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danmartin
Pastor, Grace Church Gateshead (Gateshead, UK)
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God promises, and Abraham obeys [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 17:1-27
Abram and Sarai have a big wobble, but God's grace is greater still [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 16:1-16
God guarantees his promises to Abram [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 15:1-21
Abram and Lot part ways [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 13:2-18
God blesses and protects Abram and Sarai [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 12:10-13:1
God promises to bless all peoples through Abram [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 11:27-12:9
People spread out across the earth in their language groups [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 10:1-11:32
The earth was re-populated after the flood [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 10:1-11:32
Humanity falls again [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
God emphasises his commitment to the world he has made [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
The flood drains away and God makes a new creation [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
The flood came, just as God had said [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
God tells Noah to build an ark, since he is going to destroy everything on earth with a flood [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
As humans multiplied, so did wickedness [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 5:1-9:29
In the midst of the human story of death, God wrote a story of hope
Genesis 5:1-9:29
Sin and suffering multiply on earth [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
Adam and Eve are banished from Eden [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
In the beginning, God created a very good world - part 2 [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 1:1-2:3
God made man out of the dust of the earth [draft sermon outline]
Genesis 2:4-4:26
In the beginning, God created a very good world [draft sermon notes]
Genesis 1:1-2:25
He has risen, as he said[draft sermon notes]
Matthew 26:1-28:20
The long wait has a joyful end [draft sermon notes]
Luke 2:22-35
What is a simple church? [draft sermon notes]
Acts 2:42-47
What is a disciple-making church? [draft sermon notes]
Matthew 28:18-20
What is a gospel-centred church? [draft sermon notes]
Colossians 3:1-4
We will see God and be satisfied! [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 17:1-51
In God's presence there is fullness of joy [draft sermon outline]
Psalms 16:1-15
Jesus has taken us into God's presence forever [draft sermon outline]
Psalms 15:1-11
The LORD's words are utterly pure and trustworthy [draft sermon outline]
Psalms 12:1-9
When it seems like evil is unstoppable, know that God sees from heaven and he will act [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 11:1-9
God sees the evil on planet earth, and he will deal with all of it [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 10:1-18
The LORD has established his throne for justice [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 9:1-39
God's name is overwhelmingly majestic [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 8:1-10
God is a righteous Judge [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 7:1-18
The LORD hears our weeping prayers [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 6
The LORD covers his people with favour [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 5:1-13
The LORD hears when we call to Him [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 4:1-9
The LORD of hosts is with us [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 46:1-12
By God's grace, be at peace [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
Be ready for Jesus' return! [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Encourage each other with the certain hope of Jesus' return [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Keep on loving one another [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Living to please God means we must pursue holiness [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Be prepared for affliction [draft sermon outline]
1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
Paul longed to see the Thessalonians again [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
Thank God for the faith and perseverance of his people [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
Confidence in God leads us to declare the gospel and share our lives [draft sermon outline]
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
When God's people suffer joyfully, the gospel multiplies [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 1:6-10
Paul thanks God that the Thessalonian church are real Christians [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5
Celebrate the life of faith, hope and love in the gospel of Jesus Christ [draft sermon notes]
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5:28
It is good to give thanks to the LORD [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 92:1-16
Since we are alive in Christ together, live the new life together [draft sermon outline]
Colossians 3:1-17
Daniel is assured that God will fulfil all his plans and put all things right [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 12:1-13
