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So I got a question for you Have you ever had to take a stand. Have you ever had to stand up for something that you believe in.
Yeah and you know when we stand. It’s only cause or some sort of opposition facing us so we have to muster up the courage and we have to take a stand take actionand we have to stand against that opposition. You know whenever I’m trying to lose weight you know I got to take a stand and somebody you know maybe it’s sweetsor something like that’s not really my thought I got a stand against all the tasty crunchy kind of snacks like to read O’s.
Day to chips and pretzels and I don’t even walk down that aisle when I’m at the grocery store because those derivatives are going to be calling out my name and andyou know you feel like you’ve got to start rebuking the enemy and you know get behind me Satan and
another big source of opposition and that battle for at least for me it’s a pizza. You know I can remember when the first time in my life when I really was serious abouttrying to lose some weight. I was in college in May I was just way too heavy and so I made up my mind that I you know I needed to do this and then I was uneasy usaround by roommates and ate pizza every night for supper. So that that was a major thing to take a stand against pizza and then I just have a genetic predisposition toice cream. That’s just not even right.
You know or should I say generational curse good. You know the spirit of butter pecan just hits but you know but you know beyond that our world. You know it’s filledwith so one filled polluted with so many images in our Christ like. And you know every day I have to take a stand for purity and for holiness and I can’t let that garbageinto my mind and into my heart I have to take a stand against anything that would hinder my relationship with God
so we all have weaknesses and temptations and we. We’ll have to face moments in our faith where we have to take a stand against things which try to hinder whereGod desires us to be. And the only way we can live a god on or in his life is to take a stand.
Now on X. factor for we see some men who take a stand for their faith in Christ. So if you’ve got your Bible.
You know you might want to get out and look them up on the school’s Pastor Steve I don’t have it handy to any Power Point for you just look up and reach on make it
look it up yourself.
So again actually after four and you know if you’re watching the A.D.C. Eries. You know you’re going to be pretty familiar with this story so and acceptor for we seePeter and John stand and offer Christ through God’s power they healed a man and the Sadducees you know the religious people they didn’t like this and they didn’tlike the message that they were preachin so they arrested Peter and John and they put them on trial.
But during the trial they realized that they had no legal right to keep them. Now before they let Peter and John go though they’d know they threaten them and theythreaten him pretty severe. So let’s take a look at that threat and Peter joins response so we’re going to read from X. structure for verses eight hundred twenty
then they call them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John replied
which is right in God’s eyes to listen to you or to him. You be the judges. As for us we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. You know thereligious men they told Peter enjoy on to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. They told them the Bow down and to the nonce their faith in Christ.
They told them to stop living out the very purpose that they were created for
and in this moment after just being. Rested. Peter enjoy on they stood up for Christ
even though they were facing threats they took a stand and they told those leaders that they were going to keep on preaching and teaching Christ on life. You knowwe face many people one things they try to get us stop living for Christ two this could be caused by the temptation something you know a relationship a familymember a job. A friend. Maybe some tragedy or unexpected circumstance.
This is why Paul tells us in first Corinthians sixteen thirteen beyond guard stand firm in the faith be courageous be strong.
Paul what music kind of verbiage if we weren’t going to face off position. People places things
that try to get us to back down. Instead of The Stand up. How many people know what I’m talking about
Peter and John they faced major opposition
they were arrested put in prison threatened they continue to stand for Christ. So let’s look at what happened with them in Acts four and learn how we can stand forChrist no matter what life brings or way.
So today I just I want to give you three truths to help you stand firm in your faith when life comes a full force. And the first one is this.
Jesus is our foundation. And acts for we see Peter and John take a strong stand for Christ in the face of people wanted to throw them in prison even destroy their livesand one key reason Peter and John were able to stand firm in their faith is because Jesus was their foundation their lives were built on that solid rock of Christ
look back and acts for it versus a through twelve.
Then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit said to them. Rollers and elders of the people if we’re being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man whowas lame and are being asked how he was healed then know this you and all the people of Israel. It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified. Butwhom God raised from the dead. That this man stands before you healed.
