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Joy to the world

Hillsong Worship

Pastor Nicole keeps our summer of series moving forward as she dives into Acts 4. The story of the church moves forward with the aftermath of the apostles healing the paralyzed man. Last week, we learned how Peter and John healed a man paralyzed from birth. Beyond the miraculous, we see the impact of being seen. Peter and John honor the man’s humanity after a lifetime of marginalization. This week we pick up the story with Peter and John’s arrest. The apostles are boldly preaching a message that unsettles the religious. They proclaim the resurrected Jesus is the messiah – this flies in the face of all the religious institution believes.

Opposition

The encounter between the apostles and the religious authorities set the stage for the opposition to come. The apostles are accused of preaching “dangerous ideas.” Dangerous ideas that challenged the authority and control of the Sadducees and Pharisees. Peter and John recognizing the humanity of this man highlighted the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. The priests, Sadducees, Scribes, and temple police wanted to maintain their control over the people. They disregarded the humanity of the people they served. They devalued those less fortunate, and dehumanized anyone who was differing.

Oh The Humanity…

The story reaches a climax when the Holy Spirit empowers Peter. Instead of being intimidated and scared, Peter boldly defends his act of compassion. His strategic defense not only shifts the focus from potential wrongdoing but also exposes the hypocrisy and misplaced motives of the religious leaders. This act of faith turns the tables. Therefore, putting the religious authorities on trial for opposing acts of kindness and compassion.

A Safe Place to Restore Your Faith in Humanity…

Nicole’s message calls us to reflect on what it means to be an “Upstart Apostle”—a follower of Jesus who boldly challenges religious authorities and societal norms with the teachings of Christ. At Refuge Church, we strive to embody this spirit, advocating for inclusivity, social justice, and engaging with our communities to bring healing, hope, and restoration.

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