Daniel sees a final vision of proud kings, turmoil, and suffering in times to come [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 11:1-45
Daniel is exhausted and strengthened for one more vision [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 10:1-21
Daniel's faithful prayer receives a glorious answer [draft sermon notes]
Daniel 9:1-27
Daniel sees that God is bigger than the dark days that lie ahead [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 8:1-27
God has established his eternal Kingdom in Jesus [draft sermon notes]
Daniel 7:1-28
God raises Daniel alive out of the place of death [draft sermon notes]
Daniel 6:1-29
God suddenly ends Belshazzar's life and rule, because he did not honour God [draft sermon notes]
Daniel 5:1-31
God reveals deep and hidden things [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 2:1-49
God preserves his faithful people in exile [draft sermon outline]
Daniel 1:1-21
Jesus is the resurrection and the life [draft sermon outline]
John 11:1-57
Jesus' family must show honour [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 5:17-6:2
Train yourself for godliness [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 4:6-16
Jesus has revealed the secret of godliness  [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Show the gospel by serving [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 3:8-13
Eldership is a good work [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 3:1-7
Godly living celebrates the goodness of God our creator [early draft sermon notes]
1 Timothy 2:8-15
God's gospel is for everyone [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Those who truly love the law, love the gospel [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 1:8-20
Keep the gospel the centre! [draft sermon outline]
1 Timothy 1:1-7
How we live in God's household (draft sermon notes)
1 Timothy 1:1-2
God's king takes away God's punishment [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 24:1-25
God has established an everlasting Kingdom [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 23:1-39
To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Has Done [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 21:15-22:51
God's King removes the judgement on God's people [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 21:1-14
God's king is rejected - again [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 20:1-26
The Return of the King: David returns to Jerusalem [draft sermon notes - unfinished]
2 Samuel 19:8-43
The rebel dies a rebel's death [draft sermon notes - unfinished]
2 Samuel 17:27-19:8
Absalom takes Jerusalem [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 16:15-17:26
Absalom rebels against David [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 15:1-16:14
Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand [draft sermon notes]
1 Peter 5:1-14
David is manipulated [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 14:1-33
David's sons abandon steadfast love [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 13:1-39
The LORD punishes and pardons [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 12:1-31
David abandons steadfast love (Bathsheba) - initial draft sermon notes
2 Samuel 11:1-27
David defeats the Ammonites (the backdrop to Bathsheba) [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 10:1-19
David shows the steadfast love of God [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 9:1-13
The LORD gave victory to David wherever he went [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 8:1-18
God's King is victorious [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 5:1-26
God's Kingdom is established - but God is in no one's debt [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 4:1-12
God's king begins his rule [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 2:1-3:1
David learns that the King is dead, and laments [draft sermon notes]
2 Samuel 1:1-27
Let all the ends of the earth worship God in Jesus! [draft sermon notes]
Psalms 67:1-7
Persisting in Evangelism, part 2 - 'Samaria' [draft sermon notes]
Colossians 4:1-6
Persisting in Evangelism, part 1 - 'Judea' [draft sermon notes]
2 Corinthians 4:1-18
Reformation - sola gratia [draft sermon notes]
Ephesians 2:1-10
Sola Scriptura! [draft sermon notes]
2 Timothy 3:14-4:8
The gospel reaches the ends of the earth [draft sermon notes]
Acts 28:11-31
God is our refuge and strength [draft sermon notes]
Acts 27:2-28:10
Paul testifies to the resurrection again [draft sermon notes]
Acts 25:13-27:1
Paul keeps testifying [draft sermon notes]
Acts 24:1-25:12
The Lord Jesus protects Paul and guides his way onwards towards Rome [draft sermon notes]
Acts 21:27-23:35
Paul goes to Jerusalem, fully aware of what awaits him [draft sermon notes]
Acts 21:1-26
Care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood [draft sermon notes]
Acts 20:17-38
Idolatry causes a riot in Ephesus [draft sermon notes]
Acts 19:21-20:1
The Kingdom of God comes in Ephesus [draft sermon notes]
Acts 18:24-19:20
By the grace of Jesus, Paul plants the gospel in Corinth and completes his second missionary journey [draft sermon notes]
Acts 18:1-23
News of Jesus' resurrection challenges, divides, and saves [draft sermon notes]
Acts 17:16-34
The gospel of the Lord Jesus takes root in Europe (draft sermon notes)
Acts 16:6-40
It's Official: God is saving people from all nations into his church through Jesus Christ alone [draft sermon notes].
