Acts 4:5-31 - "We Cannot But Speak" by Carey Hughes

Message


Scripture Readings

    Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
        for his steadfast love endures forever!
    
    
    Let Israel say,
        “His steadfast love endures forever.”
    Let the house of Aaron say,
        “His steadfast love endures forever.”
    Let those who fear the LORD say,
        “His steadfast love endures forever.”
    
    
    Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
        the LORD answered me and set me free.
    The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.
        What can man do to me?
    The LORD is on my side as my helper;
        I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
    
    
    It is better to take refuge in the LORD
        than to trust in man.
    It is better to take refuge in the LORD
        than to trust in princes.
    
    
    All nations surrounded me;
        in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
    They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
        in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
    They surrounded me like bees;
        they went out like a fire among thorns;
        in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
    I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
        but the LORD helped me.
    
    
    The LORD is my strength and my song;
        he has become my salvation.
    Glad songs of salvation
        are in the tents of the righteous:
    “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
        the right hand of the LORD exalts,
        the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!”
    
    
    I shall not die, but I shall live,
        and recount the deeds of the LORD.
    The LORD has disciplined me severely,
        but he has not given me over to death.
    
    
    Open to me the gates of righteousness,
        that I may enter through them
        and give thanks to the LORD.
    This is the gate of the LORD;
        the righteous shall enter through it.
    I thank you that you have answered me
        and have become my salvation.
    The stone that the builders rejected
        has become the cornerstone.
    This is the LORD's doing;
        it is marvelous in our eyes.
    This is the day that the LORD has made;
        let us rejoice and be glad in it.
    
    
    Save us, we pray, O LORD!
        O LORD, we pray, give us success!
    
    
    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
        We bless you from the house of the LORD.
    The LORD is God,
        and he has made his light to shine upon us.
    Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
        up to the horns of the altar!
    
    
    You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
        you are my God; I will extol you.
    Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
        for his steadfast love endures forever!
    

(Psalm 118 ESV)


 

    On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

    Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

The Believers Pray for Boldness

    When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

    “‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
        and the peoples plot in vain?
    The kings of the earth set themselves,
        and the rulers were gathered together,
        against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
    
    
        for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

 

(Acts 4:5-31 ESV)