Acts 4:1-31  A Winning Combination


The title of my message this morning is a Winning combination !

A)Olympic Figure skating – Torveal and Dean


B)Music – Simon and Garfunkel – Hall and Oates



Joe Montana to Jerry Rice – Result 4 Superbowls

Magic to Kareem – 5 NBA Championships

Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen –  6 titles

Kobe and Shaq – 3 Titles


D)All those guys teamed up to form winning combinations


Well in the Christian life we too have what we could call a winning combination.

A)It is found in two exhortations in the NT–that  Prove to be a Key for Christian walk in every area


B)The First part of the Winning combination is found in Colossians 3:16

 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”


C) Paul follows that up by talking about Marriage, Parenting, Christian Conduct in the work place, and serving the Lord.


The implication is this: The Key to being affective in all those areas of life – is letting the word of Christ Dwell in you richly –

A)Allowing the Word of Christ – God’s word – take up a rich place of residents in your life.


B)The 2nd Part of the combination is found in Ephesians 5:18   “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, {notice the similarity} 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”


Paul follows this exhortation up by talking about the same things as he did in Colossians Marriage, Parenting, workplace Christian Conduct – and serving the Lord.


See there is a connection between letting the Word of Christ Dwell in you richly and being filled with the Holy Spirit – together they make for a winning combination in life.

A)We see that winning combination in the life of the early Church – Anchored into Jesus


B)His word was dwelling deeply in them – met daily to study the word

C)They had learned the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit – empowered to live/ serve.


D) We see that winning combination in Full force in our text this morning!


Set the Scene: The Miracle on the way into the Temple – the reaction –

A) The Crowd – the Sermon – now we see the outcome!   Acts 4:1-4

Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, {aggressively} 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.


B)Now here we see the word of the gospel once again going forth in Power – Resulting in a great Harvest.

1) And where the work is working – the enemy is seeking to Oppose!


C)Notice in our text the three groups that opposing these followers of Jesus. The Priest, the Sadducees, the captain of the temple.





A)They were involved in the worship of God and the offering of sacrifices for sin.


B)The very sacrifices that they offered, the structure and utensils of the temple ALL pointed to Jesus.


C) You would think that if anyone would want to be a follower of Jesus that THESE men would be.


Why were they so upset v.2 gives the answer - 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people

A)In the Old Testament, we see that the priests and levites were also TEACHERS. Deuteronomy 24:8


B)Now suddenly these untrained men – who were not of the priestly line were doing the teaching –

1)little bit of Jealousy going on here.



A)SADDUCEES - They were a SMALL sect in Judaism, but they were an extremely powerful group and were the ruling sect in the religious life of Israel at the time.


B)Annas and Caiaphas were both sadducees


C) They were also the materialists of their day.

1)They did NOT believe in Angels, spirits miracles or the resurrection from the dead. Acts 23:8

Courson: They were sad u –see – Nothing beyond this life – sad way to live! It is interesting to note that The CENTER OF OPPOSITION has changed From the Pharisees to the Sadducees.

A)In the life of Jesus, it was the Pharisees who were the main opposition to Jesus.


B)Very little is mentioned of the Sadducees.


C)The opposition of the Pharisees resulted in the death of Jesus.

1)But in ACTS the Pharisees are hardly seen at all.


D)The early Church –preached the Rez – they were experiencing the Miraculous and they were living – with Eternity in view


e)Drove the Sadducees nuts


CAPTAIN OF THE TEMPLE = The officer second in authority only to the high priest.

A)In Acts it appears that one of the main functions of this officer was to keep order in the Temple.


B)These guys were Religious THUGS.

1)They had a history of being thugs, coming against the true work of God   Jeremiah 20:1-2


“Now Pashhur the son of Immer, the priest who was also chief governor in the house of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. 2 Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord.”


C)They were the ones who came with swords and clubs to take Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene


D)So they came upon Peter and John with Force – Arrested them – until the next day.


5 And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked,"By what power or by what name have you done this?"


The court before which Peter and John were brought was the Sanhedrin, the supreme court of the Jews.