Acts 15:1-16:5
Paul and Barnabus plant true worshiping communities in the nations [draft sermon notes]
Acts 14:1-28
The Lord Jesus sends Paul and Barnabus to preach and plant his gospel in the nations (draft sermon notes)
Acts 12:25-13:52
Christmas Day 2016: Now we have what many longed to see (draft sermon notes)
Luke 2:22-40
God has kept his promises! (sermon notes 1.0)
Luke 1:57-80
The Lord Jesus plants a church in Antioch (draft sermon notes)
Acts 11:19-30
Jesus calls the nations into His church (draft sermon notes)
Acts 10:1-11:18
Jesus Christ heals (draft sermon notes)
Acts 9:32-43
Jesus converts Saul, who experiences opposition, suspicion, and acceptance (draft sermon notes)
Acts 9:1-31
Jesus saves a man through Scripture reading and Christian witness (draft sermon notes)
Acts 8:26-40
Jesus told the truth when He said, 'You will be my witnesses in Samaria' (sermon notes draft)
Acts 8:3-25
Jesus receives His first martyr, and the gospel is scattered outwards (draft sermon notes)
Acts 6:8-8:2
The healthy church grows through internal problems (draft sermon notes)
Acts 6:1-7
Jesus empowers His church to endure opposition with joy [draft sermon notes 1.0]
Acts 5:12-42
You cannot serve God and money (draft sermon notes)
Acts 4:32-5:11
Jesus shows His power to save by healing a lame man (draft sermon notes)
Acts 3:1-26
The Spirit-filled church is devoted to Jesus, who blesses and grows His church
Acts 2:42-47
The Enthroned Jesus Delivers on God's Promise (sermon notes)
Acts 2:1-41
Jesus prepares His church for the coming of the Spirit (Sunday sermon notes)
Acts 1:12-26
Jesus' ascension guarantees the completion of God's plan
Acts 1:1-11
view all (134 total)
The Word of God is Unstoppable
Acts 12:1-25
The Word of God is unstoppable (draft sermon notes)
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#wordofGod
#acts
#gospel
Published January 6th, 2017
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Acts 12:1-25
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James Killed and Peter Imprisoned 12 1 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed f James the brother of John g with the sword, 3 and when he saw h that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during i the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him j in prison, delivering him over to four k squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest l prayer for him was made to God by the church. Peter Is Rescued 6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, m bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, n an angel of the Lord o stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. p He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And q the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and r put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but s thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. t It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter u came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that v the Lord has sent his angel and w rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of x John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and y were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, z a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, a in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is b his angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But c motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to d James and to e the brothers.” 1 Then he departed and went to another place. 18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and f ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there. The Death of Herod 20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and g having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, 1 they asked for peace, because h their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately i an angel of the Lord struck him down, because j he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. 24 But k the word of God increased and multiplied. 25 l And Barnabas and Saul returned from 1 Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them m John, whose other name was Mark.
