8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you 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 is standing before you well. 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.”
The fullness of the Spirit in Peter gave him a boldness to clearly present the gospel in a difficult situation to intimidating people.
Acts 4:12 is one of the clearest statements about salvation through Christ in all scripture. It is crazy that it comes from the mouth of Peter, someone who was earlier terrified of persecution before the Holy Spirit came upon him. A few things.
-The Holy Spirit equips believers toward the mission of making disciples. Peter’s life was now resolute on preaching the cross and resurrection of Jesus for salvation of all who would believe. This is the Spirit’s work and mission through believers. (The Spirit will always lead me into the mission)
-Peter is giving an answer to a question. They are asking the question because Peter was part of a supernatural healing. Sometimes believers find themselves arguing with people who don’t believe. Why? Because we are attempting to answer questions they don’t ask. The best spiritual conversations I have ever had are when a person asks me why my life, attitude or experience is different than theirs. This gives me the chance to answer with the gospel. The best conversation starter is living out a spirit-filled and spirited-directed life that stands out in a dark and depraved world. When they ask, you have an answer. (Live out a life that demands an answer)
-The Spirit uses normal people who have failed in the past. Without the Spirit, Peter denied Christ three times to a young girl for fear of persecution. Now, filled with the Spirit, Peter boldly preaches Christ as Lord and Savior in front of some of the highest ranking Jews of the day. Peter hasn’t grown up on his own. His boldness comes from the power and presence of the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. (May my boldness be Spirit-filled and Spirit-directed instead of experience or self-confidence directed.)
Thank you for showing me how much your presence and indwelling Spirit can change a life. I know you changed me. May I have confidence and boldness today to live a life that demands an answer, step fully into the mission, and remember that it is only your Spirit that makes me who I am.