Jesus is the stone you builders rejected which has become the cornerstone salvation is found a no other name or a No one else for there is no other name underheaven given the men by which we must be saved.
Peter believe that Jesus is the cornerstone Jesus was his Everything Jesus was his foundation. They were talking and walking in the name of Jesus. They knew thatsalvation was from no one else their lives were all about Jesus. He was their foundation. So when Jesus is our cornerstone no matter what we face in life we have thatfirm foundation to stand on we can stand firm on him.
We can stand firm for him. And we can walk in his straight talk and strength live in his strength
everything we are and do is all about him.
We all face trouble trouble in opposition
but we can stake a stand when Jesus is our foundation.
Jesus is a cornerstone a foundation that will never crack or grow weary. He’s a cornerstone it makes a solid foundation for us to stand on twenty four seven. So whenthe storms of life come. Jesus is our foundation.
I take a look at people that don’t know Jesus and don’t have that foundation in their life and
you know how well. You see them standing
just like Jesus taught to you know the wise man built his house on the Rock Jesus these are Foundation those storms of life. They’re going to calm
and you see the people that have built their house on the sand and they might they might look like they’re standing for a while but you know it’s a storms rage in themfloods continue to rise. They’re going to be wiped out
just like Peter and John we have to make Jesus our foundation the cornerstone that we build our life on. So now the second truth out of this passage is that we have toobey God in the midst of all the opposition. You know to face an office ition in life it’s not a matter of if but when
and that means that we’re going to have a whole lot of opportunities to make that choice we’re either going to obey or disobeyed during those times
you know God hasn’t told us just to believe our faith. It has to be a vibrant active faith that we live out you know Peter and John they had that kind of vibrant activefaith.
Look at X. four hundred twenty again. Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or to teach it all in the name of Jesus but Peter John repliedwhich is right in God’s eyes to listen to you or to him You be the judges. As for us we cannot help speaking about our problems.
We cannot help speaking about our troubles we can’t help speaking about our pain lack or other Oh
it’s for us we can’t help speaking about what we’ve seen what we’ve heard
what have you seen what have you heard what are you talking about are you talking about
all your troubles all your problems all your pain. All your hurt. That’s what Peter and John were down there talking about the things that they had seen and heard asgee. They just spent three years of their life with them right.
You know we need to watch what it is that we can help ourselves talking about
and we are we talking about confessing all our problems. Our troubles are we talking about Jesus and who he is and how great he is
you know that they had a first hand experience with Jesus and they knew that they had something worth sharing that he said we can’t help talking about it. We have tohave that first hand experience we have to have that with Jesus. We have to know that we have something that’s worth sharing that when we see somebody else facein that trial facing that trouble. We can be there for them and offer them that voice of hope you know now this this issue. Ation this came down to whether Peter andJohn would stand and obey God or whether they would bow down and they would give in to fierce or logic or dial out
so it’s really easy to fall into the trap where we know a lot
but we do little with what we know. Especially in the face of opposition. So Peter and John here they not only listen to God but they also obey God and they did whatGod told them even to risk their own lives
and to stand firm in our faith we have to do what James told us to do he says we can’t just be here of the word. We also must be doers of the word group of the wordregardless of opposition.
We’ve got to put feet to our faith and keep walking. Even through the valley of the shadow of death. We’ve got to keep walking through the rough terrain of themountains the life and we’ve got to keep walking. When those storms of life come against us. Every time I you know hear about the storms. I always think about thattime. You know when Jesus just he fed them out of the multitude and he was dismissing the people and he dismissed the disciples. Right. He told them you get in theboat and you go to the other side of the lake. I’m going to go up here and be bomb itself and be God for a little. I’ll meet you
over there on the other side and
you know the story the disciples get out there in the middle of the lake and what happens a storm comes up and the Bible said that the wind and the waves wereagainst them. You know their face and they’re right there. This isn’t some metaphor storm alife this is the real deal and they’re terrified they’re afraid and then what dothey see
here comes Jesus
Jesus walking on the water and to me the picture of that
he’s out there walking
right on top of the very thing that was against them. He’s walking right into the face of that wind that was blowing against them and threatening their lives and holdingthem back and keeping them from getting to where Jesus said for them to go and here comes Jesus walking right on top of the very thing that was against them andhindering them and threatening to take their lives and they saw Jesus common just showing his power showing his authority over every opposition that comes againstus.
