Acts 3-7: Unshakable Faith!
By Jacob Mock
This week in our Bible reading plan we continue in the book of Acts. Acts is one of my favorite books in the Bible! It’s full of so many interesting, inspiring, and intense stories. This week we are going to read about things like miraculous healings, Peter’s sermons, and the death of Stephen. In these first few chapters, one theme stands out to me the most: the unwavering faith of the early Church.
In chapters 3-5, we read about Peter unashamedly preaching the gospel to thousands of people. When Peter was opposed by the Pharisees and Sadducees he refused to back down. These people were the very ones who put Jesus to death and he made sure to let them know that! “But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead” (Acts 3:14-15). They hated Peter for preaching about Jesus and how he conquered death, but no matter how hard they pressed Peter, he would never back down. He knew that Jesus was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and he desired to see all these people come to know Jesus as their Savior! Again, Peter preaches to these religious rulers, “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead… there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12). These religious leaders threatened to beat, whip, and even kill Peter, but he refused to stop preaching the good news of Jesus Christ.
In chapter 5, Peter and other apostles are again brought before the council of the high priest. The priest demands to know why they have not stopped preaching Jesus even after they were ordered to stop, and their answer is truly amazing: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Peter and the apostles were determined to obey God no matter the cost. Their love for Jesus Christ was so great that they were willing to directly oppose the high priest if following his commands meant disobeying Christ. Their commitment to preaching the gospel to those who did not believe was incredible. In chapter 7, Stephen is stoned to death by these religious leaders because of his commitment to Jesus. He knew he was facing a painful death, but he loved Jesus more than his own life.
I could go on and on about the unwavering faith of the early Church, but I’ll let you read about it as we work our way through the book of Acts. My point in talking about these things is this: as a church today, our faith in Christ must not be shaken. We must stand proudly together as followers of Jesus and not rest until everyone around us has heard the gospel! We must not be ashamed of the gospel, Church. Do not be afraid to talk to your lost friends and family about Jesus. When people oppose you because of your beliefs, do not back down. We must realize, just as Peter and the apostles did, that Jesus Christ is worth it all; our time, our reputations, and if it comes down to it, even our lives.