A)Even in Roman times it had the right of arrest.


B)The one thing it could not do was to pass the death sentence, except in the single case of a Gentile who trespassed on the inner courts of the Temple.


C)The Sanhedrin had seventy-one members. The high priest was the president.

1)In the Sanhedrin there were priests, practically all of whom were Sadducees.


C)Their one desire was to preserve the status quo that their own compensation might not be lessened.

1)This was the group that initially tired Jesus – hated …

So Peter and John were brought before this group They would be seated in a circle or semi circle with the chief priest in the center of them.

A)Set in the midst in the center – very intimidating


B)Peter and John were placed in the midst and asked  ,"By what power or by what name have you done this?"


Rd v.8-13


Now in V.13 We see the result of this winning combination.

A)It is by far the greatest compliment I think that can be given to a Christian.


Aa)They could tell that they had been with Jesus!


B)Ever notice what happens to two pp who have been married awhile – they start to take on same characteristics

1)Finish each others sentences – some even start to look alike. Scary for the wife.


C)You know how your spouse is going to react to certain things



God’s objective – conform us into the image of his own dear son!

A)Books sermons where the idea is on  – Becoming a better you!

B)No! John said – I need to decrease – that He might increase!


C)That is what God is wanting to do in our lives – Make us more like Jesus.


Name Christian came from?: Disciples didn’t make it up – came from enemies – those who hated Jesus –

A)Means Christ like or little Christ – They remind of us Jesus the Christ – call them Christians – little Christ


B)They thought they had got rid of Jesus – but now they were seeing Jesus living through his Disciples


C)They could tell they had been with Jesus – another translation – they were of the party of Jesus

1)Dinner – Name – reservation – Salvato – party of two


D)Critical unhappy person – Bitter party of one


They reminded these men of Jesus!

A)Perceived = marveled - 


B)Uneducated and untrained – English word idiot

1)They were idiots – hadn’t been trained in their schools and seminaries { So versed – so bold


C)They marveled at the same thing in Jesus



John 7:14-15 “Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 And the Jews marveled, saying, "How does this Man know letters, having never studied?"

A)Similar reaction to Calvary Pastors in the late 70’s – how know so much. Greg Mike Raul,


B)Like the Apostles – filled with the Spirit and the word of Christ was dwelling richly in them.


C)Impacted the world- Still to this day!



The rest of our time today: I want us to see – Five traits of the person who has been with Jesus. –

#1 You boldly share your faith.

A)V.8 is key then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit. – Result  He was Bold


B)Peter holds nothing back – They think they are putting Peter and John on trial – Peter quickly turns the table – puts them on trial.


C)You want to know by what power or name this good deed has been done?

1)Name of Jesus of Nazareth


D)Jesus Christ of Nazareth -  Throws that in their face!

1)He wasn’t from the religious center of the day – Jerusalem

Though most of the Sanhedrin were Sadducees and did not want to hear of the Resurrection,

A)Peter hurled it at them like a flaming spear: Whom You Crucified – But God raised up!”


B)Boldness of Peter Cartwright – Andrew Jackson


It’s noteworthy to underscore what is NOT being said .

I want to quote the great FF Bruce

"It is particularly striking that neither on this nor on any subsequent occasion . . . did the Sanhedrin take any serious action to disprove the apostles' central affirmation - the resurrection of Jesus. Had it seemed possible to refute them on this point, how readily would the Sanhedrin seized the opportunity! Had they succeeded, how quickly and completely the new movement would have collapsed!"

                                                Great observation!


B)What was the Sanhedrin’s reaction? There was probably coughing and clearing of throats,

1)uneasy shifting of position and straightening of robes, and certainly some exchanged glances and pounding hearts.


C)And Peter had just begun!


You rejected the Cornerstone!  quoting from Psalm 118

A)In ancient Building – they built with stones – pieced together.

B))The most important stone in the Building was the cornerstone – strongest


C)Tradition has it that in the days of the construction of Solomon’s temple, although the engineers at the temple mount searched and searched, they couldn’t find the cornerstone. A message was sent to the quarry: “Where is the cornerstone?”