Well you know I found that one of the main challenges to obeying God in the midst of opposition is that we begin to wonder about the outcome
we start thinking you know will God help us
will God come through in the way that we hope you will and are we going to have to suffer
for standing firm
and you know you only have to do is turn on the news for five minutes and
you see the opposition the brothers and sisters your face around the globe.
We know that if God doesn’t show up in the way that we want to thank you. Get real ugly Roku. Look and often times. Right. Our flesh and our common sense theybattle against us we have to fight against dead so that we can stand firm for Peter John common sense would have been just to shut up about Jesus just to back offjust to be quiet
just hush up a little bit be cool. Don’t get thrown in prison.
Don’t get beaten or even worse killed. You know our flesh tells us to back up and back down our flesh said just just go with the crowd be popular don’t ruffle anyfeathers
but a major part of obeying God is standing firm and trusting God even when it doesn’t make sense as a Proverbs three verses five and six trust in the Lord with all yourheart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths St Peter enjoy nature of God with all their hearts need it.Lean on their own understanding. They were all in for Jesus. No matter the cost
you know I think back I was saved when I was a young boy and you know I grew up in church and in a godly family and you know got into the teenage years and it andhigh school and you know I can remember those times I can remember the opposition and in the peer pressure. I can remember
plainly times of being you know laughed at and mocked and ridiculed and and made fun of and provoked because
because I wouldn’t go to their parties or I wouldn’t drink their beer I want to smoke their cigars or I wouldn’t dip their snuff
you you were
laughed at and they would they would call me a wimp. They would call me.
Our faith in the number of men grew to five thousand.
one sermon. Peter preached
number grew to five thousand powerful things happen when we stand firm.
When we stand firm in our faith
God will use our resolve to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask for magine I want to show you another way that God shines through us when we stand firmfor him. X. four thirteen
that says when they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were on scold ordinary men they were astonished and they took note that these men hadbeen with Jesus and they took note that these guys in Jesus but what they didn’t know
was that Jesus was still with these men.
Jesus was still with they thought they killed him.
Jesus was with these men the Holy Spirit was alive and well in Peter and John.
So you’re right there. They they saw that they’re just ordinary guys that they had been with Jesus and and we see these people here that they hadn’t yet crossed theline of faith but they were amazed and they were astonished at the courage and the boldness of Peter and John
people would then even know Jesus were impacted by his gospel through the lives of two men who stood firm
the seed of the Gospel was planted into the hearts of unbelievers because two men took a stand
and I think it’s safe to say that some of those people ended up accepting prices or Lord and Savior to him and it all begin because of the bold boldness of two menwho came under attack.
So we’ve got to stand firm on the foundation of Jesus Christ because every time we do the seed of the Gospel is planted in the hearts of people.
When we stand firm. We’re we’re standing on the cornerstone and Jesus is shining brightly through our lives our courage will encourage others and in the astonishedpeople as we point in the Jesus by standing firm on the foundation of Christ Jesus.