Acts 12:1-24
na28
12 1 Κατʼ ἐκεῖνον δὲ τὸν καιρὸν ἐπέβαλεν Ἡρῴδης ὁ βασιλεὺς τὰς χεῖρας κακῶσαί τινας τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς ἐκκλησίας. 2 ἀνεῖλεν δὲ Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰωάννου μαχαίρῃ. 3 Ἰδὼν δὲ ὅτι ἀρεστόν ἐστιν τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις, προσέθετο συλλαβεῖν καὶ Πέτρον, — ἦσαν δὲ [αἱ] ἡμέραι τῶν ἀζύμων — 4 ὃν καὶ πιάσας ἔθετο εἰς φυλακὴν παραδοὺς τέσσαρσιν τετραδίοις στρατιωτῶν φυλάσσειν αὐτόν, βουλόμενος μετὰ τὸ πάσχα ἀναγαγεῖν αὐτὸν τῷ λαῷ. 5 ὁ μὲν οὖν Πέτρος ἐτηρεῖτο ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ• προσευχὴ δὲ ἦν ἐκτενῶς γινομένη ὑπὸ τῆς ἐκκλησίας πρὸς τὸν θεὸν περὶ αὐτοῦ. 6 Ὅτε δὲ ἤμελλεν προαγαγεῖν αὐτὸν ὁ Ἡρῴδης, τῇ νυκτὶ ἐκείνῃ ἦν ὁ Πέτρος κοιμώμενος μεταξὺ δύο στρατιωτῶν δεδεμένος ἁλύσεσιν δυσὶν φύλακές τε πρὸ τῆς θύρας ἐτήρουν τὴν φυλακήν. 7 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη καὶ φῶς ἔλαμψεν ἐν τῷ οἰκήματι• πατάξας δὲ τὴν πλευρὰν τοῦ Πέτρου ἤγειρεν αὐτὸν λέγων• ἀνάστα ἐν τάχει. καὶ ἐξέπεσαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἁλύσεις ἐκ τῶν χειρῶν. 8 εἶπεν δὲ ὁ ἄγγελος πρὸς αὐτόν• ζῶσαι καὶ ὑπόδησαι τὰ σανδάλιά σου. ἐποίησεν δὲ οὕτως. καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ• περιβαλοῦ τὸ ἱμάτιόν σου καὶ ἀκολούθει μοι. 9 καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἠκολούθει καὶ οὐκ ᾔδει ὅτι ἀληθές ἐστιν τὸ γινόμενον διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου• ἐδόκει δὲ ὅραμα βλέπειν. 10 διελθόντες δὲ πρώτην φυλακὴν καὶ δευτέραν ἦλθαν ἐπὶ τὴν πύλην τὴν σιδηρᾶν τὴν φέρουσαν εἰς τὴν πόλιν, ἥτις αὐτομάτη ἠνοίγη αὐτοῖς καὶ ἐξελθόντες προῆλθον ῥύμην μίαν, καὶ εὐθέως ἀπέστη ὁ ἄγγελος ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ. 11 Καὶ ὁ Πέτρος ἐν ἑαυτῷ γενόμενος εἶπεν• νῦν οἶδα ἀληθῶς ὅτι ἐξαπέστειλεν [ὁ] κύριος τὸν ἄγγελον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐξείλατό με ἐκ χειρὸς Ἡρῴδου καὶ πάσης τῆς προσδοκίας τοῦ λαοῦ τῶν Ἰουδαίων. 12 συνιδών τε ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὴν οἰκίαν τῆς Μαρίας τῆς μητρὸς Ἰωάννου τοῦ ἐπικαλουμένου Μάρκου, οὗ ἦσαν ἱκανοὶ συνηθροισμένοι καὶ προσευχόμενοι. 13 κρούσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ τὴν θύραν τοῦ πυλῶνος προσῆλθεν παιδίσκη ὑπακοῦσαι ὀνόματι Ῥόδη, 14 καὶ ἐπιγνοῦσα τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ Πέτρου ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς οὐκ ἤνοιξεν τὸν πυλῶνα, εἰσδραμοῦσα δὲ ἀπήγγειλεν ἑστάναι τὸν Πέτρον πρὸ τοῦ πυλῶνος. 15 οἱ δὲ πρὸς αὐτὴν εἶπαν• μαίνῃ. ἡ δὲ διϊσχυρίζετο οὕτως ἔχειν. οἱ δὲ ἔλεγον• ὁ ἄγγελός ἐστιν αὐτοῦ. 16 ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἐπέμενεν κρούων• ἀνοίξαντες δὲ εἶδαν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐξέστησαν. 17 κατασείσας δὲ αὐτοῖς τῇ χειρὶ σιγᾶν διηγήσατο [αὐτοῖς] πῶς ὁ κύριος αὐτὸν ἐξήγαγεν ἐκ τῆς φυλακῆς εἶπέν τε• ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰακώβῳ καὶ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ταῦτα. καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἕτερον τόπον. 18 Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ἦν τάραχος οὐκ ὀλίγος ἐν τοῖς στρατιώταις τί ἄρα ὁ Πέτρος ἐγένετο. 19 Ἡρῴδης δὲ ἐπιζητήσας αὐτὸν καὶ μὴ εὑρών, ἀνακρίνας τοὺς φύλακας ἐκέλευσεν ἀπαχθῆναι, καὶ κατελθὼν ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας εἰς Καισάρειαν διέτριβεν. 20 ῏Ην δὲ θυμομαχῶν Τυρίοις καὶ Σιδωνίοις• ὁμοθυμαδὸν δὲ παρῆσαν πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ πείσαντες Βλάστον, τὸν ἐπὶ τοῦ κοιτῶνος τοῦ βασιλέως, ᾐτοῦντο εἰρήνην διὰ τὸ τρέφεσθαι αὐτῶν τὴν χώραν ἀπὸ τῆς βασιλικῆς. 21 τακτῇ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ὁ Ἡρῴδης ἐνδυσάμενος ἐσθῆτα βασιλικὴν [καὶ] καθίσας ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἐδημηγόρει πρὸς αὐτούς, 22 ὁ δὲ δῆμος ἐπεφώνει• θεοῦ φωνὴ καὶ οὐκ ἀνθρώπου. 23 παραχρῆμα δὲ ἐπάταξεν αὐτὸν ἄγγελος κυρίου ἀνθʼ ὧν οὐκ ἔδωκεν τὴν δόξαν τῷ θεῷ, καὶ γενόμενος σκωληκόβρωτος ἐξέψυξεν. 24 Ὁ δὲ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ηὔξανεν καὶ ἐπληθύνετο.
