We’re continuing our series Made to Run, where we take a look through Acts and explore what it means to live a life that’s transformed by the gospel. Last week in Acts 3, we saw Peter and John extend wholeness and healing to a paralyzed man. We learned that we have been blessed and have the privilege of pursuing restoration in all areas of our lives and the lives of others. This week, we’re going to continue the story of Peter and John and what happened to them after they performed a miracle.

Read Acts 4.1-13

After Peter healed the man, Peter and John began to preaching to the people, proclaiming the name of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead but because the Sadducees didn’t like what they were saying, Peter and John are arrested and brought before the religious rulers who ask, “By what power or what name did you do this?” Acts tells us that Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaims that salvation is found only in the name of Jesus. A bold proclamation back then and even today.

When the Sadducees saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were ordinary, unschooled men, they were astonished! The Greek word used here for ordinary is “idiotes,” which means unskilled. Peter and John have had no theological training or schooling, and yet they are quoting scripture with the skill of scholars. The Sadducees responded by noting these disciples had been with Jesus.

People who are made to run are people who spend time with Jesus because when we spend time with Jesus, and develop a relationship with him, significant things happen.

1. The first thing that happens when you spend time with Jesus is that you are transformed. You begin to see your character and actions in a new light, and grow a desire to become more Christ-like. Being transformed by Jesus just by spending time with him makes sense because we imitate the people we’re around the most. The more time we spend reading God’s word, listening to his voice, caring for others, and sharing the gospel, the more it’s going to transform and shape who we are.

Question: How has your life been transformed by Jesus and the gospel?

2. The second thing that happens when you spend time with Jesus is that others notice you’ve been with Jesus. When we’ve been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and love of Christ, it shows. We live differently, not according to the world’s standards, but to God’s. We give generously, we engage in our communities, and serve where God calls us. We respond in love and peace, and we care for those society has shunned. Too often, we hide our faith because we are afraid of being mocked or believe our faith is a private matter, but Jesus hasn’t called his church to live in isolation or only care for themselves, but to actively love their neighbor as themselves, bring the gospel to the ends of the earth, and point to the lost to Christ.

Question: Based on how you live would other people be able to tell you are a Christian? What are some things or people in your life that distract you from your relationship with God?

3. The third thing that happens when you spend time with Jesus is that you can’t help but share Jesus with others. The elation that we feel when Christ answers a prayer or we discover a newfound hope that our eternity will be spent in the presence of God, we can’t help but keep it to ourselves! The feeling is explosive and contagious and we want to share our experience with others in hopes that they can share in our joy and victory that we are able to know because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

Question: How did you feel the last time you accomplished something big or had an exciting story to share? Does that story feel easier to share than the joy of the gospel? Why or why not?

After Peter and John left the Sadducees, instead of going into hiding for a while or start discussing strategies as to how they could continue to preach the name of Jesus under the radar, they met up with other believers and end up praying a very powerful prayer that leads to action.

Read Acts 4.24, 29-30

In their prayer, the disciples quote Psalm 2, a Messianic Psalm that starts by questioning God why the nations are in an uproar and the leaders of those nations are plotting against one another. This is a question that’s been rooted in Jewish history where God places his chosen people among the warring and violent nations of the earth, as a sign of his coming kingdom, and where God will eventually set up his rule and bring peace and justice to the world.

By the end the prayer they’re asking God to send his Holy Spirit to enable them to speak his word and perform miracles in his name. These believers knew that apart from the Holy Spirit as a supernatural resource, they would remain nothing but idiotes—ordinary, unschooled, unskilled people. But the power of the Holy Spirit that transforms us is the same power that we read about in the bible that heals the sick, makes the lame walk, and brings the dead back to life. It’s the power the restores relationships, breaks addictions, brings fresh life, and brings healing.

Question: Can you recall a time when the Holy Spirit enabled and empowered you to do something you felt completely unprepared and unqualified for?

That is exactly the kind of thing that people that are made to run do. Remember, the disciples had been threatened to stop preaching that salvation is through Jesus, yet they prayed that God would enable them to do that and more. It didn’t matter to the what the cost was, who the opposition was, the pain and the suffering they might have to endure, because they knew they were called to spread the gospel. They reached out to the only one who could provide that kind of power and leaned on Jesus.