the God of abraham, the God of isaac, and the God of jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. but you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. to this we are witnesses. [acts 3:13-15]
when we are in the presence of God, we are given a new boldness that is supernatural. peter knows that his life is on the line here, and though he hid in his fear and denied Christ before, he now proclaims boldly as someone who has Holy Spirit power. as we interact with our culture, how can we use the example of peter’s Spirit driven speech?
- first, peter has witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit, and by the Holy Spirit, he has acted in faith, just as Jesus prophesied:
truly, truly, i say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that i do; and greater works than these will he do, because i am going to the Father. whatever you ask in my name, this i will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. if you ask me anything in my name, i will do it. [john 14:12-14]
- he gives evidence of God’s faithfulness [the God of abraham…]
- he shows his audience their sin and deep need of Christ [whom you delivered, denied, granted freedom to a murderer, killed]
- he affirms Christ’s deity [Holy and Righteous One, the Author of Life]
- and his defeat of sin and death [God raised from the dead.]
- he shows that this isn’t a fairytale, but is established in legal fact–that this has been witnessed by many who will attest to it [to this we are witnesses]
peter had been with Jesus and was filled with the Spirit and it manifested through his bold speech to those who would kill and imprison him–he could not hold back the truth. when we speak to those who deny Christ, we must speak as those who have been with Jesus–we proclaim boldly what we believe deeply. let us go to and be with Jesus Christ so that we might boldly proclaim him!