Over the past couple of weeks at Christ Community, we have been looking at a huge moment in the apostles’ lives and in the life of the early church. Peter and John get drug before the powers-that-be because they – through the power of the Holy Spirit – heal a man and share the love of Jesus with him.
They get threatened. They will eventually be imprisoned. Peter’s life would end as a martyr under similar wicked leaders in Rome. John would find himself in exile on a prison-island. And all of that found its beginnings on a random day when they were walking to the temple:
2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.Acts 3:2-8
What an amazing declaration – “what I do have I give to you”!
It is easy for us, 2,000 years later in a 1st-world country, to look at what these guys did and said – what they later suffered, what cost them their lives – and be amazed. But they knew that what they had in Christ was worth whatever. They had met Him, walked with Him, been forgiven by Him, saved by Him! Their lives had been eternally changed by Him.
Their lives were so changed – they had in fact gone from death in sin to eternal life (Romans 6:23), after all – that they were able to go unblinking before the tribunal. What we see as a confrontation with the chief priests was in reality a gospel proclamation offering them the same hope and eternal life through Christ Jesus that we are all offered through that same gospel. When Peter and John told them “by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified” (Acts 4:10), it is less a satisfying yet stinging dart against those who plotted against Jesus and more of the same declaration made to/against us in Romans 5:8: “but God demonstrated His love for is in that while we were sinners Christ died for us”. What was greater – their sin or ours? I am so excited that the answer is God’s grace, mercy, and love is greater!
That gospel presentation that they made to those unrepentant priests is still good news for us:
11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”Acts 4:11-12
So, when we in our worldliness wonder what Peter and John knew or what drove them to be willing to follow Jesus with their whole lives, what we are really wondering was why they would do it. We are wondering if Jesus is really worth it. The answer to that is a resounding “yes”! He is worth it. He is worthy! In worship tomorrow, in the midst of our singing, we are going to be reading through Colossians 1 and seeing how worthy King Jesus truly is. And, it is my prayer for myself and for you, that we encounter Jesus – that we receive Him and follow Him – and worship Him.
Here are our songs:
- Colossians 1:9-14 —
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
- Nothing but the Blood —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: 1 Peter 1:19, Isaiah 1:18, Psalm 51:7, Zechariah 13:1, Hebrews 9:22, Psalm 51:2, 2 Peter 1:9, 1 John 1:7-9, 1 Samuel 15:25, Exodus 34:6-7, Psalm 25:11, Matthew 6:12, Micah 7:8, Psalm 103:12, Romans 15:13, Romans 5:3-5, Colossians 1:20, Philippians 4:4-7, 2 Corinthians 5:21
*This isn’t the version we do, but it’s fun!*
- Holy Water —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Romans 10:9-10, Romans 5:12-15, John 8:34, John 3:3-21, Matthew 3:11, Romans 6:1-11, Galatians 2:19-20, Proverbs 16:24, 1 Corinthians 13:1, Numbers 19:17, Romans 6:1-7, Matthew 11:28-30, Acts 3:19-21
- Colossians 1:15-20 —
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
- Your Great Name —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Acts 4:12, Luke 19:10, Psalm 106:8, John 3:17, Romans 8:1, 1 John 4:18, James 4:7-8, Revelation 5:9-10, Philippians 2:9-11, 2 Corinthians 12:9-11, Psalm 107:9, Psalm 68:5, Matthew 4:24, John 11:1-44, Job 19:25, Psalm 103:3, Revelation 11:17, Proverbs 23:11, Revelation 17:14
- Thank You Jesus for the Blood —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song:
- (invitation) Praise Your Name —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: John 1:4-5, Psalm 34:4-5, Luke 1:79, Isaiah 9:2, John 8:12, Psalm 43, Psalm 23:4, Matthew 17:20, John 8:32, Psalm 119:50, Psalm 42:4-5, 1 John 1:5-10, Job 1:21-22, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, John 14:1-6, Psalm 42:11, Luke 3:21-24, Matthew 28:18, Psalm 110:1, 1 Corinthians 15:26-27, Hebrews 2:6-8, Psalm 119:37
We invite you to join us this Sunday at Christ Community Church in Grenada, MS!
We have two services Sunday morning!
- 8:00a for those who prefer greater social distancing and masks worn by all
- 11:00a for everyone else