Holy Boldness and Spiritual Authority
The more someone is with Jesus, the more that person becomes like Christ in purity, holiness and love. In turn, his pure walk produces in him a great boldness for God. Scripture says, “The wicked flee when no man pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1 NKJV). The word for bold in this verse means “secure, confident.” That’s just the kind of boldness the synagogue rulers saw in Peter and John as they ministered in Acts 4.
In the previous chapter, Peter and John prayed for a crippled beggar, and he was instantly healed. The healing caused a great stir around the temple, and in an attempt to stop the disciples from sharing their faith in Christ, the religious leaders had them arrested and put on a public trial.
Peter and John then met with the synagogue rulers. The Bible doesn’t go into much detail about this scene, but I can assure you the religious leaders orchestrated it to be all pomp and ceremony. First, the dignitaries solemnly took their velvety seats. Next came the high priests’ relatives. Finally, in a moment of hushed anticipation, the robed religious leaders strutted in. Everyone bowed as the priests walked stiffly up the aisle toward the seat of judgment.
All of this was meant to intimidate Peter and John, but the disciples were not intimidated in the least. They had been with Jesus for too long. I imagine Peter thinking, “Come on, let’s get this meeting started. Just give me the pulpit and turn me loose. I’ve got a word from God for this gathering. Thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to preach your name.” Peter wasn’t going to deliver a lecture. It wasn’t going to be quiet or reserved. He was a Jesus-possessed man, bursting with the Holy Ghost. He was ready to preach Jesus Christ! “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘…This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’”
God’s servants are secure in their identity in Christ. They stand confident in Jesus’ righteousness. Therefore, they have nothing to hide; they can stand before anyone with a clear conscience.