Acts 2 Peter speaking Boldly by the Holy Spirit
36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away[f]—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
God Can Give You the Right Words
By: Diane Pearson, 1cbn.com
In 1975, an Indiana farmer named Frosty Hofmann was diagnosed with severe kidney problems. He was only 35 years old at the time and eventually had to go on dialysis. He and his wife Jane managed his dialysis treatments at their home for the next two and a half years.
In 1978, Frosty’s brother gave him the gift of life: a donated kidney. Frosty lived another 25 years and earned the distinction of the longest living kidney transplant patient in the country. He passed away in 2002.
For the last 15 years of his life, Jane and Frosty traveled around the country, entertaining more than 1400 audiences. Jane was known as “Erma Bombeck on a tractor,” drawing from her 35 years of farming with her husband and raising four children. Frosty concluded their program with a serious message on patriotism and respect for the flag. They were a popular team.
Jane and Frosty had an unwritten rule that they never mentioned his health problems. “We didn’t want to capitalize on it or make people feel sorry for us,” said Jane. “But just one time I broke that rule and made a little comment about the kidney transplant, certainly not something I planned on doing.”
At the end of the program, a woman made her way to the front of the room. She said, “My grandson is having kidney problems and may have to have a kidney transplant. I need to know all the details about your experience.”
Jane said, “She was desperate for some first-hand information. Her family didn’t want to upset her, so they didn’t let her know what was going on, which only made her fears worse. She was so encouraged to meet a man who had lived a normal life for so many years.”
“It was so evident,” continued Jane, “that God led me to say those few words at exactly the right time so we could be a source of information, comfort, and encouragement to her.”
Isn’t it amazing how God uses people to speak exactly the words He wants in His perfect timing?
Scripture confirms this through the Lord’s words to the prophet Jeremiah:
But the Lord said to me … “You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.” Jeremiah 1:7, 9(NIV)
As you go throughout your day, pray that God will put His words into your mouth. You never know when God might use your words in a powerful, life-changing way.
I would like to encourage you to enjoy a particular experience of the ministry of the Holy Spirit promised by our Lord Jesus.
When he made this promise, he had in mind mainly the tense and dangerous moments when the adversaries of Christianity bring you before authorities and give you a chance to speak. For example, he said,
“When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:11–12)
Or later he said,
“When they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11; compare with Matthew 10:19)
Perhaps something like this has happened to you. But most of us in the West have not yet encountered that kind of official arraignment for being a follower of Jesus.
Yes, It Applies to You
“The Holy Spirit will help us in the most frightening settings. How much more may we depend on him in less threatening situations.”
Does that mean this promise of Jesus has no application to us? No. It does apply to us. Notice, when Jesus says in Luke 12:11 that they may bring us before “synagogues and rulers and authorities,” he is not thinking of only one kind of arraignment. Being questioned in the synagogue was not the same as being interrogated by a Roman governor.
Jesus’s promise that the Holy Spirit will teach us what we ought to say is not meant to free us from anxiety in only one kind of trial and then leave us to ourselves in another. The promise is that the Holy Spirit will help us in the most frightening settings, and so how much more may we depend on him in less threatening situations.
One of the reasons I want you to enjoy this particular work of the Holy Spirit is that I have found it so true and amazing and precious in my own life. I am thinking particularly of two kinds of situations. One is cold-turkey street evangelism, and the other is spontaneous question-and-answer sessions in front of hundreds or thousands of people.
Jogging in Minnesota
During the eight months when I jog outside in Minnesota, I regularly carry booklets and Gospels of John in my pocket. I pray for guidance for someone to talk to about Jesus, and for the help of the Holy Spirit in what to say. It is usually quite early in the morning, and I am running in what most people would call “the inner city.” If I find a guy standing alone, I may stop and say, “Good morning! My name’s John. I run through the neighborhood and pray for people. Is there something I can pray about for you?” From this point on, it is unpredictable.
But ordinarily, they will give me something to pray for. Now and then it is something really significant. A couple months ago a young man said his girlfriend had just kicked him out, and he was devastated. He thought it would be long term. Sooner or later in my interaction, I say something like, “Do you know the best news in the world?” Depending on what they say, I ask, “May I tell it to you?” Ninety percent of the time they say yes. So I put the gospel into as few words as a I can and see where they are willing to go with that.
