Acts 4 could be the scene in many places around the world today. But I want to make sure that my audience will agree with this Scripture and the commitment Peter and John made in front of the “rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem” (4:5). These people tried to use their human authority to silence the gospel.
“So, they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (4:18).
The demand is very inclusive. Having peached on the streets of Oakland and San Francisco for about 25 years, I know that opposition can be very intense at times, but never did I have officials ask me to stop presenting the gospel.
Notice the response that Peter and John made when they were told not to “speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” “But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge” (4:19). They put these rulers on the spot to answer the question for themselves as to who had the higher authority.
It’s the same question every person, every ministry and every team must answer. Does God and His Word have the highest and final authority, or do we submit to others and organizations as having final authority? How we answer these questions will make a huge difference in how effective and fruitful our ministry and teams are.
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