Acts 4:1-4 (NASB)
1 As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
Heavenly Father, Jesus promised us the Hoy Spirit and that we would receive the power to be witnesses throughout the world. Please fill us with that power so that despite our circumstances, we would prove to be favorable witnesses of Your glory, mercy, and love and, as a result, transform not only ourselves; but, the lives of those around us. May You receive all the honor and praise, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Christians are to witness for Jesus Christ despite agitation and persecution; because, lives will be changed.
What are the outcomes of being a witness for Jesus Christ?
Being a witness for Jesus Christ will result in…
Acts 4:1-2 (NASB)
1 As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
The priests were agitated
- The name of Jesus was being preached
- The doctrine of Jesus’ resurrection was being preached
- They had put Jesus to death
- His rising again proved Him to be the Just One
- His blood was upon their heads
- They feared their office and services would decline as Christianity spread
The captain of the temple guard was agitated
- He was responsible for preventing sedition and disorder
The Sadducees were agitated
- Their doctrines were being overturned
- Especially the doctrine of the resurrection
Sinners, confronted with the truth, become agitated
Proverbs 1:7 (NASB)
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Acts 4:3 (NASB)
3 And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening.
2 Timothy 3:12 (NASB)
12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Luke 21:12b-19 (NASB)
12 … they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14 “So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16 “But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all because of My name. 18 “Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19 “By your endurance you will gain your lives.
John 15:18-21 (NASB)
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.
3. Changed Lives
Acts 4:4 (NASB)
4 But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
Acts 2:41-47 (NASB)
41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NASB)
26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NASB)
16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Romans 12:1-2 (NASB)
1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 Peter 1:22-23 (NASB)
22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
What are the outcomes of being a witness for Jesus Christ? Being a witness for Jesus Christ will result in:
- Changed Lives
Christians are to witness for Jesus Christ despite agitation and persecution; because, lives will be changed, just as He changed ours.
2 Corinthians 4:13-14 (NASB)
13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED , THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.
Ephesians 6:19 (NASB)
19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
Heavenly Father, please give us the boldness to be Your witnesses despite our circumstances, fear of rejection, and persecution. May lives be changed for Your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:
James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.
John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
- To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
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1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19 "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
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Praise the Lord.
- In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:
Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.
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James 5:16 (NASB)
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
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