When will we learn that God’s Holy Spirit cannot and will not be silenced? His Spirit will be heard not matter what is happening to us, around us, in us or through us. Believers who repent and commit their hearts, minds and souls to Jesus immediately embody a holy confidence that comes solely from Christ in us. Paul spoke about it because he experienced it for himself. He writes to the church, “This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” Colossians 1:26-27, NLT
I’m reminded of this scripture passage as Peter and John, full of God’s Holy Spirit, stand to speak after being thrown into jail for doing what God wants, which is now a new way of life, compelling and compassionate, driven with words directly from the Holy Spirit. They say want needs to be said in the right way, at the right time in the right Spirit—this is the definition of being a disciple of Jesus! They are so confident with assured mature delivery that the teachers have to stop and remember these men are unlearned, former fishermen, common as dirt, from the community. But this the secret—Christ lives in them!
When Jesus comes into our lives, everything changes! Our lives are never the same. Our language becomes different along with our behaviors. We don’t even notice at first until someone else notices who knew us before Christ in us. Growing, with Jesus in us, we think of how we would have reacted to life before Jesus came to live in us and we are grateful, in awe even, of the difference HE makes in our behaviors because of living a new life with Him. This is the secret—Christ in us!
Don’t miss the message in the mess Peter and John have found themselves in! They are confident and assured that the Jesus in them is totally in control of the circumstance. They speak Jesus’ words through His Spirit that is powerful and effective in their release. There is Power in the Name of Jesus spoken, testified and praised! The healing of the crippled man brought them to this place, in front of those who killed Jesus, (or thought they did), to testify of the power of salvation that is available to all who believe.
Peter proclaims: “Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.” Jesus, the One and Only, saves us. This is the secret to a new, abundant, free, assured, confident eternal life—Jesus in us! This is another act of God in his disciples. God acts in our lives, too!
ACTS—God’s Acts through His Disciples
Acts 4:1-22, The Message
Nothing to Hide
1-4 While Peter and John were addressing the people, the priests, the chief of the Temple police, and some Sadducees came up, indignant that these upstart apostles were instructing the people and proclaiming that the resurrection from the dead had taken place in Jesus. They arrested them and threw them in jail until morning, for by now it was late in the evening. But many of those who listened had already believed the Message—in round numbers about five thousand!
5-7 The next day a meeting was called in Jerusalem. The rulers, religious leaders, religion scholars, Annas the Chief Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander—everybody who was anybody was there. They stood Peter and John in the middle of the room and grilled them: “Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?”
8-12 With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”
13-14 They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?
15-17 They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.”
18-20 They called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question—we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.”
21-22 The religious leaders renewed their threats, but then released them. They couldn’t come up with a charge that would stick, that would keep them in jail. The people wouldn’t have stood for it—they were all praising God over what had happened. The man who had been miraculously healed was over forty years old.
How amazing you are in the way you work in our lives today, too. Your Holy Spirit prompts us and we obey with assurance that you will give us the right words at the right time in the right Spirit of love and grace with confidence—all because of you in us. Thank you, Lord. Show me your ways, O Lord and I will follow for I am yours. I found the secret!
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.