Part 4: Stand

Pastor Kim Chiolero

04-27-15

 

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Acts 4:18-20

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

 

Have you ever had to stand up for something you believe in? When we stand, it’s normally because there is some sort of opposition facing us. So we have to muster up the courage and take action to stand against that opposition?

 

In Acts chapter 4, we see Peter and John standing up for Christ. Through God’s power, they healed a man, and the Sadducee's (religious people) didn’t like this or the message they were preaching, so they arrested Peter and John and put them on trial. But during the trial, the court realized they had no legal right to keep them. Before they let Peter and John go, they threatened them. Let’s look at the threat and Peter and John’s response.

 

“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:18-20).

 

The religious men told Peter and John to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. They told them to bow down and denounce their faith in Christ. They told them to stop living out the very purpose of their being, and in this moment after just being arrested, Peter and John stood up for Christ. Even though they were facing threats, they took a stand and told the leaders they would keep preaching and teaching Christ!

 

WHY DO I DO THE THINGS THAT I DO AND WHO DO I DO THEM FOR?

 

Today, I want to give you three truths to help you stand firm in your faith when life comes at you at full force.

 1. Jesus is our foundation.

We need to be reminded of the salvation that Jesus gave for US.

We find Peter leading the charge sharing the gospel to everyone with such Boldness, What happened?

 

This is the same Peter who denied Jesus 3 times.

The same Peter who was discouraged and went fishing. Jesus duplicated a miracle and Peter swam to shore to meet with Jesus.

Jesus, found him and re-instilled purpose , vision and value in him.

Do you love me? Feed my sheep.

He was saying I am your foundation be more concerned about what I think than anyone else, be about my business.

 

Look at Acts 4:8-12: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.” Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’”

 

Acts 4:18-20
Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

 

Peter believed that Jesus is the cornerstone. Jesus was his everything. Jesus was his foundation. They were walking and talking in the name of Jesus Christ. They knew that salvation was found in no one else. Their lives were all about Jesus. He was their foundation.

 

Peter found his purpose for living.

WHY DO I DO THE THINGS THAT I DO AND WHO DO I DO THEM FOR?

 2.We have to obey God in the midst of opposition.

You may not face opposition like Christians in other countries but we all face opposition.

 

Facing opposition isn’t a matter of “if” but “when,” which means we will have many opportunities to obey or disobey. God hasn’t called us to just believe—our faith must be a vibrant, active faith that we live out. Peter and John had a vibrant, active faith.

 

Look at Acts 4:18-20 again: 
“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’”

 

This came down to whether Peter and John would stand and obey God or bow down and give in to their fears, logic, and doubt.

 

See, it’s easy to fall into the trap where we know a lot but do little with what we know, especially in the face of opposition.

Peter and John not only listened to God, but they also obeyed and did what God told them at the risk of their own lives!

 

We all face opposition and sometimes we just have to stand and remain obedient to what God wants us to do.

In your life you will always have people on the sidelines telling you how they think you should or should not do something… they want to comment and not commit.

 

Stand up for Jesus doesn’t mean you have to shout it from the mall….. It means sometimes giving food to someone who is in need or helping a neighbor or loving the unlovable. Jesus was moved with compassion. Stand up for Jesus in the way you live, love serve. And when people ask you why do you do the things that you do….

I do them because that is how Jesus wants me to live.

 

 

Peter and John trusted God with all their hearts, and they didn’t lean on their own understanding. They were “all in” for Jesus, no matter the cost.

 

Why do I do the things I do and who do I do them for?

 3. When we stand for Jesus, He shines through us.

 

It’s powerful to watch what happens when Peter and John stand firm in their faith.

 

Acts 4:4 says, “But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.”

 

Because they stood firm, many people heard the message of Christ and believed. Many people were snatched out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of light because two men stood firm in their faith in the face of opposition.

 

When we stand, people see Jesus in us and God will use our boldness to bring people into a relationship with Him. These men stood firm in their faith, and the number of men grew to five thousand. Wow! Powerful things happen when we stand firm. When we stand firm in our faith, God will use our resolve to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine!

 

I want to show you another way God shines through us when we stand for Him.

 

Acts 4:13 says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

 

We also see that people who hadn’t yet crossed the line of faith were amazed and astonished by the courage and boldness of Peter and John. People who didn’t even know Jesus were impacted by His Gospel through the lives of two men who stood firm. The seed of the Gospel was planted into the hearts of unbelievers because two men took a stand. I think it’s safe to say that some of these people ended up accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior. And it all began because of the boldness of two men who came under attack. We must stand firm on the foundation of Jesus Christ because every time we do, the seed of the Gospel is planted into hearts.

When we stand firm, we’re standing on the cornerstone and Jesus is shining brightly through our lives. Our courage will encourage and astonish people as we point them to Jesus by standing firm on the foundation of Christ Jesus.

 

When we stand for Jesus, He will also shine through our conversations and words.

 

Acts 4:31 says, “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

 

When we stand firm and then we pray, the power of God is released upon our lives in a powerful way. God’s power then gives us the courage to speak the Word of God boldly.

 

I encourage you to stand firm in your faith and watch Jesus shine through your words and your life!

 

When we stand firm for God and pray to Him, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to stand together and let our light shine. God builds His Church through people who stand firm on the solid foundation of Christ, who pray, who are filled with the Spirit, and who stand together in faith. This is how God built the early church, and this is how God is still building His Church today. He’s looking for men and women who will stand for Him. No matter the opposition, we must stand for God so that He can shine through us.

 

It’s vitally important to me that you understand you will face opposition in life as you surrender your life to Christ. The enemy of your soul, Satan, wants to do everything possible to oppose you and hinder you from coming to Christ.

 

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, I want to encourage you to press past any opposition and to give your life to Christ. Peter and John left everything to follow Jesus, and once Jesus became their foundation, God used them to do mighty things that have literally impacted millions and millions of people. When you surrender your life to Christ, not only will He forgive you but He will also give you a new purpose for living and begin to use your life to advance His kingdom.

 

After you make the decision to give your life to Christ, stand with both feet firmly planted on Jesus. And as you stand on the solid rock of Christ, be committed to praying and reading God’s Word, the Bible. As you pray to God and follow His Word, He will give you the strength, direction, and peace to make it through any challenge you face. He helped Peter and John, and He will help you. And not only will He help you, but He will shine brightly through your life and use you to impact your family, friends, and coworkers. He will use you to be salt and light to the world around you.

 

Every day for the rest of our lives, we will face circumstances and situations where we have to choose whether we will stand for Christ. Peter and John had every reason in the world to not stand for Christ. They were imprisoned, threatened, and their lives endangered, but they chose to stand—and God did powerful things in and through their lives. They were bright lights for Jesus. God wants you to be a bright light for Jesus.  

 

At work, stand firm in your faith. At school, stand firm in your faith. Around your family, stand firm in your faith. When no one is watching, stand firm in your faith. In public, stand firm in your faith. In the face of opposition, adversity, when all hell is breaking loose, stand firm in your faith. God is faithful and wants us to be a light everywhere we go. Remember that when we stand firm in our faith, God’s light shines brightly through us.