Oh my goodness. So much I could say about what we read today. Where to begin?
In chapter 4, after Peter and John were arrested for talking about Jesus after the lame beggar was healed, and they were standing before the religious leaders, they were asked, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”, what does scripture say happened?
It says, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…” Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit! Do you remember how often Peter would put his foot in his mouth when He was with Jesus? Sure, he got a few things right, but he often said exactly the wrong things, didn’t he? And now that he is filled with the Holy Spirit, God speaks just the right words through him.
Earlier in this chapter, we are told that after he preached, the number of the men added to the church was now about five thousand. The day before it was three thousand. So the Holy Spirit’s filling has made him a powerful and convincing speaker, wouldn’t you say?
What happened on the night that Jesus was crucified? Peter wouldn’t even admit to knowing Jesus. He was afraid and perhaps even ashamed to acknowledge Jesus. And now, the words he speaks have brought about five thousand men to believe in Jesus. And we don’t know how many more women there were.
So many of us are afraid to stand up and speak the name of Jesus. Here in Acts chapter four, Peter says to the religious leaders, “…if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead-by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
How is that for boldness?
Now get this: “13Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”
Why did they recognize them as having been with Jesus? Because of the Holy Spirit’s speaking through them! They spoke in the same way as Jesus did! Well of course they did! God is One. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have the same message because they are One.
The point to take away from this is that if you will let the Holy Spirit speak through you, you will have the right words to say…words that are from God and words that will change the hearts of people.
And my friend, we need this kind of filling of the Holy Spirit as much today as they needed that day, because there are those who tell us, like the religious leaders told them, “Do not speak of Jesus!”
You know it’s true, and it is only getting worse. If you are a believer, be ready to yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. You will be amazed at what He will do through you.