Act 4:1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. 4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
What a wonderful passage of scripture. Within these passages are several important points for us to consider.
1. The importance of telling others that Jesus has risen from the dead after paying for the sins of man. There was a two fold result that came of telling others of Jesus resurrection.
a. It angered the legalists. When I use the term legalist, I use it in reference to man’s plan of salvation by adding the law to grace. Notice who was offended. The priests, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees. These were all trying to bind the people to the law as a means of getting to heaven. Legalism has everything to do with how we are saved and nothing to do with our obedience after salvation.
b. The second result was, five thousand were saved. What a glorious event. We are thrilled to the marrow when one is saved and rightly so. If we were to have 10 or 20 respond to an invitation, we would never quit bragging about it.
2. The kindred (vs. 5-7) of the high priest were gathered together and gave an opportunity to witness by the apostles. The question was, by what power or name have you done this. An open ended question such as this deserves an answer. Oh that we could have such an invitation to witness. Wait! We have that invitation each and every day. As we live a life that is saturated in the love of God and His Word, He prepares, for us, opportunity to witness. We must open our eyes to the opportunities around us and see what the has prepared. How often we fail to recognize the opportunities to reach others for the Lord because our eye is not on the prize but on the things of this world.
3. Take special notice of verse 8 and what happens to Peter. “ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost.” The plan of salvation as revealed in John 3:16, speaks of security when it says “everlasting life.” I believe that John 3:16 is salvation complete. Everlasting life speaks of security. That security comes from the sealing of the Holy Spirit. 2Co_1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Eph_1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Eph_4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. This gives us two points to consider.
a. When did this indwelling of the Spirit take place? Matthew 10:20 speaks of it before the day of Pentecost. Romans 8:9 speaks of the Spirit of God dwelling in us. It says, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ, a person is not saved. Based upon this for one to say the Old Testament Saints were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit is to say there are two plans of salvation. One for the Old Testament Saints and one for the New Testament Saints. It also indicates that Old Testament Saints could lose their salvation. We enjoy the Sealing of the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. They did not. Without this seal there would be the possibility of losing ones salvation. There are scriptures in the Old Testament that speak of the Holy Spirit within a person but look at
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
This leads me to believe that Peter being saved and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not being referred to in verse 8. When the Church is gathered in the upper room and baptized in the Holy Spirit as a Church in not being referred to here. I contend that this extra measure of grace is the Holy Spirit in power, enabling Peter with boldness to address this assembly. This happened in the Old Testament. Men that were saved and the Holy Spirit indwelling them were empowered to do great and mighty things when the Holy Spirit comes upon them.
b. The last thought I would like to leave you with is: The law of God, the doctrine of Christ is much more important than any law man with a corrupt and debauched mind can create. We should always choose God’s law above any other. He created us. His Son died for us. The Holy Spirit seals us. Our love for what God has done should enable us to stand in the dark days of trial.