“Great Grace” – Acts Chapter 4

by Stephen Lewin

Great Opposition

In Acts 4, we find religious priests, the Sadducees sect and another, arrested Peter and John. These religious people became “greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead” (Acts 4:2 ESV). Many had become believers through this preaching.

Great Response

In the healing of the lame man (Acts 3), in conjunction with the sharing of Good News, the question given by the religious leaders to Peter and John, was, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” (Acts 4:7b ESV). Peter responds, “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 4:8b ESV), that everyone must know “that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth … whom God raised from the dead … this man is standing before you well” (Acts 4:10 ESV).

The rulers “saw the boldness of Peter and John” (Acts 4:13 ESV). I believe that boldness arose due to the empowering grace to share the good news. This is a great example for us to follow, when challenged before authorities and others when we share the Gospel.

Great Threats

The Religious leaders then “charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18b ESV). They threatened Peter and John and released them from custody. What will we do when we are threatened and told not to share anymore about Jesus Christ? I believe the scripture instructs us that we need more grace and that we should ask for additional help.

Great Grace

Peter and John are a great example of finding a way forward in a situation. They went back to the company of believers, and reported what was said and prayed “together to God” (Acts 4:24 ESV), and asked for help (grace) “to continue to speak the word of God with all boldness” (Acts 4:29b ESV). They asked God to “heal, and signs and wonders … through the name of … Jesus” (Acts 4:30 ESV).

This is a great prayer, (which included some scripture declared back to God), and God responded to their prayer … “the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31b ESV). They continued to share the Gospel because they were recipients of grace through the Holy Spirit.

Those that were gathered “were of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32 ESV). “And with great power … were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and GREAT GRACE was upon them all” (Acts 4:33 ESV). That is what we need to continue to share about Jesus Christ …to have “Great Grace” come upon us, and I believe the Holy Spirit is the one who, as in the Book of Acts, comes upon us to give us great power with greater grace for the challenges of the times we live in.

References: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV)