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Monday, December 10, 2012

Acts 4:11

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

For further study - Acts 4:1-20

The book of Acts is not a book of doctrine but instead a record of the events of the "first century church". Acts 2 records the beginning of the "church" when on the "Day of Pentecost" those who believed were "added to the church", those whose belief led them to salvation in Jesus Christ.

As we come to Acts 4 we see a detailed account of the first persecution to come upon the church. This persecution would come from the people in Jerusalem, the priest, the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees.

It would be focused on Peter and John, two of the Lord's close disciples, who had healed a forty year old lame man as they went up to the Temple to pray.

The "big wheels" at the Temple, the High Priest and those of the kindred of the High Priest, these Temple leaders wanted to know how Peter and John had healed this "lame man".

Notice, here in Acts 4 the response to the official question of the healing. Peter, verse 8, had been filled with the Holy Spirit and that allowed him to develop into a man who was not only "inspirited" but also "innocent", verse 10.

Peter told the Temple leadership it was not him that healed the man, but Jesus, the one who they had crucified and who God raised from the dead, that's how the man was healed.

Not only were these two disciples "inspirited" and "innocent", of self-glory, but they were "ignorant" as well. Verse 13 describes the two disciples as "unlearned and ignorant men". However, they also recognized that Peter and John had "been with Jesus", verse 13.

The Temple leadership, fearing that the fame of these men might spread, told Peter and John not to preach in the name of Jesus anymore.

Now, verse 20, I love this verse. Peter said to the High Priest and his kindred that they "could not but speak" the things which they had seen and heard, they were "spiritual can't-help-its".

Peter and John took "opposition" and through the "omnipotence" of God turned "opposition" into "opportunity" to preach the gospel when they had been told not to preach about Jesus Christ.

There is some great practical truth in our passage for today. There is also a prophetic significance in this account as well. Peter told the Temple leadership that Jesus was the "cornerstone", verse 11.

This is the "cornerstone" as foretold by the Psalmist, Psalm 118:22 ; by the prophet, Isaiah, Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16; and the apostle, Peter, I Peter 2:6-8. Jesus is the "cornerstone" of our faith and has been the "stone of stumbling" for the Jewish people and some Gentiles, both of which have not been saved.

Jesus will continue to be the "stone of stumbling" until He returns to the Earth to set up His eternal, earthly Kingdom.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to be "a spiritual can't-help-it" and speak the things I've seen and heard to the lost, for their salvation.