Chapter Four — Part Three: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 04/04/2021

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 4:13-22

1. Boldness.
a. Acts 4:13a KJV — Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John…
b. They saw the boldness—outspokenness—of Peter and John.
c. The AMPC says: Now when they saw the boldness and unfettered eloquence of Peter and John…
d. Boldness (Greek: parrhesia): freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech; openly, frankly, i.e. without concealment; free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance.
e. They spoke boldly: plainly, freely, openly, and with confidence.
f. This same Greek word is also used in the following scriptures:
g. 2 Corinthians 3:12 KJV — Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech…
h. John 18:20 NKJV — Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.
i. Colossians 2:15 KJV — And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
j. Ephesians 6:19 KJV — And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.
k. We can speak boldly because we have confidence before God.
l. Ephesians 3:12 KJV — In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
m. 1 John 4:17 KJV — Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
n. Hebrews 10:35 KJV — Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

2. Been with Jesus.
a. Acts 4:13b KJV — …and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
b. They perceived that they were unlearned (illiterate, uneducated) and ignorant (common person, without learning).
c. The AMPC says: …unlearned and untrained in the schools [common men with no educational advantages]
d. They were mere fishermen, but they spoke with boldness, power, and confidence, because they preached the Word of God—not the word of man!
e. The AMPC says: …they marveled; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
f. They may not have had the privilege of higher education, but they had divine knowledge—imparted directly to them by Jesus—and were empowered by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
g. They “caught” the anointing from Jesus!
h. And they preached what He taught them.
i. When you speak, can people see, and hear, that you have been with Jesus?

3. Evidence.
a. Acts 4:14-16 NKJV — And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 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.
b. The Truth of the Gospel is uncontestable.
c. They could not say anything against the miracle, and they could not openly deny it.
d. They discussed among themselves what to do.
e. What they should have done was to acknowledge the convincing and commanding power of the Truth that was right in front of them.
f. And they should have asked Peter and John to baptize them; becoming Christians and joining into fellowship with them.
g. When a person is walking in truth and integrity, they never have to wonder how to handle any situation.
h. But when they refuse the Truth—choosing to live and believe a lie—they have no guidance, and no plumbline, on how to live and what to do.

4. Threats.
a. Acts 4:17-18 NKJV — 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.” 18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
b. The miracle was done in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
c. It was a known miracle, and obvious to all the people.
d. Under their own laws, they had no legal ground upon which to punish Peter and John.
e. Plus, they were afraid of the opinion of the people because the majority were convinced by the miracle.
f. So, they called them and commanded them not to speak, or teach, in the Name of Jesus.

5. We Cannot but Speak.
a. Acts 4:19-20 NKJV — But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
b. Peter and John were commanded by their own conscience, and by the Great Commission, to go and to preach and to do miracles, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
c. Habakkuk 2:14 KJV — For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
d. They could not help but speak of the things they had seen and heard.
e. The devil will try to shut you up; however, you have no choice but to speak and to preach the Good News everywhere you go, to everyone you meet!
f. Acts 4:21-22 NKJV — So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.
g. The religious leaders did not fear God, but they feared the reaction of the crowd, so they let them go.