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Acts 4:13-20


Intro: The early church is making its mark in Jerusalem. People are being saved by the thousands and Jesus Christ is being proclaimed. Just prior to this passage, Peter and John had been used of the Lord to heal a beggar who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. The Jews who were in the Temple when this occurred were amazed, 3:1-11. Peter used their amazement over the miracle as an opportunity to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, 3:12-26. While he was preaching, the Jewish leaders caught wind of what was happening that they show up and arrest Peter and John because they were preaching that Jesus rose again from the dead, 4:1-4. The very next day, the Jews convened a council to talk about what to do with Peter and John, 4:5-7. Peter once again used that opportunity to preach to the Jewish leaders about the Lord Jesus, 4:8-12.

        The Jews were upset by what they had seen and heard. They were upset that the name of Jesus was still being preached, even though they had seen Him die with their own eyes. They took Peter and John and threatened them to try and prevent them from preaching Jesus any more, 4:15-22. While the Jews may have hated Peter and John and the message they preached, there were some things that even they could not deny.

        We are living in an hour that is just as antagonistic toward the Gospel as ancient Israel. The world looks at the church and there is much they see that they do not understand, and much they see that they do not like. They would love nothing more than to be able to silence us and our message. They want us to become more like them. They would like for us to loosen up, quiet down and fall in with them on their march toward Hell.

        While the world and worldly people may hate us and what we stand for, there are just some things about us that they just can’t deny! I want to point out a few of those facts today.


  I.  v. 13    THE MASTER CANNOT

                            BE DENIED

(Ill. As the Jews questioned Peter and John, two characteristics stood out about them. These characteristics could not be denied.)

A.  His Presence Is Undeniable – When Peter and John spoke, they did so with “boldness”. The word refers to “unreserved speech”. It is the idea of “someone speaking their mind without regard for what others think about them.” When that kind of speech occurs in the power of the flesh great harm can be inflicted. But, when that kind of speech is uttered in the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s business is done.

                Consider for a moment who is doing the talking. It is Peter! He is the same man who denied the Lord just a few days earlier, Matt. 26:69-75. The who denied Christ has become His most vocal spokesman. How do you figure that? It’s His presence and it cannot be denied. (Ill. This morning!)

B.  His Power Is Undeniable – They were amazed when they heard these men speak because they were “unlearned and ignorant men”. “Unlearned” is the word “agrammatos”. It means “illiterate; or one who does not know letters.” “Ignorant” is “idiotes”. It refers to “a commoner; an unskilled man.”

        Where did these men learn the truths they were sharing? Where did they gain the boldness with which they preached? What happened to these fellows to make them into what they are now? They “had been with Jesus”. The Sanhedrin remembered seeing Peter and John with Jesus in the Temple and at His trial!

        These men were doing just exactly what Jesus had done. He had confronted the religious establishment with the truth from Heaven. They were doing the same things!

        When Jesus comes into a life, He brings with Him His awesome power. He can take the weakest among us and use them in amazing ways for His glory! There are people in this room who have never earned a degree from any institution of learning, but you know more about the things of God and about the deep things of theology than people who have spent years in institutions of higher learning. The Spirit of God can teach you the deep things of the Lord just by His presence in your life.

        His power in a redeemed life is undeniable! He will move in you to cause you to do the same things He did. What things? He will cause you to be busy loving others, helping others, serving others, and obeying God, among other things. It is amazing, but it cannot be denied!



                              BE DENIED

(Ill. The Jews are in a dilemma. On the one hand they have the disciples. These men are amazing! They are full of the power of God and that cannot be denied. On the other hand, they have the man who has been healed. He is standing there and they all know him. No doubt they had seen him many times as they made their way into the Temple. They had probably ignored him, refusing to give him any alms or any help. Now, he is standing here in their presence and he is not crippled anymore. A miracle has taken place that cannot be denied!)

A.  An Undeniable Walk – 3:2 tells us that this man had been born lame. 4:22 tells us that he was over 40 when he was healed. But, 3:8-11 tells us that this formerly lame man was leaping, walking, running around praising the Lord. This is a change that cannot be denied!