D)Word came back to the mount: “We sent it to you months ago.”

1)Then someone remembered: “Oh, maybe it was that stone we didn’t know what to do with.


It didn’t fit anywhere, so we rolled it down the hill into the Valley of Gehenna.”

A)The Valley of Gehenna was the place of burning, the place of rubbish,


B)the place where babies were sacrificed in the days of Ahaz, the place of weeping and sorrow, refuse and stench.


C)Thus, Peter makes application, saying, “The Chief Cornerstone is Jesus Christ.


D)You rejected him – the centerpiece of Salvation -


Then Peter makes this incredibly bold statement:

12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

A)For centuries that claim has been attacked by those who are in opposition to Christianity.


B)Recent yrs attacked by even those in the Church.


Recent revision Catholic Catechism 841    The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."


VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2005 Pope Benedict XVI. “Whoever seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience, and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent, will be saved even if he lacks biblical faith.”  


C)That is universalism – it is wrong – everyone will be saved – all roads lead to God –


We understand  no other language in every other situation.

A)If you want to take a trip on a train – Conductor says – there are no other tickets – guess what you are walking


B)If you go to the Doctor and he says – terminal disease – no cure – apart from God you are dead.


C)How many of you understand that? –


No other name! – How many – Zero


That is so narrow – that is not very tolerant

A)Truth by definition is intolerant - Truth is intolerant of error.


B))We know in mathmatics 2+2=4 right – we don’t call that intolerant


Now how would you respond if your child 3rd grader brought home a math paper 100%

A)You look at it – notice – all wrong – 2+2 = 7 / 2+6 = 11 / 3+8 = 20


B)Go see the teacher – hey my sons Paper 100% but it was all wrong – what are you doing

1)So narrow – intolerant – I want him to have a good self esteem


C)So I gave him 100% - so he would feel good about himself


D)But it is wrong – never graduate from High school never make to college - never get a job ––living w/ me the rest of his life

1)Change schools or teacher fired! -Right

Truth by definition is intolerant – And a loving God who desires that none should perish – says – there is salvation in no other name

A)There is one way – one person –


B)I appreciate that God makes it that clear! –


Person who has been with Jesus Will #1 be bold – Peter filled with the HS preached with Boldness

#2 A person who has been with Jesus will know the word!

A)The thing that astounds me about Peter’s messages – so much of the Bible that is a part of them


B)That is something he picked up from being with Jesus – Peter learned the word.


C)Uneducated fisherman – who became a Bible scholar


D)The word of Christ was dwelling richly in Peter and so the word of Christ was coming out of Peter.

1)That is also what reminded them of Jesus – He sounds like Jesus


The Bible is like a mirror it reflects what it sees – The light of Jesus Christ – the living word – reflects off the pages of the written word so that we shine forth.




2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”



Rd V.14-20


#3 A person who has been with Jesus lives for an Audience of One!

A)Better to obey God than you. - 


Frederick the Great once called all his generals together. One of them, Hans Von Zieten, had duties to perform at his church that night and a Communion to participate in, so he refused to come. Later he was again invited to dine with all the generals and Frederick the Great. On that occasion they all made light of him and joked about his religious duties and about the Lord’s Supper. Von Zieten stood and said to his intimidating ruler, “My lord, there is a greater king than you, a king to whom I have sworn allegiance, even unto death. I am a Christian man, and I cannot sit quietly as the Lord’s name is dishonored, his character belittled, and his cause subjected to ridicule. With your permission I shall withdraw.”


There was silence because the generals knew such a daring act could mean death.


But Frederick the Great was so struck by Von Zieten’s courage that he begged him to stay and promised him he would never again demean those sacred things.


B)The Violin player -  The old man in the Balcony –



#4 A person who has been with Jesus will be a person of prayer! Rd v.21-31

A)They don’t pray for God to stop the persecution – they pray for greater boldness


B)Don’t pray for a lighter load – pray for a stronger back


C)Prayer first place you turn or last

1)Denise and Keys and Phone


D)Result of Prayer – Once again empowered by the HS