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Sermon notes
The Word of God is unstoppable Introduction : 'That Word above all earthly pow'rs, no thanks to them abideth' Death of Herod and triumph of the Word of God. Its power is underwritten by God Himself. What is our fundamental confidence as Christians and as a church, and for the Church as a whole? That the Word of God is true, and that it is unstoppable - despite people's efforts against it. That the paradigm of Psalm 2 is true. FCF: doubting the truth and/or power of God's word. Since the garden, we are compulsive doubters. And we choose to doubt and to trust other things as powerful: church growth techniques, money hacks, hard-nosed careerism, self-help body image thinking, mindfulness, Jesus is the incarnate Word of God. The Word became flesh. Truly, truly, I say to you. You will know the truth and it will set you free! Jesus vindicates the Word of God in His death and resurrection. All the promises of God are Amen in Him. Sins forgiven, the curse destroyed. The Kingdom announced and inaugurated. His rule is real, current, actual. But in the overlap of the ages, the Christian has to ask: do I believe this? Do I live with this as my confidence? If we dissolved down the content of your life, and our life as a church, would it reveal a confidence in the Word of God? How much is there that is basically unaffected by God's Word? The point today is not, 'Wow, I wonder how I can get God to rescue me from difficult circumstances (since James is martyred)', but 'Wow - let me not doubt it - God's Word will always win. So let me be utterly confident in it!' 1. Herod persecutes the church (v1-5) Herod Agrippa I (c.9BC-44AD). Grandson of Herod the Great. He was popular with the Jews, which may well explain his hostility to the way. Everything about him here is backed up by Josephus. James - brother of John (not brother of Jesus) (cf v. 16). Squad of 4 soldiers; 16 in total. Changing every three hours. 12.1-3 an early example of how the devil works his bloodthirsty opposition to the church by working through politically expedient opportunities for self-interested people. Christians so often find themselves persecuted because it suits someone's political agenda. And that person doesn't realise they are a servant of the devil in opposing the church of Christ. v5 the faithful church in earnest prayer. Earnest prayer the conditions in which the Word of God increases and multiplies. 2. The Lord Jesus frees Peter (v6-17) V6-11 the sovereign power of God to rescue. Vivid dramatisation of it here. I wonder why we are given quite so much detail - dress yourself, put on your sandals, wrap your cloak around, etc. The mention of the door of iron which opened of its own accord. Faint allusion to Psalm 107 , He shatters the door of bronze? For those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death. And why such a vigorous word in v7; he struck Peter and woke him? Is this the way a paramedic would rouse a semi-conscious patient to remove them from danger? Peter perhaps has been starved and beaten, is weary and semi-conscious and so this is unlike a gentle shaking that would wake you from an afternoon nap; rather the vigorous slapping that wakes the moribund. Slave girl answers door - one of those little details pointing to authenticity; you'd never write it that way if you were making it up. V12 Mary the mother of John Mark, who is mentioned again at the end of the chapter - that Paul and Barnabus took him back with them. So we already see these family/generational dynamics within church. Their family had church in their house...he grew up caring for and loving the church...Paul and Barnabus note this and take him with them. V17 explicit in the greek about motioning for silence with his hand. Was it that there was a noisy commotion from them? Or that Peter wanted to be covert? Seems to be the latter to me - he tells them to tell James and the brothers, and then disappears. 3. Herod died, but the Word of God increased (v18-24) Herod 'furious' with Tyre and Sidon. He could choose another port for commerce (eg Beirut or Caesarea). So they need his favour to secure trade deal. V23 similar words to v7; an angel of the LORD struck him. With Peter, he struck him to wake and rescue him. With Herod, he struck to judge and kill him. Here's what happens to those who fight God. V24 but the Word of God increased and multiplied. Where is your confidence today? Where is your fear? Cf. Communist China or Communist Russia. Particularly subtle forms of undermining confidence in the Word have gripped the church in recent decades. Church growth mvmt, missional movmt. cf Earlier liberalism. At root it's, we need to fix or redeem Christianity somehow, since it's in crisis. Yet it reveals a lack of confidence in the very Word itself. Instead, orthodoxy says, 'let us proclaim and live the Word of God.' One great encouragement came to me one day when I realised that, if you were somehow to remove the Word of God, there would be nothing to TCC at all. Maybe one or two friendships at best. But even most of the friendships and relationships here only exist because of a shared confidence in God's Word! We don't have any activities or ministries that are Word-of-God free zones.
notes
Translation
Translation 1. Around that time, Herod the king laid violent hands on some from the church. 2. He murdered James the brother of Jesus with the sword. 3. Seeing that this was pleasing to the Jews, he continued to seize Peter as well - this was in the days of the unleavened bread/the Paschal feast - 4. he laid hold of him and placed him in prison, handed him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to lead him out to the people after the Paschal feast. 5. so Peter was indeed being guarded in the prison, but prayers were earnestly being made by the church to God for him. 6. When Herod was about to lead Peter out, on that same night Peter was sleeping having been bound with two chains between two soldiers, and guards were guarding the door of the prison. 7. And behold and angel of the Lord stood by and light shone in the prison; striking Peter on the side he woke him saying, 'Rise in haste'. And his chains fells off his hands. 8.
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