BACK TO ACTS…MAKING CHRIST KNOWN…ACTS 4:8-22…PART SIX
In these verses as well as previous verses, we see some of Christ followers moving with a holy determination to make Christ known to those outside the church. We become aware that these disciples refused to be silenced. This is the third occasion (chapters 2, 3, 4) of a sermon by Peter including the message on the Day of Pentecost. May we make one observation as regarding Bible preaching? The early church was actively engaged in public preaching. These three occasions were used by the disciples to lift up their voice and proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ. They were bold to tell their audience who Christ was and that he was now alive and active in their lives. They made known to the crowds whomsoever they were and wherever they were the truth of the Savior.
Peter’s text for this brief sermon was found in the Book of Psalms 118:22, “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” Peter also uses this verse in his epistle in 1 Peter 2:6-8. We are aware also that this verse is quoted from Isaiah 28:16. Jesus also makes reference to this stone in the Gospel of Matthew 21:41-46
“The Jews had a legend that when the temple of Solomon was in the course of construction, all the stones sent out from the quarry below were practically the same size. Then one day a stone was found of a different size and shape from the rest. The workman tipped it over the cliff. “This must be a mistake”…—and it fell down into the valley of Kedron. It took seven years to build Solomon’s temple, and at the end of these seven years they were ready for the chief corner stone to be put into position. Only then did they realize that they had “rejected” and tipped this stone over the cliff. So it was searched for and found, and placed in position.”
Peter took up this legendary story, which had been passed on through the centuries and he said, “That stone was a picture of Christ, whom you have rejected.” There are a number of passages that speak of the stone.
Christ is THE STONE not just a stone. Salvation is in a person. It is in the person of Jesus Christ our Lord. It is not in a creed, nor in a church, nor a system, a denomination, nor in works. Christ is the only one who has the authority to save because he was sinless and took our place as sinners. He became our substitute. Here also in this passage and this sermon by Peter in chapter four we have the verse that many and most of us have memorized early in our Christian life. Immediately after making reference to the Stone in his message he gives to us Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Notice there are several results of the boldness of these two disciples. The people were made to observe that God had made a great change in the life of this lame man—look at verse 14. Because of this change the people could not make any criticism. Notice the power of a changed life. What can the world say to a new convert when they see the change in their life? The power of the Gospel is not debatable.
Verses 19 and 20 indicated to the people that they would do what is “right in the sight of God”. This should be our goal as well. The other thought comes from verse 20 where they indicate that they are determined and compelled to do that which God had given them to do even in opposition. Finally verse 21 speaks of their praise for the Lord.