A troubler in Israel.
AUGUST 16, 2021
A troubler in Israel. Let’s talk on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had a great week-end and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we’re studying the book of Acts and we’re taking our time. It is my fond hope that before we finish with this study, Jesus will have returned and cleaned up the mess. And the whole thing will be over. Of course, Martin Luther thought that. And so did it Aquinas. And so did John Knox and Calvin and Peter and Paul. So, it may not happen. So, we’ll stay with it and see what Jesus does. You know, when I was a teenager, we had a lady in our city, her name was Mrs. Gordon. And we called her Aunt Gordy. And she had a house up on the side of a mountain and had a Bible study for teenagers every Monday night. And I was a part of that for a good while before everything fell apart. But, Aunt Gordy would every morning go to her kitchen window, throw it open, look out over the landscape of the city where I lived. And she would say, maybe today, maybe today. Well, you never know. If you have your Bible, open into the fourth chapter of Acts. If you were with us the last two or three weeks, we were looking at the delightful story of a cripple who was healed and all of that repercussions and the sermon that flowed from that. And now we’re going to look at the fourth chapter or most of it. And talk about how Christians are called to be irritating. But before we do, let’s pray and then we’ll get down. Father, we come into your presence this morning, confessing that sometimes when we should have stood, we didn’t. When we should have said something and we didn’t say anything, we should have told people who we belong to and we kept quiet. Forgive us, but forgive us of all our sins and you do, and we praise you for the sufficient and finished blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Father, you know, everybody who’s listening right now and you know the roads that each person walks, you know their names, you know the problems and the places of laughter and tears. And you’re the God of all of it, every circumstance of our lives. And so we praise you and we worship you. And then father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast. Forgive him his sins, because they’re many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Alright, I’m going to start at the first verse and this is a fairly long text and I’m only going to read it once. I’m not going to do it for the next couple of weeks, as we examine this text. But Luke writes his follows.
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came up on them, annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and the people and the elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to the cripple, by what means this man has been healed, let it be at known to you all and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by him this man is standing before you well. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation and no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man that had been healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is manifest to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we can’t deny it. But in the order that it may not spread among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in his name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God that listened to you, rather than God, you must judge, for we cannot, but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all men praise God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old. When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who by the mouth of the father David, thy servant, didst say by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagined vain things? The Kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’–for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever thy hand and and thy plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to thy servants to speak the word with all boldness, while thou stretchest out thy hand, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of the thy holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.
Oh my, there’s so much in that text and I’m going to impact or unpack all of that text beginning tomorrow. But today let me kind of introduce it. These disciples were irritaters. Do you remember in I Kings, when Ahab, the bad king had done some bad things. And Elijah faced him and told him he was going to go through a major drought in the country, because of his disobedience to God. Then Ahab, the king said something about Elijah, the prophet, and it was good. And they don’t say that about us much anymore. Ahab said to Elijah, you are a troubler in Israel. Well, guys, I think it’s time for Christians to become troublers in America and troublers in Canada and troublers in the world. We ought to be out irritating people. But there’s more to it than that, obviously. There is the fruit of the spirit and kindness and love and civility and faithfulness, but we’ve gone in a corner and have gotten quiet. Jesus told me to tell you, because he told me first, just stop it. Go for my sake and irritate somebody. You think about it. Amen.
Thank you Steve. So great to just read through an extended passage of Scripture. Today, we took a broad look at Acts 4:1-31, and of course, Steve will be back tomorrow to start unpacking that text. Do hope you’ll join us then. So here’s a pop quiz. Do you know how many chapters there are in Acts? I’ll be honest, I couldn’t remember offhand. The answer is 28, 28 exciting chapters, and we have only just begun to explore chapter four. My point here is that we’re still just getting started and that’s why we want to send you a special booklet for free, it’s called Through the Eyes of Grace: Acts & Romans, early church leadership, the Pentecost, fellowship of believers, persecution. All of those subjects are in there. And there’s Steve’s overview of Romans. You are going to love this book and again, it is free, but you have to claim it to get it. So call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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