Summary of Acts 4:23-37:
Peter and John returned and prayed, saying “God, you made it all; you proclaimed through David how the rulers gather against you but they did what you had decided beforehand. So enable us to speak your word with boldness and to heal through Jesus.” God filled them with the Holy Spirit.
All the believers shared their possessions. The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of Jesus. No one went without, as all contributed by selling their goods and land when they had to.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 5: Acts 4:23-37
12) Part personal question. My answer: They started by listing truths about God, how He made the heavens and the earth and everything on earth and how God controlled all things on earth, even Jesus’ death. Enable them to speak with boldness and enable them to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders in Jesus’ name. I could ask for the same things.
13a) Spoke God’s word bolder. Shared everything. The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of Jesus with grace upon them.
b) Personal Question. My answer: It’s hard to say. I like to think I’m a better person, but there are many days when I don’t feel as such.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 5: Acts 4:23-37
The questions definitely don’t seem as meatier. There is less looking up of other places in the Bible with the questions, which I miss. I think the questions have been made to be completed in less time than before, which is not necessarily a good thing. I think we don’t spend enough time with God overall. I had counted on BSF to help me with that. It just seems these lessons take less and less time for me. Anyone else?
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 5: Acts 4:23-37
They prayed vocally. It is certainly possible to pray silently in our minds, but we focus our thoughts more effectively when we speak out in prayer.
They began by reminding themselves who they prayed to. They prayed to the Lord of all creation, the God of all power.
This word Lord is not the usual word for Lord in the New Testament; it is the Greek word despotes. It was a word used of a slave owner or ruler who has power that cannot be questioned. They prayed with power and confidence because they knew God was in control.
When we pray, we often forget just who it is we pray to; or worse yet, we pray to an imaginary God of our own ideas. The disciples had power in prayer because they knew who they prayed to.
Peter believed that the words of King David, recorded in Psalm 2, were actually the words of the Lord God, said by the mouth of King David. Peter had a high view of the Holy Scriptures.
Peter quoted Psalm 2 because he and the other disciples understood what happened by seeing what the Bible said about it. From Psalm 2, they understood that they should expect this sort of opposition and not be troubled because God was in control of all things.
Psalm 2 expresses complete confidence in God and His victory. “He is the King. He is ruler in Zion. Servants you can bind, but the Word of God is not bound. And that unleashed, unbound, powerful Word of the gospel reached out from Jerusalem, that remote city of the Roman Empire, to permeate and eventually transform the entire world.” (Boice)
We also use Scripture in prayer to pray the promises of God.
God Shakes Houses
They were given an earthquake as a unique emblem of God’s pleasure. We don’t know the extent of the shaking; it may have been confined to the house itself.
In a similar way, a person can be shaken by the Holy Spirit without being transformed or indwelt by the Spirit of God.
For Peter, this counts as the third time he is specifically said to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We must be continually filled with the Holy Spirit, and make our “immersion” in Him a constant experience.
“The word boldness means lucid and daring statement. In the Greek the word is parresia, ‘telling it all.’”
Unity of the Early Church
This unity was a wonderful evidence of the work of God’s Spirit among them. Because of their unity, they regarded people more important than things.
This radical giving was absolutely necessary to meet the needs of this rapidly growing church. Remember, many of these Jerusalem Christians lived as refugees from abroad, having responded to the gospel on Pentecost.
A Modern Day Guide to Giving
The Apostle Paul taught regarding who should be helped and how they should be helped:
- The church must discern who the truly needy are (1 Timothy 5:3).
- If one can work to support himself, he is not truly needy and must provide for his own needs (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, 1 Timothy 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:11).
- If family can support a needy person, the church should not support them (1 Timothy 5:3-4).
- Those who are supported by the church must make some return to the church body (1 Timothy 5:5, 10).
- It is right for the church to examine moral conduct before giving support (1 Timothy 5:9-13).
- The support of the church should be for the most basic necessities of living (1 Timothy 6:8).