Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Acts 4-7


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Acts Chapter Four

  1. Peter & John came under Sanhedrin attack, even as Jesus Christ had done (Acts 4:1ff.).
  2. The Lord had fed 5,000 on one occasion, but Peter & John led 5,000 to the Lord on this occasion (Acts 4:2).
  3. The Sadducees were the most alarmed at the Apostles’ message because it was a resurrection message.
    1. Peter used the opportunity to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Sanhedrin itself (Acts 4:8-12).
    2. The council was at a loss for what to do with Peter & John.  They ended up issuing a gag-order that the Apostles rejected (Acts 4:13-22).
  4. Following their release, Peter & John led Jerusalem Bible Church in a corporate prayer meeting that shook the walls (Acts 4:23-31a).
  5. As a result of their specific prayer request, the ministry of the Holy Spirit through them became a bold & confident speaking ministry (Acts 4:31b).
  6. The communal survival of Jerusalem Bible Church is once again outlined (Acts 4:3235), introducing Barnabas to the narrative of Acts (Acts 4:36-37).
    P= It is important to understand that the communal living of the infant church in Jerusalem was not commanded by Scripture, the Lord, or His Apostles.  It was the temporal-life application of the spiritual-life fruit of the Spirit (unconditional love).

     ✝ Pastor Bob’s nickname for the local church founded in Jerusalem. They didn’t really call themselves that.

Acts Chapter Five

  1. Ananias and Sapphira were caught up in the charity fervor and sinfully attempted to deceive the Church with an untrue endowment (Acts 5:1-11).
  2. The Apostles’ popularity soared as their healing ministry was publicized, once again in imitation of the Lord’s earthly ministry (Acts 5:12-16).
  3. The Twelve are jailed by the Sadducees, released by an angel (whom the Sadducees do not believe in), and continued their daily teaching in the temple (Acts 5:17-25).
    1. The Jewish Council then re-arrested the Twelve, and tried them for violating the previous gag-order (Acts 5:26-28).
    2. When the Twelve confessed their “guilt,” the council intended to execute them (Acts 5:29-32).
    3. The Pharisee Rabbi Gamaliel takes a stand and delivers a message of wisdom (Acts 5:33-39).
  4. The Apostles considered it a privilege to suffer shame for the name of Jesus Christ, and were emboldened to teach & preach all the more (Acts 5:40-42).

Acts Chapter Six

  1. A problem arose in Jerusalem Bible Church which required the Apostles to appoint servant-helpers (Acts 6:1-6).
    1. The servant-helpers were tasked with day-to-day practical duties within the Church.
    2. Their ministry freed the Apostles to devote themselves to prayer, and the ministry of the Word (in that order).
    3. Seven such men were established, according to the Apostle’s estimate of the work-load.  This event introduces Stephen to the Acts narrative.
    4. These servant-helpers were also empowered to perform miracles with delegated authority from the Apostles.
  2. Of all the servant-helpers, Stephen came under fire from a particular “Synagogue of Freedmen.”  This synagogue arrested Stephen, and filed malicious charges against him with the Sanhedrin (Acts 6:9-15).

Acts Chapter Seven

  1. Chapter 7 details Stephen’s trial, where he delivers an entire “Walk Thru the Bible” evangelistic Bible class, covering Abraham to Solomon (Acts 7:1-50).
  2. Stephen closes his message with a rebuke for the stiff-necked Sanhedrin (Acts 7:51-53), who promptly executed him under mob-justice (Acts 7:54-60).
  3. This event introduces Saul of Tarsus to the Acts narrative.
    1. Saul was a young man entrusted giving his ascent to the mob justice (Acts 7:58).
    2. Saul cast his vote for Stephen’s execution as a voting member of the Pharisee party within the Sanhedrin (Acts 8:1; 22:20; 26:10).