Read through Acts chapter 4, verses 13-31
Religion and Politics
Acts 4:13-17 Now when they (the rulers of the people and the elders of Israel vs. 8) saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they (Peter and John) had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they (the politicians, vs 8) could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them (Peter and John) to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying,”What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name (Jesus).” nkj
Devotion and power.
Men with political power are often confused and angry because of men of religion who are devoted to the Almighty. It happened in today’s passage when the rulers of Israel were angry about the effect Jesus had on the people, people whose hearts were already embracing Jesus instead of the glory and pomp of the powerful rulers of Israel. The same thing is described in this week’s Psalm.
Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us. “Psalm 2:1-3 nkj
The Almighty works through his people; he heals their bodies and souls. He gives peace that is difficult to understand unless you have also experienced the peace of the Almighty. The person who is born again has the Holy Spirit, the power to live according to the Word, the Bible. The Holy Spirit makes the impossible, possible. Men who only have political power do not understand the power we have in the Spirit of the Almighty. The best they can do is try to regulate religion, which is exactly what the chief priests and elders (political people with power) try to do to the men “who had been with Jesus.”
So they (the political leaders) called them (believers in Jesus) and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. Acts 4:18 nkj
When believers today stand against political people who legislate and rule against the Bible, we are accused of being like the most vicious of religious extremists such as ISIS or Boko Haram; people who do not even know our God and the life he freely gives to us. Yet we are threatened with punishment just as Peter and John were threatened (Acts 4:21) What should our response be? First, know what you believe, and walk The Way by the power of the Spirit of God.
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, Acts 3:19 nkj
Why do we who believe need to repent? Because we sin and the Almighty cannot fellowship with the darkness of sin.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7 nkj
What is fellowship with God? In Matthew 18:20, Jesus told us what fellowship is. Two or more believers, who are together in his name. When we come together in his name to pray his Word, which is his will, we are in agreement with him. Fellowship is something supernatural, it is Jesus in our midst. Peter and John, with others who believed got together, not to brag about their own power, but to pray about what the political men said, the threats they made and to seek God;s will (Romans 13:1-2). How did God respond to their prayer? He shook the house with the power of the filling of the Holy Spirit. And they spoke the Word of God with Boldness. How about you? Are you ready to stand firm for God in prayer and in The Way (how you live). Then pray! Pray with other believers. Pray the Word of God with rejoicing. Now that is real power!
Mrs. Hagerty September 15, 2015