Flannelgraph Faith: The Courage of Conviction

Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Key Verses:  Acts 4:19-20 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Today, we continue in our series, Flannelgraph Faith. Last week, we talked about the conversion of Saul (Paul) and we talked about the calling of God. Today, we’re going to roll back a few chapters and talk about the power of that call in our lives and what it should drive us to be.
1. Courage in our faith comes from above before it comes from within
Acts 4:23-31 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’ 27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
– the courage of our faith, of our convictions, do not naturally flow from within
– all of us struggle with the sinful nature that will crowd out the courage of our faith
– prayer is the jumping off point standing firm in our faith
2. Courage in our faith is from the overflow
Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
– Stephen was “FULL” of faith and power before he did the work of the calling
– This “fullness” comes from immersion in God’s Word and God’s presence
3. Courage in our faith will protect us from beginning to end
Acts 7:57-60 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
– Stephen knew the end was near but never wavered in his faith
– Why? Because he was confident in what he believed and in Whom he believed
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.