We, the Church of Jesus, are sent – sent into the world to make disciples, teach, and baptize. In order for this to happen, each believer must see themselves in this grand story of redemption. We have been adopted into a missional family.
Peter and John have been arrested, investigated, and brought before a council that holds their fate.
FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
Verse 8 says, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…” Filled literally means, “control by the Holy Spirit”. In every significant witness of the gospel, it is God who does the work! We are simply humbled and submitted servants. This kind of fullness and control of the Holy Spirit is available today. Genuine Holy Spirit filling and control are always focused on powerful and courageous witness for the gospel. In scripture, it is never simply an experience for the believer to revel in, but rather for unbelievers to hear the gospel message.
Peter’s speech was spoken to an audience of the wealthiest, the most intellectual and the most powerful in the land. This took courage! This was the court that condemned Jesus to death and Peter knew that his life was at stake.
In spite of the fact that this gospel message was offensive to culture, the early Christians persisted. We too must maintain an inner conviction to be persistent. Courage to testify and proclaim salvation through Jesus must mark us. We need to trust Jesus’ words, “for I will give you a mouth and wisdom” (Luke 21:15).
The early believers desired to used every opportunity to share the gospel. This became a hallmark of Christian witness in Acts and in the history of the church. The gospel is such urgent news that we must seek opportunities to get the message across.
A SIMILARITY TO JESUS
Peter and John spoke with the boldness of Jesus, they performed miracles like Jesus, and they knew the scriptures like Jesus knew them – all without formal training. The Sanhedrin “recognized that they had been with Jesus”.
The similarity that they recognized was not merely lingering from past contact with their lost teacher – but rather the similarity was created by the presence of the living Christ through the Holy Spirit. You and I are called to have this fullness, control, anointing, courage, and presence of Christ working powerfully through us as witnesses (2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Colossians 1:28-29).
TESTIMONY TO WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD
Peter and John said, “we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (verse 20). Our testimony (experience) puts the gospel on display and opens doors of opportunities. The healing of the beggar gave opportunity for Peter and John to demonstrate and proclaim the good news. We must tell our story of what Jesus has done for us and declare the gospel by telling people what Jesus has done for the world in history.
Know your story. Know the gospel. Share them both with boldness (Romans 1:16; Acts 1:8).