Thursday, January 12, 2012

Good News for All is Bad News to Some

Acts 4:1 ¶ And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. 4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. 5 ¶ And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 6 ¶ And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred 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 ye done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The Gospel brings division (1-4)
-          The religious leaders were upset, but thousands of the people were happy
-          Man who thanked me and decided not to kill himself, woman who thanked me and gave me money (so that she wouldn’t buy crack with it), cussed at, “Satan loves me”, etc.
-          Do not expect to be celebrated by everyone (Sadducees didn’t accept doctrine of resurrection)
-          Proclaim the full message everywhere
The Gospel brings scandal (5-12)
-          Poor and unknown people exercise power through the Gospel (5-7)
o   In Jesus’ name!
-          Jesus works through them just as he promised (8)
o    Luke 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
-          Precisely the one the leaders did not want was the One God had chosen – Jesus (9-11)
o    Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
-          Only one way to God – Jesus (12)

In what ways have you seen people react negatively and positively to the Gospel?

Have you ever endured persecution because you presented the Gospel?

Why do you suppose people resist the Gospel?

Have you ever personally resisted the Gospel? Have you ever resisted other light?

Why is it that so many poor and lowly people accept the Gospel?

Is the promise Jesus made in Luke 21:14 for us today?

What does salvation mean? (v. 12 sozo)

What does it mean to say that Jesus is the only source of salvation?