A Testimony on trail
Synopsis of sermon 4/11/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker
Text: Acts 4:13-14 – 13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
One of the tenants of an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ is moral persuasion. When your convictions are authentic, it is easy to talk about Christ to anyone that you encounter. It is not a forced action, particularly when you have benefited from his mercy and grace. The problem is we have allowed our testimonies to be hindered by a society that alienates and criticizes those that have a passion for the things of God. A world full of idolism and other things makes us not fit in. People try to call you a religious fanatic. It is funny though that people never ever call you a demonic fanatic. It is only when you get saved that people think something is wrong with you. In Acts 1:8 says8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
In Acts 3, we meet at a gate called Beautiful. The Bible says there was man sitting there who had been lame since his mother’s womb. When he asked Peter and John for alms they said silver and gold have they not but such as they have, they would give to him.
Later in the book, we find that the people were terrified about the boldness of Peter & John. Peter and John were brought in to interrogate them. Be warned that this will happen to you too. People are frightened by your testimony. The truth is God has been too good for us not to say anything about it. Know that every scheme of the enemy is an attempt to mute your testimony. Why is this?
Because our testimony is:
1. Evangelistic– You don’t have to quote scripture or anything. All you have to do is just tell what God has done for you.
2. It edifies– Telling what God has done for you can help others.
3. It empowers-Reminds us and others what God can do in our lives.
In the text, Peter and John were arrested and now their testimony is on trial. The devil wants to know if there is some validity and consistency in your testimony. The people in the text perceived that because Peter and John were bold with their testimony, they were unlearned.
I. Proof you’ve been with the master
- We are evidence. The people in the text concluded that because of their boldness of Peter and John about Jesus, they must be unlearned. People think because you are educated, you shouldn’t act that way others do when giving praise to God. People feel you should be more dignified with your praise. People look at you when you dance in church, because they don’t think you should act like this. They think the more educated you are, the more dignified you should be. Instead of being fishers of men, they want to be keepers of the aquarium. Just because people may be from another place, don’t mean they don’t have any sense. We know you may have a PHD degree or some other degree, but so do we! We have a PHD degree too. It means we praise- him -daily.
- There is evidence you have been with the Master:
- Mindset – Your conviction is tied to your mindset. Our mind has been transformed. We have to get to a point where we have our Spirit over our mind.
- Morality – Ministry is born out of morality. We have to realize that our life is not our own. God uses us to get a blessing to others. The people in the text were convinced that Peter and John had been with Jesus. Ex-When you go to the barber shop or the grocery store, there is evidence that you been there. How then can you leave church without evidence that you have been there?
- Demeanor-Your demeanor becomes different. This in some evidence that you been with master. We’ve got peace and joy and we don’t act a fool when things don’t go our way, because we have been with the master.
- Dedication– We become passionate about sharing Christ with others.
- Disciples– We can tell by observing you that you have been with the master. The greatest evidence that shows you have been with Jesus is your anointing. Luke 4:18 says 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, – You can’t run from the anointing. You can’t even backslide because of the oil (anointing) that is on you. Ex-When you are anointed, people say will say you don’t belong when you go where you don’t belong. If there is anything you ought to thank God for, it is his anointing.
II. Presence of a miracle
- They had a meeting about Paul and John. Just like this, there are some people having a meeting about you and your testimony. Acts 4:14-15 says 14And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
- Everybody sees what’s going on. In the midst of their skepticism, the Jews could not deny that there was a miracle among them (Peter and John). Acts 4:16 says 16Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.- When Jesus died, they tried to challenge his resurrection. This miracle among them could not be denied. There was a man standing beside Peter and John every where they went.
- What was the miracle? Acts 3:1-9 –1Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
- This same man who was lame since the womb follows Peter and John everywhere they go as a miracle in their midst. They could not deny that this man was lame since birth, but now could walk. Just like this, people can’t deny is there is a miracle in your midst. They can’t deny that you are present. You are the miracle. Ex- Somebody right now is at the brink of foreclosure, but they are still in their house! Somebody thought they wouldn’t get a job, but they did! In our lesson, the man that was lame shows up and keeps standing. If you will notice in the scripture, the man never says anything. When you know you are miracle, just showing up is enough!
- What was God’s greatest miracle? You are sitting next to him. You can’t deny a notable miracle has taken place. We are God’s greatest miracle. In the scripture, the people wanted to manipulate Peter and John’s praise. Just like this, Satan wants to manipulate our praise, but we can’t!
III. Praise cannot be manipulated
Acts 4:17-19 says 17But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.19But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
- Peter said, the last time they told him to manipulate his praise, he denied Jesus 3 times. He wasn’t going to allow his praise to be manipulated anymore! Acts 4:20 says 20For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
- For we got the can’t help-its. We can’t help but to tell the things we have seen and heard. When we get our job, we can say we thank God for it, but we better not say anything about Jesus. You can say you are lucky, but you better not say anything about thanking Jesus. What is it about Jesus’ name that people dislike so much? It is because demons tremble at his name! When you say his name, things happen in the earth realm. His name is a nuisance to religion, but necessary in relationship. Every day we wake up we need Jesus name. When things are going bad and we don’t know what to say, we simply say Jesus!
- People don’t want your testimony to be spoken. Ex-There was a woman that was 87 years old. She had a grandson she was raising, because her daughter was on drugs and his father was in jail. Her son-and-law had been killed. This grandmother was a praying grandmother. The grandson had got caught up in gangs and even had gotten shot, but grandma was determined to get him graduated from High School. One day she got the letter saying he was going to be graduating. She was so overjoyed to hear this. She got her Usher’s outfit out and ironed it. She even got out her biggest Easter hat and her white gloves. The boy was going to finish High School at the top of his class, despite all he had been through. Grandma.
On the day of the graduation, Grandma made her way to the school and despite her arthritis, she mad her way to the top rafters. She came in giving God the praise. Before the commencement exercises began, the principle came to the microphone and asked that everyone hold their applause to the end so they could applaud with everyone at the same time. The Grandma was thinking about all she had gone through with this boy. The boy’s last name was Williams, so as you know the W’s was the last to be called up for diplomas. She kept yelling out, “Jesus!” every time a few names were called. After they got around to the C’s the Principle comes to microphone again and ask that they remember to hold their applause to the end. See he was talking to her (Grandma), even though he addressed everyone. As they resumed the commencement exercises, Grandma just couldn’t hold it. She kept saying “Jesus, Glory!” The Principal finally sent Security over to where Grandma was sitting hoping this would quiet Grandma down; still Grandma could not hold her peace. Finally one of the Security Guards asked Grandma what was this all about. Grandma begins to tell the Security Guard how she worked two jobs helping to get her grandson through High School and keeping him away from drugs and gangs. The next thing you know, the Security Guard started crying also. The other Security Guard was tripping, because of his colleague’s show of emotion. He tells his colleague that it was bad enough that she could not control herself without him joining in the disruption. The point is, testimony will change people. When Grandma’s grandson came up to get his diploma, the Grandmother came down the steps and stood up front giving God the glory. There is power in your testimony!
Now just to prove it, think about how good God has been to you and try to hold your praise! Can you do it? Your testimony is on trail! There is power in your testimony.