April 28, 2019
Passage: Acts 5: 27-32; John 20:19-31

The phrase STAND UP FOR means to defend something one believes in. INTEGRITY, on the other hand, means a passion to stand up for one’s word, act or deed even when it hurts!

From scripture, we read that Peter stood his ground before the Sanhedrin even in the face of death, to preach the risen Christ. Also, the disciples did not abandon their conviction when it brought unpleasant experiences upon them (Acts 5:12-32; Acts 4:13). THE APOSTLE PETER was an illustrious fisherman who gave up his vocation to follow Christ. The empowerment from the Holy Spirit emboldened the disciples to hold on to their conviction and the courage to defend it. In the same manner, God empowers us to stand up for Him. John 20:19-31.

Through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we are able to hold on to our belief in Christ and also to preach the Gospel. Peter and his colleagues were torn between denouncing their faith and Christ to gain earthly freedom or standing up for their belief in the risen Christ and risk death. In like manner and in the face of opposition and trial of our faith, our knowledge and experience of God cause us to obey God and stand up for Him and Him alone. Acts 5:29

Our personal experience of Christ is very paramount in our Christian walk. Our experience and knowledge of Christ will cause us to rejoice even in suffering (Acts 5:41). Peter and the disciples encountered the resurrected Christ - John 20:20. Jesus showed them His pierced hands, feet and ribs to prove that He was indeed the crucified Lord. The experience of the resurrected Christ gave the Disciples more confidence in the Lord.

Key Lessons

A. Standing Up for Jesus
i. Have a personal relationship with the Lord.
ii. Acceptance of the Holy Spirit.
iii. We should allow the power of the Holy Spirit to manifest in our daily lifestyles (Gal. 5:22-25).
iv. Belief in the Word demonstrated through faith.

B. Benefits of Standing Up for the Lord.
i. We will have a rich reward - Hebrews 10:35
ii. Receive heavenly blessings - 1 Peter 3:14-17
iii. Divine Rest - Heb. 4:1,3a
iv. Heavenly Acknowledgement - Matthew. 10:35

C. How can the Christian develop what it takes to stand up for Jesus?
i. Study the word daily and PURPOSEFULLY!
ii. Live in accordance with the Word
iii. Remain steadfast in your walk with the Lord - Heb. 4:14-16

STANDING UP FOR CHRIST is a fundamental responsibility of a Christian. Amen.

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