And when we stand firm on Jesus who also who also shine through our words and through our conversation Acts four thirty one. It says after they prayed the placewhere they were meeting was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly you know this was after the Day of Pentecost right.You know the Holy Spirit was already poured up at the Says the after Peter John released from prison. They all they got them got back together and they prayedbecause of the threats that were made against Peter and John and it’s as if they were filled with the Holy Spirit it. This is after Pentecost day they needed to be thoughtagain we need to be being filled with the Holy Spirit. You know that’s the source of this power this is how we can have the courage have the boldness to stand firm is inthe power of the Holy Spirit when we stand firm and then we pray the power of God if it’s released on our allies in a powerful way God’s power then gives us thecourage to speak the Word of God boldly. So I encourage you to stand firm in your faith
and watch Jesus shine through your words and through your life.
notice what happens there in Acts chapter four and verse thirty two thirty seven. So all the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of theirpossessions was their own but they shared everything they had with great power the Apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and God’sgrace was so powerful it work in the mall that there were no needy persons among them for from time to time. Those who own land. The house is sold them broughtthe money from the sales and put it at the Apostles feet and it was distributed to anyone who had need
Joseph a Levite from Cyprus whom the impossibles called Barnabus which means son of encouragement sold a field. He owned and brought the money and put it atthe Apostles feet.
So when we stand firm and for God and we pray to Him Holy Spirit gives us power to stand together and let our late shine God build His church through people whostand firm on the solid foundation of Christ who pray who are filled with the Holy Spirit who who stand together in faith. This is how God built the early church and thisis how God still builds his church today he’s looking for men and women who will stand for him no matter the opposition
and we’ve got a stand. So that he can shine through us.
You know thinking back to like I mentioned about you know those times being in high school and been you know just picked on and made fun of at times for beingdifferent for following Jesus you know I can remember
I was in ninth grade and it was during the summer time and they had this what they called Open Gym where all the basketball players were expected to show up andjust go in there and practice for a few hours together and
to say it was loosely supervised is kind of being generous. We were just a bunch of high school boys left inside the gym the goof off for a few hours and you know
there was there was one activity that some of these guys like to do to provoke me you know.
And what it was
they wanted to make me cos All right. They couldn’t get me to cuss
and they just thought that made me the strangest kid they’d ever seen. You know what I mean was. Wrong With This boy cost so well that at this open gym. You knowthey were they were doing this in agony on provoking and tease and annoying the whole thing and then it just for whatever reason this night it kind of it escalated. OKAnd what ended up happening that night was they pulled my shirt off of me and in the gym up their date high school. There’s the stage at the one end of the courtyou know so they shove me over here up against the stage and it’s up higher than what this all over is but so they rip my shirt off and they had some of them jump upon that stage and I grabbed hold my arms like this and had me all stretched out and then they just all surrounded all these
and that is what open hands they just took
just slapping me all about the very chest and bare back.
I went home that night covered with handshakes. Well some bruises.
They could make because
that was what they were
up to you know that was
that was all physician.
You know if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I want to encourage you to press past any opposition and give your life.
Peter and John they left everything
to fall in Jesus
and once Jesus became their foundation God used them to do mighty things that have literally impacted millions and millions of people
and when you surrender a life to Christ not only will we forgive you but he’ll give you a new purpose for living
and begin to use your life to advance is going to go you know
and you know I I told those. You know that that story. I don’t mean makes on like you know I never gave it I mean there have been plenty of times or
gave in and temptation of what I do want to tell you is
when you’ve resolved to stand firm
and you let the Holy Spirit just take over. He’ll give you everything you need
he’ll give you that courage will give you that strength will give you that power to stand up against that authorization and you know what
that light did shine. Right because there have been times
even later on in life
as men were some of these same boys have come back
said you know what
I’m struggling with an addiction to marijuana.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know why I came to see you
can you help me.
I’ve had some of these same boys come back to me and I’ve said I don’t want to do my marriage is on the verge and
I don’t know where to turn are walking to see you.
Can you help me
I can hope
but you know one Holy Spirit within inside me. He knows
Now after you make the decision to give your life to Christ and stand with both feet firmly planted on Jesus and and as you stand on the solid rock Christ becommitted a crime that reading God’s Word the Bible
as you pray to God to follow His Word will give you strength direction and peace to make it through any challenging things he hoped Peter John will help you to
know. I hope you.
But he was shot and rightly through your life and use you to impact your family your friends your coworkers and will use you to be sold to the world around you.
