A Summary of Rev’s Isaac SPCC Sermon on 15th March 2013
By Jason Tan
Peter and John were arrested as they were speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus to the people. They threatened not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. However, instead of turning coward they pray instead a corporate prayer that is seen from verses 24-30. The following are the main points in that we can see in their prayer:
a. You are the Sovereign Creator (Acts 4:24)
The believer’s acknowledge that God is the creator of all things, the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them. The word Sovereign Creator or Sovereign Lord is also seen used in Luke 2:29.
And as we see in 1Peter 4:19, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. What is God’s will? For us all to do good as seen in 1Peter 2:15 and 1 Peter 3:17.
b. Your enemies are fulfilling Your predetermined plan (Acts 4:28)
We see that the priests, the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees were all trying to stop Peter and John from continue what they are doing. In verse 26, the prayer says “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His Anointed One”; the Anointed One here being Christ. The same saying is also seen in Psalm 2:1-2.
However in verse 28 we see that God had compelled them to act as they did, but He willed to use them and their freely chosen acts to accomplish His saving purpose. This is also seen in Acts 2:23 where God’s purpose revealed through the prophets that the Messiah must suffer and die. In other words, they were playing into God’s plan and will to spread the gospel.
c. Give us boldness to speak Your word (Acts 4:29)
When questioned by the rulers, elders and priest by what power or what name Peter and John were doing what they doing (v. 7), Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and answered with great boldness (v. 8-12). It was basically giving the answer straight into their face. What boldness they have in the face of persecution!
And even with the threat, the believers ask for more boldness to speak God’s word. In today’s world, we have plenty of opportunities to share God’s word with others yet we lack the boldness to do so. We are even furthered encourage in Hebrews 10:33-34. May we ask God for boldness as how the believers in the early churches prayed for.
And what was the end result? The whole place was shaken (v. 31), an immediate sign that the prayers had been heard. The believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and boldly spoke the Word of God despite the warnings of the council. As we continue to read on in verses 32 to 37, we see that the believers one in heart and mind and shared all their possessions among them.
A prayer for the church: “Lord, give us greater unity, greater boldness, greater grace”
“True prayer is not telling God what to do, but asking God to do His will in us and through us” – Warren Wendel Wiersbee