Proclaiming the Word Boldly

Acts 4:19-20, But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

Standing before the council of the Sadducees, Peter and John had to answer for what they were proclaiming: preaching in the name of Jesus and the resurrection from the dead (v. 2). Not only did they not believe in Jesus, but they also did not believe in a bodily resurrection (unlike the Pharisees). So, the Sadducees demanded to know by what authority they were doing this (v. 7). Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered the authority comes from Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and that “there is salvation in no one else” (vv. 8-12). The Sadducees were surprised at their boldness because they assumed them to be uneducated, and soon recognised they truly were companions of Jesus.

Prior to this, Peter and John healed a crippled man, and the Sadducees—confronted with the obvious reversal of the man’s condition—were forced to admit they did nothing wrong here. They did not know what to do. So, they ordered Peter and John to stop their preaching, where we get to their response in today’s text (vv. 13-20). Peter and John essentially say to them, “It’s up to you to decide whether you think, in God’s sight, it’s better to listen to you or Him. We know what we must do. We cannot and will not stop preaching in the name of Jesus and what we have seen and heard from Him, especially the hope of the bodily resurrection.”

We ought to be so bold. Instead, we opt out for cowardice. When mankind says homosexuality, abortion, and transgenderism are good and healthy, instead of boldly keeping and proclaiming the Word, we become cowards and capitulate to their iniquity, even changing God’s immutable Word in the process. Even worse, some of us abandon Christ altogether and settle for the hopelessness of atheism or some other false religion. Rather, we must boldly hold our ground and allow them to hate us for our faithfulness to Christ. Let them hate us; it doesn’t do anything but bless us (cf. Matthew 5:11-12). Let them decide in their wicked hearts what to think of us, for it matters not. Let them continue to hate a God they’re so certain doesn’t exist. Let us continue in our bold proclamation of the Word, for we cannot hold back from what we have seen and heard from Jesus Christ.

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