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Acts 4:1-22

Talks for Growing Christians

Persecution of the Church by Jewish Authorities

Acts 4:1-22

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Lesson Number 7

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Unbelievers will be saved even though there is great opposition.
  2. Believers will be persecuted even though there is great evidence.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t think you have to go to seminary to be greatly used of God.

Questions

  1. Review the events leading up to Acts 4.
  2. When did persecution of the early church begin?
  3. When did Roman persecution of the Church begin?
  4. How is Peter a great example for all believers?
  5. Did the religious leaders believe the lame man had been truly healed?
  6. What was Peter and John’s response to persecution from the religious leaders?

Answers

  1. In Acts 3 a lame man was healed in the Temple courts through the ministry of Peter and John. As a result, Peter had another opportunity to preach the truth to the crowds who were gathered in the Temple area watching the miracle. Many people believed the message that Peter preached and were saved.
  2. When the Jewish religious authorities saw the crowd’s response to Peter and John, they reacted in unbelief and jealousy and arrested the men, putting them in jail overnight so they could put them on trial in the morning. These were the first persecutions of the Church.
  3. The Roman persecutions of the early church did not begin until after the fire in Rome in AD 64.
  4. He took advantage of ever opportunity to preach the gospel. He preached the gospel when he was on trial by the Jewish religious authorities who wanted to know by what power the lame man had been healed!
  5. Yes, they called it a notable miracle, which could not be denied (verse 16).
  6. “They all glorified God for what had been done” Acts 4:21. Why would this be?

Discuss/Consider

  1. In the face of great opposition, Peter clearly preached the gospel in Acts 4:10-12. Despite the opposition, many people responded and believed. Discuss the countries in the world today that are under great religious persecution. Oftentimes these countries are seeing many people come to Christ, in the face of opposition. Discuss why this occurs.
  2. Persecution in the United States today may not be as obvious as in the days of the early church, but it is present. Refer to 2 Timothy 3:12. Have you ever faced persecution because of your face? What should your reaction be when this occurs?

Challenge

  1. Peter and John were greatly used by God, despite their lack of formal training. They had training in the School of God, by walking with the Lord. Do you desire to be used by God? Be a good student in the School of God.

Key Verses

  • “Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” Acts 4:10
  • “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
  • “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20

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