TEXT: Acts 4:13-22
Perseverance—the determination to continue on in the face of opposition or difficulty—is a necessary attribute in the Christian life. The spread of Christianity would have come to a standstill if there had not been those who kept on in spite of persecution. Our text deals with two of the Apostles who stood through a severe testing time. As Christians today, we may not face the same types of opposition that the Early Church faced. But there will be times when we will have to be steadfast no matter what opposition comes to turn us from remaining true to God and His directives for our lives.
- What crime had the Apostles committed that brought them before the Jewish rulers? See Acts 4:1-3.
- The Apostles had not always been so bold. Peter had denied the Lord and others had forsaken Him and fled when He was taken by the high priest. Even after His Resurrection they didn’t seem to promote the cause of Christ, but, instead, went fishing. What was it that compelled these men to speak out now so forcefully for Christ? See Acts 1:8.
- How do you suppose the authorities expected Peter and John to respond when they were commanded not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus?
- How did the Apostles respond when the council commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus? Looking on into the next chapter of Acts, find where the Apostles showed by their actions that they meant what they said.
- In the Old Testament, we read of others who, like Peter and John, were determined to cling to God in spite of temporal and physical adversity. Briefly review the calamities that were the lot of Job. See Job 1:13-19 and 2:7. Which phrases in Job 23:8-11 prove that Job had kept his trust in God in spite of these circumstances?
- Read Psalm 119:30-31. What do you think is meant by the phrase, “I have stuck unto thy testimonies”?
- In order to keep on keeping on in our Christian walk it is important that we know what God wants us to do. One verse which brings out the necessity of studying God’s Word is 2 Timothy 2:15. Find some other verses that bring out this thought.
- We pray to have our sins forgiven, and to make a start in our Christian life. Why is it necessary to continue in prayer in order to keep steadfast in the way? See Matthew 26:41 and John 16:24.
- What part does obedience play in keeping on in our Christian walk?
- What good advice did Paul offer to those who want to keep on keeping on? See chapter 6 of Ephesians.