        The same is true in the church. There are people sitting here today who have been changed by the power of God. You are not the same person you used to be. You are a new creature, 2 Cor. 5:17. You have been changed and that is a miracle that cannot be denied!

        When the serpent bit the people in ancient Israel, those who looked to the serpent Moses made were delivered from death, Num. 21. They had something others around them did not have. They had live and it was a miracle that could not be denied. When Jesus saves a soul, He brings the convert out of death, darkness and depravity, Eph. 2:1-3; Col. 1:13-14; 2:13-14. His presence is a miracle in a life that cannot be denied, Gal. 5:19-25.

B.  An Undeniable Worship – Here is a man who got up that morning, was carried to the Beautiful Gate, and sat there begging for handouts. His life was all about what he could get off others. He lived for himself and what he could get. But look at the change now! As soon as he is healed, he begins to praise the Lord. The word “praising” means “to sing praises; or to extol”. This man went to the Temple not to worship, but to beg. While he was there, he got more than he bargained for and he was healed. He doesn’t know much about God, but he praises Him. That is a change that cannot be denied!

        Isn’t that what happens when a sinner meets Jesus? The change is dramatic and instant. That person suddenly has a desire to worship Him. That person suddenly has an appetite for the things of God. That person suddenly has a testimony they want to share. That person suddenly feels things in their heart they just have to let out.

        They have been saved and they know it. They are different and they know it. They have been blessed beyond words and they know it. It is a miracle that cannot be denied. (Ill. Again, we saw it this morning!)



                               BE DENIED

(Ill. Everything that took place that day took place because of the message. All these things were for the glory of God, but He received the most glory from the preaching of the Gospel of grace.

        Peter lets the Jews know that it is a message that he must preach, 4:20. The miracle is precious, but everything hinges on the message. Peter wants these men to know that it is a true message and it is a message that he cannot help but preach. (Ill. Paul – 1 Cor. 9:16.)

        The message they preached that day is the same message we preach in our day. It is a life-changing message about a soul-saving God. Here is the essence of their message.)

A.  A Message Of Love – The message we preach, and the message that changed our lives, is a message of a death. It is a message of a crucifixion, 4:10. The message we preach is of a Savior Who loved us so much that He took our place on a cross. He died for us to pay for our sins so that we might be saved, Isa. 53:4-6; Rom. 5:8.

                I praise God that He loves me like He does! It is eternal, unconditional, selfless and glorious. Praise God, He loves us – Jer. 31:3; Rom. 8:38-39.

B.  A Message Of Life – The message they preached was about a Savior Who died for His sheep, but it was also about a Savior Who rose again three days later, Matt. 28:1-6. It is a message about a sacrifice, but it is also a message about a success! Yes, Jesus entered death the save His people from their sins, but He also rose again the third day to provide eternal life for all who will receive Him. John 10:28. I praise the Lord that He died for me, but I also praise Him that He rose again and is alive forevermore, John 10:18; Rev. 1:18; Heb. 7:25.

C.  A Message Of Liberty – Peter and John told the Jews that it was this message, and the Savior behind it, that was responsible for the changed man they see before them. The message of the Gospel brought help and hope to a life ruined by the blight of sin. The message of the Gospel brought the riches of Christ a man sentenced to a life of pain and poverty. The message they preached is a life-changing message!

        That is still the message we preach today. The Gospel still has power to save old sinners. It can open the eyes blinded by sin. It can straighten the limbs withered by sin and evil. It can cleanse away the leprosy of the soul. It can deliver those held captive by sins enslaving power. It can bring life into a dead soul. Jesus has the power to set men free, John 8:32, 36.

        I am not ashamed of that message! It changed my life one day! I praise God for the day the light of the glorious Gospel shone into my dark, sin-cursed heart and God turned the light on in my soul! Bless His name!


Conc: The world will never understand our Savior. They will never comprehend the lives we live. They will never grasp the reasons we are like we are. All we can do is live for Jesus, preach His Gospel and give Him worship. They may never get it, but there are some things they will never be able to deny!

        Has He spoken to your heart today? It would be a good time for someone to be saved. It would be a good time for someone to come home. It would be a good time for someone to come around these altars to worship Him. It would be a good time to do some things that cannot be denied.

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