Acting Like Jesus Series –
Intro: After a short break with the recent Holy Days and my absence last week, we pick up in week two of: “Acting Like Jesus,” Series from the Book of Acts.
E.F. Hutton & Co. was an American stock brokerage firm founded in 1904 by Edward Francis Hutton and his brother, Franklyn Laws Hutton. Later, it was led by well-known Wall Street trader Gerald M. Loeb. Under their leadership, Hutton became one of the most respected financial firms in the United States and for several decades was the second largest brokerage firm in the United States. The firm was best known for its commercials in the 1970s and 1980s based on the phrase, "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen" (which usually involved a young professional remarking at a dinner party that his broker was E.F. Hutton, which caused the moderately loud party to stop all conversation to listen to him).
Silence filled the air the night Christ died on the cross, the religious leaders and skeptics in the back of their mind thought; told you so, just another false prophet. It was but a ripple in the water when the name Jesus was mention before the resurrection. Multitudes had heard of Him and many were curious but would have been more of a fan than a follower. When the news hit the streets that on the first day of the week Jesus had arose, the silence changed. The noise erupted when the Day of Pentecost and the movement began. Mankind was given a supernatural power when using the name of Jesus Christ. Life’s where changed and hope was rekindled. This investment in a saving faith was much better than any broker’s possible financial gain.
“This [Jesus] is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.” Acts 4:11-12 (HCSB)
Text: Acts 4:5-13 (NKJV)
“And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”
Application: There is no other name that can give you salvation other than Jesus Christ the Cornerstone.
1. This Name's Problem: vs. 5-7
“And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, "By what power or by what name have you done this?"
What was the problem with this name? I guess it would depend on who you were talking with. The authorities arrested Peter and John. It was late afternoon, too late for a trial, so they jailed them for the night. Before Peter was arrested, he had shared enough of the gospel for the crowd to respond. Five thousand men (not counting women and children) made decisions for Christ. Persecution did not stop the Word and the Spirit of God from working. Souls (fruit) were saved despite the abuse and opposition. What a lesson for believers to keep on in their preaching and witnessing no matter the opposition. “Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.” Acts 4:1-4
There is more to their questioning than this. They knew Peter was preaching the resurrection through Jesus Christ. They had to stop it or risk losing the loyalty of the people and their position and livelihood, so they were seeking opportunity to accuse and stop Peter and John. Their questioning may also involve something else. They were the religious leaders; they thought the power could not be of God. If God should choose to do some marvelous work, especially in the temple, they thought He would choose to reveal such to them, the traditional religious leaders. They felt the name and the power that healed the crippled must be diabolical.
Every believer and minister and group must guard against thinking that God can work only through them. God is always bringing new faces and groups into the picture to do His work. He must, for the mission is so enormous and there is still so much to do—so many who have not yet heard and been helped. God equipped Peter and John with the Holy Spirit. How quickly God came to the rescue: "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit." Peter had not even had time to speak, and God was present, filling Peter with the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit was ready to take over and give Peter the words to say. The believer who is ready to proclaim Christ will never be left alone. The Holy Spirit will be present to speak through him. That becomes the problem for the world today that name convicts! It was the name Jesus whom God raised from the dead that made the man whole. Peter was declaring that it was the power of the resurrected and ascended Messiah, the Lord of heaven and earth who had such power.
2. This Name's Power: vs. 8-11
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.'
Peter and John credited Christ with the power to heal and to change lives. The Sanhedrin court convened the next morning to put Peter and John on trial. The term "rulers, elders, and scribes" means the Sanhedrin. It was the ruling body, both the governing council and Supreme Court of the Jews. The question the court asked was straight to the point. "By what power, or by what name have you done this [healed the man]?" The court was doing exactly what God had said to do. God had instructed Israel to try every man who claimed to be a prophet and worked signs and wonders among the people. If the man was not a true prophet, he was to be executed.
Peter and John proclaimed salvation. Peter had just shared the source of his power, the name of Jesus Christ. He now proclaimed the salvation that is in Jesus. And to strike the point home, he used the declaration of prophetic Scripture. Jesus Christ is the Head, that is, the Chief Cornerstone of God's building: “I will praise You, For You have answered me, And have become my salvation. 22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” Psalm 118:21-22
God gave man the Head Cornerstone for His building, the life He wanted man to build. But men rejected this, counted it as no good, unacceptable, of no account, of no worth. Men rejected God's Head Stone and went about finding their own chief stone and building their lives as they wished. God took His Stone, despite man's rejection, and still made Him the Head of the corner. God has exalted Jesus Christ and made Him the Head of life. This name had the power.
“Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD'S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” Matthew 21:42-43
3. This Name's Provision: vs. 12-13
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”
Several years ago one of the astronauts who walked on the moon was interviewed and asked, “What do you think about as you stood on the moon and looked back at the earth?” The astronaut replied, “I remembered how the spacecraft was built by the lowest bidder.”
We as Christians can rejoice that the work of salvation did not go to the “lowest bidder” but was performed by an infinite God. There will never be a deficiency in his work. Our salvation is as sure as the architect of that salvation, Almighty God. That was something He provided.
Jesus Christ alone saves. There is no other Head, no other exalted Lord; therefore, no man can be saved, by any other head or lord. By any other name under heaven. No teacher is capable enough, no prophet is noble enough, no minister is good enough to save himself, much less anyone else. No matter the claim—no matter the indulgence and strength of the name—the man comes far, far short of being God's chosen Head. No man has the name by which God saves men. All men are mortal. No man can make another man immortal. Therefore God's Head, the name which God uses to save men, must be eternal; and only One Man is eternal: Jesus Christ the Son of Man Himself. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Conclusion: At the beginning of my message I mentioned the power and influence that the name E.F. Hutton had in the financial arena. Hutton was able to provide a great investment return. Our world at large hasn’t changed much in rejecting the name of Jesus Christ. With that said one day with that name: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.” Philippians 2:10
‘When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NIV)
There is a story about a boy flying a kite. The kite was so high that it had disappeared into the clouds. A man came by and asked, “Why are you holding on to that string?” The boy said, “I’ve got a kite up there.” The man looked up and said, “I don’t see it.” The boy replied, “Well, I know it’s there because I can feel the tug.” That’s like the witness of the Holy Spirit within us. We may not always see the evidence, but we feel a tug in our hearts constantly, letting us know that we are in touch with God.
Is there a problem for you with this name? I pray you can feel the tug. No other name can give you salvation, no other name can give you the power. What He can provide for you is better than any 401K program, any stock or bond or capital gains idea.
His name is wonderful, His name is wonderful, His name is wonderful, Jesus my Lord. He is the mighty King, Master of everything, almighty God is He, bow down before Him, love and adore Him; His name is wonderful, Jesus, my Lord. That’s the NAME!
In : Sermon
Tags: "acting like jesus series" "book of acts"
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