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Bob Slosser
Spiritual Life

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Watch Him: A Quivering Reed, Then a Man of Rock

By Bob Slosser Columnist - We have watched Peter the Apostle go from quivering reed on the night before the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ to stout-hearted, fearless preacher of the fiery gospel seven weeks later after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church at Pentecost.

Peter, once terrified and afraid for His life, was transformed and courageous before a noisy mob on the streets of Jerusalem. He preached one of the most powerful and lucid sermons of Christendom on that notable day, laying out for the Jews and all the visitors the majestic truths of the gospel that speak forth powerfully today and on into the final days (Acts 2:14-47, NKJV).

Read the papers and youll see with considerable trembling the spiritual conflicts were facing in todays world, just as the saints faced in Peters time. Peter and young John (they may even have called him Johnny; not likely, but who knows?) are shown in chapter four of Acts getting into trouble with the "rulers, elders, and scribes," who wanted to silence them in their talk about Jesus and the resurrection and had seized them. But, of course, the widely differing duo talked at every opportunity and apparently had a great impact. Luke the author and physician chose to record at the time that "many of those who heard the word believed, and the number of the men [this will rile the gender-agitated folks] came to be about 5,000" (Acts 4:4).

Its amazing to read the strength of the apostles replies to questioning by the high-level religious leaders after the Lord used Peter and John to heal a crippled man publicly. Nonetheless, they got deeper and deeper into trouble with the "rulers, elders, and scribes" who wanted to silence them in their talk about Jesus and the resurrection, which sounds heartbreakingly familiar to todays coverage of the courts and groups like the ACLU in America.

The rulers, elders, and scribes commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. And the apostles replied immediately, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:19-20).

Where had the coward gone? Here was a mature man of faith and power, an unfailing rock. Beloved, here is what the church must have for the trying days ahead. It is what it will receive when the great revival that many have foreseen comes great and fearless preaching accompanied by signs and wonders, even the public healing of lame men, women, and children. Let it come, heavenly Father.

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