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Scripture Reading: Acts 4:5-12

You be the Judge!

(Acts 4)



1.  Jesus teaches us that we will have to judge many things, including what is right by using righteous judgment, Lk. 12:57; Jno. 7:24.
2.  Judge: To determine, decide, to separate. 
3.  Acts 4: The citizens of Jerusalem, the highest court of the Jewish nation and Peter and John had to “judge what was right”.
  a.  A old lame man who was over 40 years old had been healed -- Undeniable.
  b.  Shall we believe the power was from Jesus? Or, was it fakery?
  c.  What shall we do with the message they preach: Believe and obey it? Object, hinder and silence it? 
4.  Like them, we also have to “judge what is right!”


I.  THE FIRST ARREST, Acts 4:1-4.

  A.  The Message is Interrupted by Arrest 4:1-3.

  B.  Those Involved in the Arrest:

    1. The priests (serving in the temple).

    2. The captain of the temple, cf. Acts 5:24 (officer over the temple guard, cf. Lk. 22:4, 52).

    3. The Sadducees, 4:1 (denied immorality and resurrection, Matt. 22:23; Acts 23:8).


   -(“by what means”, 4:9) What power healed the man? Acts 4:22
  A.  Not by the Political, Religious or Moral Power of Man, 4:5-6; 3:12 (Sanhedrin, populace).

      -Sanhedrin (together seat): “the highest Jewish tribunal, of 71 members...the supreme Jewish Court of Justice in Jerusalem” (ISBE)
  B.  By the Power of Jesus Christ, 4:9-10 (3:6, 16). Jesus has…
    1.   Power to heal the body (lame man).
    2.  Power to build the house of God, Psa. 118:22 (1 Pet. 2:6-7; Eph. 2:19-22); Acts 2:47 (Matt. 16:18).

      -(Rulers and elders of Israel should have been “builders” for God, but they killed the Son, dishonoring God! 4:11; Matt. 21:42-45
    3.  Power to save the soul, 4:12 (Jno. 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:3-6).
  C.  Today as then, Jesus’ Power to Save is Offered and Obtained through the Gospel, Acts 4:12; Rom. 1:16.
  D.  By what Power have You Done This? (4:7) (Authority)
    1.  Teach one is saved before and without water baptism? (Mk. 16:16)
    2.  Teach one is saved by faith only? Grace only? (Eph. 2:8-9)
    3.  Organize denominations and call it “good?” (Matt. 16:18; Jno. 17:20-21)
    4.  Use mechanical instruments of music in worship? (Eph. 5:19)
    5.  Ad infinitum... Col. 3:17 (Matt. 28:18)


III. THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS, Acts 4:13. Couldn’t deny the miracle, 4:14-16.
  A.  People can Tell when You are with Jesus, 1 Pet. 4:1-4; 2:11-12.
  B.  Being “with” Jesus does not Depend on Social Status or Human Learning, 4:13; cf. 1 Cor. 1:26-29.
  C.  Will People “Marvel” and Realize we are with Jesus?
    1.  Will they see our faith in the face of trial? 1 Pet. 3:13-14
    2.  Will they see our devotion to the truth? cf. 4:20; Jude 3
    3.  Will they see we live as faithful Christians? Gal. 2:20
       -Will they see Jesus in us? Col. 3:10


  A.  Judge what is Right: Should You Listen to Man or to God? 4:19
    1.  Parents or children? Not before Christ (Matt. 10:37). A religious leader? Not rather than Jesus (Matt. 23:1-2); A boyfriend or girlfriend? Your spouse? (1 Cor. 7:15); etc.
    2.  Make up your mind now, so when confronted with the need to decide (judge), you already know your decision, 4:20.
  B.  Under a Powerful Threat, the Apostles:
    1.  Reported the threat to their brethren, 4:23.
    2.  Raised their voices to God (prayed with thanks and for boldness), 4:24-30.
    3.  Raised their voices to men (preached with all boldness), 4:31. (God miraculously assured them of His presence and approval.)
    4.  We need boldness to serve Jesus, Heb. 13:6.
    5.  The apostles’ boldness helps us be bold, Phil. 1:14.


1.  Thousands of people in Jerusalem judged the gospel to be true, so they believed (and obeyed, 2:41), 4:4.
2.  The rulers, elders and priests judged the miracle to be true, but the gospel to be a threat to their power, so they opposed it.
3.  Peter and John judged that it was right to be threatened because they preached Jesus Christ as Savior, so they endured the threats.
4.  Now, you be the judge. What will you do with Jesus and His gospel?



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: May 28, 2013