I come away from these brief encounters thankful and amazed at what just happened. Yes, I am often frustrated that I did not say things better. But I am also really happy that the Holy Spirit gave me something to say. Not only that, he inclined me to say it. He caused me to love it. He awakened compassion. He overcame anxiety. He put hope in my heart. He fulfilled the promise of Jesus, “The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
From: Global Christian Center, globalchristiancenter.com
When Peter and John (Acts 3:1-10) went up to the Temple to pray, they met a lame man at the gate called Beautiful. The man, who was about 40 years old, had been lame from his mother’s womb. Peter commanded the lame man to walk in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene. The lame man was healed.
A crowd gathered (Acts 3:11-26), and Peter preached. Many people believed in Christ when they heard his message. Whereupon, Peter and John (Acts 4:5-12) were arrested by the Temple guard and the Sadducees. The next day they the rulers and elders questioned Peter and John. They wanted to know by what power and in what name Peter and John had done this. Peter told them that the man was healed in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene. Moreover, he proclaimed that salvation was through Christ alone.
The elders and rulers (Acts 4:13-22) met privately and decided to warn Peter and John to speak no more in the name of Jesus. When Peter and John were released, they (Acts 4:23) went “to their own companions” (NASU) or “to their own people” (NIV) to report what the chief priest and elders had said. Today, we will consider what this means for us.
1. The disciples prayed to God who is all-powerful. We have the same privilege in prayer.
When the people present heard what the rulers and elders said, they lifted up their voices to God with one accord to pray. They began by addressing God as Lord and by acknowledging that it was He who made the heaven, the earth, the sea and all that is in them. The Greek word used by the people for Lord is despota. It can be translated Lord Almighty or Sovereign Lord.
Today, we who believe in Christ, pray to the same Sovereign Lord. The rulers and elders opposed Christ, the Anointed One, but they would be defeated by the Sovereign Lord. The Lord is all-powerful, and all things are under His control and in His hands. When we are confronted with opposition, and events seem to be out of control we must turn to despota, the Sovereign Lord. He will walk with us through our trials.
2. Even the enemies of God were under His control. No matter what the circumstances, we can be sure that God is in charge.
Both the Jews and the Gentiles were implicated in the death of Jesus. Even though they were guilty, what they did was within the plan of God. The prayer of the disciples says that these enemies had gathered (Acts 4:27-28) “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” (NASU) In this passage free will and predestination are brought together without any attempt to reconcile them. The Jews and Gentiles were guilty, but God achieved His purpose.
Very often we pray for people knowing that God allows them to make their own choices. So we wonder whether or not God is in control. We know that God sets the stage and sends His Spirit to persuade people to do His will. As a result, many people do yield to the will of God. Sometimes they do not. However, we know that, no matter what decision they make, God will weave all things together for good. All those who follow God will be blessed.
3. The disciples prayed to speak the Word with confidence. We can pray this prayer today.
Now, the disciples make their request. They knew that powerful forces were arrayed against them. They knew, as well, that Peter and John were determined to continue their witness. They prayed for strength to speak the Word of God with confidence. Then, their prayer includes their expression of faith that God would extend His hand to heal and works signs and wonders in the name of “Your holy servant Jesus.” While they spoke, God would work His wonders!
When we pray, let us ask God to help us speak the Word of God with boldness. It is the Word that penetrates the hearts of people everywhere. The Word of God is imbued with the Spirit of God. When proclaimed, this Word brings changes in lives and transforms those who hear. We must pray that we deliver the Word in the power of the Spirit.
4. God filled the disciples with His Spirit. He will fill us with the Spirit to be bold in our witness.
Now, God answers the prayer of the disciples for confidence in speaking the Word. The place where they had gathered was shaken. Another result was that the disciples were filled with the Spirit and “began to speak the word of God with boldness.” (NASU) The result was a direct answer to prayer.
When we pray, we can expect God to fill us with the Spirit and to enable us to speak the Word with boldness. Many times when I am waiting to speak, I ask the Lord to empower me to speak with boldness. He is faithful to help. His Spirit will enable our spirit to soar and to inspire all who hear. He stands in the pulpit with us to proclaim the Word of God.
When we pray, we can call upon God who is the Sovereign Lord. Because of this, we can pray in full confidence. Even the enemies of God are under His control. Many times they are persuaded to yield to God, but even when they are not, He is still Sovereign Lord. He will make all things work to benefit His kingdom and His servants. The disciples prayed to speak the word of God in confidence and power. God filled them with the Spirit in answer to their prayer, and they boldly proclaimed His Word.