Dr. Montia Setzler, Senior Pastor
November 1, 2015
Series: Game Changer
Having the Courage to Take a Stand
Acts 4:13–20 (HCSB)
13 When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And since they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in response. 15 After they had ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign, evident to all who live in Jerusalem, has been done through them, and we cannot deny it! 17 However, so this does not spread any further among the people, let’s threaten them against speaking to anyone in this name again.”
18 So they called for them and ordered them not to preach or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; 20 for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
1. COURAGEOUS ACTS CONFOUND THOSE WITHOUT CONVICTION. vv 13-14
- When our walk with God is solid, we can afford to be bold.
- Courageous acts are not based on education but conviction.
2 Timothy 1:7 (HCSB)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
2. THE ABSENCE OF COURAGE IS A FERTILE GROUND FOR FEAR. vv 15-16
- The Sanhedrin focused on protecting their image, were fearful of the courage of Peter and John.
- The lack of courage will open the door for fear.
3. COURAGE SHINES THE BRIGHTEST IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY. vv 17-18
- The enemy will try and stop us with theoretical threats and potential punishment.
- Real opportunities for courage only come when adversity shows up.
Joshua 1:7 (HCSB)
7 Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go.
4. COURAGE IS EASIER WHEN YOU ARE OBEYING vv 19-20
- We are to obey authorities until that obedience causes us to disobey God.
1 Peter 2:13–18 (HCSB)
13 Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority 14 or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. 15 For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16 As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. 18 Household slaves, submit with all fear to your masters, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.
- At some point, we accept the consequences of civil disobedience in order to have the courage to take a stand for God.
We may be given an opportunity someday to show our faith with a courageous stance. The enemy will bring adversity and pain giving us the opportunity to choose courageous obedience to God.