Sermon Notes 3/13/22 “Surprised by God”

Acts 12:1-25 “Surprised by God”
“When I expected good, then evil came; When I waited for light, then darkness came .” Job 30:26 (NASB)
Key Verses – Peter jailed for the 3rd time (cf. Acts 4: 1-23; 5:17-30)
Acts 12:4-5 (NASB) *The disciples were praying ‘fervently’ for an urgent need
“When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of sol- diers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. 5 So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.”
Acts 12:11-12 (NASB) *The disciples even held a prayer meeting to pray for Peter
“When Peter came to himself, he said, ‘Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.‘ 12 And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.”
Acts 12: 13-16(NASB) *And yet when God answered their prayer they were “amazed!” “When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
15 They said to her, ‘You are out of your mind!’ But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, ‘It is his angel.’ 16 But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed.”
*Note: Were the disciples praying with insufficient faith or perhaps with wrong motives??
Key x-References-Hoping better than expecting- Surprise better than disappointment
Mark 11:24 (NASB) *We pray believing that God CAN answer our prayer
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
James 1:5-8 (excerpts NAS) *Our confidence is in God’s omnipotence (cf. Dan. 3-16-18) “But he must ask in faith without any doubting…7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.”
1 John 5:14 (NASB) *God chooses to answer based on His own sovereign will
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Note: Our confidence is based on correctly discerning His will for us
Luke 22:41-43 (NASB) *Our Lord’s example of how to pray in the will of God
“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Note: Believing and hoping vs expecting allows us to be surprised by God
1 Peter 4:4-5 (NASB) *Our God is a God of surprises—some of them are us!
“In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” *Note: Surprised by God, we are able to surprise the world!
“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God
of my salvation. My God will hear me.”
Micah 7:7 (NASB)
The Book of Acts Series #26 3/13/22
The Birth and Expansion of the Church of Jesus Christ “…you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (NASB)
Introduction – The transitional nature of the Book of Acts 1:1-5 I. Christian witness in Jerusalem 1:6-8:3
A. The Risen Lord – The 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection & ascension 1:6-26 B. Pentecost – Outpouring of the Holy Spirit – The birthday of the Church 2:1-47 C. Healing the lame man in the Temple, Peter’s 2nd Sermon 3:1-26
D. The beginning of persecution 4:1-37
E. Purging from within, more persecution from without 5:1-41 F. Choosing co-laborers – The first deacons 6:1-7
G. Stephen – a deacon and the first Christian martyr 6:8-8:3
II. Christian witness in Palestine and Syria 8:4-12:25
A. The Church Scattered by persecution 8:4-40
B. The Conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus 9:1-31
C. Peter’s ministry – The “grafting in” of the Gentiles 9:32-10:48
D. Breaking down prejudice and social barriers takes time 11:1-30
E. The persecution of the Church continues under King Herod 12:1-25

  1. The death of James and the arrest of Peter 12:1-5 2. The deliverance of Peter from prison 12:6-19
    a. The miraculous deliverance of Peter from a closely guarded cell 12:6-8
    b. Peter’s reaction to his deliverance—he thought it was a dream! 12:9-10 c. When Peter “came to his senses” he realized it was an angel of God 11-12 d. The reaction of the disciples to Peter’s deliverance 12:13-17
    e. The reaction of Herod to Peter’s deliverance 12:18-19
  2. The death of King Herod 12:20-23
  3. The focus on the Christian Church shifts from Jerusalem to Antioch 12:24-25
    III. Christian witness to the uttermost part of the earth 13:1-28:31 A. The First Missionary Journey 13:1-14:28
    B. The Council at Jerusalem 15:1-35
    C. The Second Missionary Journey 15:36-18:22
    D. The Third Missionary Journey 18:23-21:26 E. The Journey to Rome 21:27-28:27
    Key Verse(s) – The Church faces growing persecution from the authorities
    Acts 12:1-3 (NASB) *Even in 1st century politicians are influenced by public opinion! “Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. 2 And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. 3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread.”
    “…God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Acts 2:36 (NASB)

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