So that every day for the rest of our lives we will face circumstances and situations
where we have to choose
whether we will stand for Christ.
Peter and John had every reason the world to not stand for Christ. They were prison threatened and their wives were in danger they chose to stay
and God did powerful things in and through their lives
they were great waits for Jesus
God wants you to be a great way for Jesus
and just one other thing here about Peter enjoying these apostles and I know you’ve heard me talk about this different times but you know just watching this eightyseries kind of helped make it become even more real and give me a little bit of point of view a perspective and a way that I just haven’t had before. But you know if youhaven’t
reached a decision about Jesus Christ. Yet if you haven’t
come to the place where it’s settled as to whether or not he really is the Son of God or just just think about the apostles
and their unique place in history.
They were there with Jesus. They saw Him crucified.
He was dead he was put in that tomb
and then they went and he saw them too and they saw he was gone
and they saw Jesus appear to them
you know right there. He just walked. Right through he he appeared relieved No the door too long and he stood there among them of the eight with the right to talkwith them
and these same men that were just so brave. So fearful. Peter denied Jesus and they were trying to decide how they were going to get out of Jerusalem how they weregoing to escape and run for their lives and save themselves
but yet these same guys
after Jesus appeared to them and his resurrected body
and they turn into these absolutely fearless and then you change the world. Many of them
they did give their lives they became ours. Now here’s the thing though
they were in that unique place in history where
they would have the ability to know beyond a shadow of a doubt whether or not.
Jesus actually was who recently was seen there’s watts of people that have been martyrs for false gods. Right. We see we see Muslims that are willing to go and blowthemselves up in the name of
their false god so that there is people are willing
to die even for a false religion.
So you might say what makes those disciples any better. Here’s what makes them different. They were in a position to know whether or not. Jesus was a liar.
You see if they say if they had Rob Jesus dead body somehow and try to pull one hoax to make it look like he was resurrected they would know that it was false. Theywould know that it was a law.
Do you willing think that
those eleven men would all sign a suicide pact and all willingly lay down their lives for something that they knew that wasn’t true
it wouldn’t happen.
See they were in the position that they were with Jesus and they heard him say I am God’s only son. I will suffer or be crucified and die in on the third day hour riseagain and they watched him do it and they knew that it was true without any shadow of a doubt
see while he was still in that tomb there was plenty of doubt and they were ready to run and hide and just go back to fashion or collecting taxes or whatever was everknown. But after Jesus appeared to them alive and well again they do that everything he said is absolutely true and they were ready to lay down their lives for and youknow that’s one of the things that when I when I realized that you know the size what I knew in my heart that whenever that kind of clicked in my mind is in or theperson that was one of the things when my faith really became my room. I just saw a man Jesus is exactly who is setting off and there’s no other explanation
other than the fact he’s got one of the only song. He’s alive and well today he’s living on the inside.
So I just think about that if you haven’t come to that place yet where it’s better to think about that unique position. Possible
and if you want to know more about that because we sure will be surprised to see it’s one way that it was
at work stand firm and your faith or its goal
stand firm in your faith
around your family stand firm in your faith
when no one is what you stand for
in public stand firm in your faith in the face of opposition adversity we know all hell’s breaking loose
stand firm in your free goddess faithful and He wants us to be a light everywhere. We go. Remember when we stand firm in our faith God is like Sean right through.
Well let’s just thank God for that he’s not here today and everything that he’s going to continue to do so. God we do we just with we thank you. We praise you godyou’re so good. We thank you for your great love. We thank you
for the Holy Spirit and we do. Just when she wants again just to feel it’s all fresh
and I would just we thank you for that that power source for that strength for that courage that the boldness for that grace for everything that you give to this spirit thatwill enable us to
to stand to stand the face of all opposition and not just to stand in one place of the to go into to explore to to grow and to
to walk into all the plans and purposes the destiny that you have for each and every one of us. So God we just look forward with anticipation to hear testimonies Godof how you are shining brightly through us as we stand
on the foundation of Jesus Christ then it’s in his name we pray.