Sermon Notes

Acts 4:1-14 (NLT)  

1 While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the leading priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees came over to them.

2 They were very disturbed that Peter and John were claiming, on the authority of Jesus, that there is a resurrection of the dead.

3 They arrested them and, since it was already evening, jailed them until morning.

But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000.

The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem.

Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest.

They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people,

are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed?

10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.

11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected    has now become the cornerstone.’

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say.

Religion reaches up to God—Christianity is God reaching down to man.

There is something you must understand and know about religion and religious legalism:

When threatened, religion exercises intimidation.

Acts 4:5 (NLT) The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem.

When uncertain, religion emphasizes tradition.

Acts 4:6 (NLT)   Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest.

When suspicious, religion employs interrogation.

Acts 4:7 (NLT)   They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”

THE LIMITATIONS OF RELIGION

Limitation #1: Religion lacks the Spirit’s filling

Acts 4:8-11 (NLT)  

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Leaders and elders of our nation,

9 are we being questioned because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed?

10 Let me clearly state to you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed in the name and power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, the man you crucified, but whom God raised from the dead.

11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’

Limitation #2: Religion is blinded to Christ’s working

Limitation #3: Religion is unmoved by the Gospel message

Acts 4:12-14 (NLT)

12 There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them.” 

13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men who had had no special training. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

14 But since the man who had been healed was standing right there among them, the council had nothing to say.

Limitation #4: Religion is silenced by transformed lives

Acts 4:14 (NLT)

14 But since the man who had been healed was standing right there among them, the council had nothing to say.

What’s the lesson we learn from the early church?

If we place our faith in a religious system, rather then in Christ, we may be moral churchgoers or even respected citizens, but we will never know of Christ’s power, His joy or His salvation!

Secrets to Successful Parenting

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Our world is in a crisis. Families are in crisis. The demand of changing values has descended upon the home today in America. Family commitment is more unthinkable, and stable family relationships are becoming more impossible. The home is under attack!

God’s Word says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NIV Continue reading “Secrets to Successful Parenting”

Make 2015 A Very Special Year!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Now that Christmas is over, our thoughts quickly turn to the year ahead. The truth is January can be one of the most depressing months of the year. Credit card bills come in from all that Christmas overspending, and winter, if not already here, is rapidly approaching, which means that we have very few days over the next couple of months that will permit us to pursue all those outdoor activities that we enjoy.

Winter doesn’t have to be a dark, dreary time in our lives. In fact, the Apostle Paul in one of the last letters he ever wrote laid out some pretty good advice to his close friend, Timothy – advice that we should take, too.

Paul was in prison in Rome and he knew that the sands of time were running out on his life. Think about it. What would you say to a close friend with your last words? Any of us in similar circumstances would likely reserve what precious time we had left to deal with the most important priorities in our life. Continue reading “Make 2015 A Very Special Year!”