some type of sauce. But she wanted to prove to me, and she
10:59 was convinced, that I would like her brussel sprouts. She was a
11:04 brussel sprout evangelist. She had confidence in what she could
11:08 do and she thought there's no way; I'm going to be able to do
11:12 this. When we believe in something, when we have
11:15 confidence in something which the Lord Jesus built for these
11:19 disciples when he opened the scriptures to their
11:21 understanding in Luke 24 and showed them the evidence of his
11:25 Messiahship right from scripture With that foundation they could
11:28 not but share. It was so convincing, it was so true, that
11:31 they knew that if they could just have the opportunity to
11:35 share it with others that they would believe it. And there may
11:37 be some here today who are looking at this and saying, you
11:40 know, I couldn't be an evangelist. No, you can but it
11:44 all requires studying the clear evidences of our faith and
11:47 gaining confidence in the word and with that confidence will
11:51 come a willingness to share.
11:52 That's right and you cannot but tell the things you've seen and
11:55 heard. Now wrapping up here where it says in verse 23, they
11:59 let them go and they went to their companions. Very evidently
12:02 the companions had been praying for them. They didn't know what
12:05 was going on with Peter and John They thought they were going to
12:07 crucifixion and they were praying and the Lord heard those
12:11 prayers and it's interesting; they came back and then when
12:14 they came among their companions they all lifted up their voice
12:18 to the Lord and it's interesting that as they prayed, in verse 24
12:21 it says, Lord you are God who made heaven and earth, the sea
12:24 and all that is in them who by the mouth of your servant David
12:28 have said... and then they quote from the second Psalm... Why do
12:32 the nations rage and the people plot vain things and it's
12:35 interesting that, and I'm going through this kind of quickly
12:41 here but in verse 29 they pray now Lord look on their threats
12:46 and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak
12:50 your word by stretching out your hand to heal and that signs and
12:54 wonders may be done through the name of your Holy Servant Jesus.
12:58 And remember this was the first miracle, the first sign and
13:01 wonder that had been done... that these be done... and it
13:04 says in verse 31, when they had prayed the place where they were
13:06 assembled together was shaken and they were all filled with
13:09 the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
13:13 Wow! You know we may wonder why the apostles needed to pray for
13:16 boldness when they seemed to speak so boldly, but oftentimes
13:20 we forget that they were just normal fisherman. They weren't
13:24 trained preachers and in many ways that makes them a lot like
13:28 us, like you and me. And just like they had to pray for
13:31 boldness, we have to pray for boldness. Well that's all the
13:34 time we have for now. We hope you'll join us next time on
13:38 Books of the Book as we study the book of Acts.


Revised 2014-12-17