Acts 14:1-7 – Witness to the Word

Acts 14:1-7 – Bore Witness to the Word
Diving Deeper Lesson Outline for Acts 14:1-7
The title comes from Acts 14:3 and is an exploration of how God bears witness to His Word

1) “THE WORD OF HIS GRACE”…THE GOSPEL
In Acts 20:32 the phrase “word of His grace” is also used.
There, Paul says that it can build up and give inheritance.
Here, in Acts 14:3, the “word of His grace” is witnessed to by the signs and wonders.
We must never loose sight of the fact that the Gospel is the main thing, not the signs and wonders.
For example, Paul’s OT Gospel Sermon in Acts 13 emphasizes Jesus not signs and wonders.

2) THE POWER OF “THE WORD OF HIS GRACE”…THE GOSPEL
As a result of preaching the Gospel a number of curious things occur.

Paul
Speaking Boldly
Learned of it & Fled
Continued To Preach
People
Stirred Up
Poisoned
A Great Number Believed
God
Bore Witness To

It is Important to realize that these things occur because of the power of the Gospel.
In fact, when the Gospel is presented biblically you should expect much of the same response.
But the “poison” responses should not occur because of a smug or self-righteous attitude.
It is neither our Gospel nor our Salvation it is Jesus Christ’s!
Interestingly, it was from within the synagogue that the poisoning arises.
Acts 20:29-30 Paul warns that “from your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things.”
Does the poison today come from within the Church?
How have you ever been poison?

3) HOW DOES GOD BEAR WITNESS TO THE WORD OF HIS GRACE
Martureo – to commend, attest, confirm, testify or bear record of something – in this case the Word of Grace.

Examples of similar witnessing through signs & wonders:
Mark 16:20 God confirmed the truthfulness of the Gospel message by accompanying signs.
Acts 2:22 tells us that Jesus Christ himself was attested to by His works, wonders and signs.

How God testified to the Gospel was done, generally, in 2 ways:
It can be subjective as in a person’s experience of a personal spiritual encounter.
Acts 1:24-26 Matthias is chosen by God by casting lots.
Acts 7:54-56 Stephen has a vision of Jesus before his death.
Acts 10:9-11, Peter has a vision
Acts 12:6-10, Peter is rescued by an Angel and even he thought at first it was a dream.
It can be objective as in demonstrating a physical cause and effect process that can be seen and verified by others.
Acts 5:12 tells us that signs and wonders were regularly done by the apostles.
Acts 3:11-12, Peter and John heal the cripple beggar.
Acts 8:4-8 is Philip heals many who were lame or paralyzed.
Acts 9:32-35, Peter heals Aeneas.
Acts 20:9-10 Paul brings a dead man to life.

Which of the 2 styles of witnessing, subjective/objective, is done in Acts 14:3?
Of the 2 styles, is one more convincing that the other?
How does God give witness to his word today?

Christopher Hitchens Challenge:
“Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.”
The signs and wonders of the Apostles, Stephen and Philip in Acts are examples of this but what about now?
What presupposition does this statement make concerning “statements or actions” as they relate to the truth of the Gospel?

We will cover much more on signs and wonders as a witness to the word next week.