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Geneva Study Notes
Acts Chapter 4

Acts 4:1
4:1 And {1} as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the
    {a} captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon
    them,

 (1) There are none more commonly diligent or bold enemies of
     the Church than those who profess themselves to be the
     chief builders of it, but the more they rage, the more
     steadfastly the faithful servants of God continue.
     (a) The Jews had certain troops for the guard and safety of
         the temple and holy things (see Matthew 26:47).  These
         garrisons had a captain, such as Eleazarus Ananias, the
         high Priest's son in the time of the war that was in
         Judea, being a very impudent and proud young man;
         Josephus, lib. 2, of the taking of Judea.

Acts 4:4
4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the
    {b} number of the men was about five thousand.

    (b) While they thought to diminish the number, they actually
        increased it.

Acts 4:5
4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their {c} rulers,
    and elders, and scribes,

    (c) These were those who were members of the Sanhedrin, who
        were all from the tribe of Judah, until Herod came to
        power.

Acts 4:6
4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and
    Alexander, and as many as were of the {d} kindred of the
    high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.

    (d) From whom the high Priests were usually chosen and made.
        At this time the former high Priest was stepping down,
        and a new high Priest was being appointed.

Acts 4:7
4:7 {2} And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By
    what power, or by what {e} name, have ye done this?

 (2) Against those who brag of a succession of persons, without
     a succession of doctrine, and by that means beat down the
     true ministers of the word, as much as they are able.
     (e) By what authority.

Acts 4:9
4:9 {3} If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the
    impotent man, by what means he is made whole;

    (3) The wolves who come after true pastors plead their own
        cause and not God's, neither the cause of the Church.

Acts 4:10
4:10 {4} Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of
     Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom
     ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him
     doth this man stand here before you whole.

 (4) He is indeed a true shepherd that teaches his sheep to rest
     upon Christ alone as upon one that is not dead, but has
     conquered death, and has all rule in his own hands.

Acts 4:12
4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none
     other {f} name {g} under heaven {h} given among men,
     whereby we must be saved.

     (f) There is no other man, or no other power and authority
         at all; and this kind of speech was common among the
         Jews, and arose from this, that when we are in danger
         we call upon those at whose hands we look for help.
     (g) Anywhere: and this shows us the largeness of Christ's
         kingdom.
     (h) Of God.

Acts 4:13
4:13 {5} Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and
     perceived that they were unlearned and {i} ignorant men,
     they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they
     had been with Jesus.

 (5) The good liberty and boldness of the servants of God does
     yet this much good, that those who lay hidden under a mask
     of zeal at length betray themselves to indeed be wicked
     men.
     (i) The word used here is "idiot", which signifies a
         private man when it is used in reference to a
         magistrate: but with reference to sciences and studies,
         it signifies one that is unlearned, and with regard to
         honour and estimation, it implies one of base degree,
         and of no estimation.

Acts 4:15
4:15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the
     council, they {k} conferred among themselves,

     (k) Laid their heads together.

Acts 4:16
4:16 {6} Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed
     a notable miracle hath been done by them [is] manifest to
     all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny [it].

 (6) He that flatters himself in ignorance, at length comes to
     do open wickedness, and that against his own conscience.

Acts 4:19
4:19 {7} But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether
     it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more
     than unto God, judge ye.

 (7) We must obey men to whom we are subject, but especially and
     before all things we must obey God.

Acts 4:21
4:21 {8} So when they had further threatened them, they let them
     go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of
     the people: for all [men] glorified God for that which was
     done.

 (8) The wicked are so far off from doing what they wish, that
     God uses them contrary to their desires to set forth his
     glory, which he gives them permission to do.

Acts 4:23
4:23 {9} And being let go, they went to their own company, and
     reported all that the chief priests and elders had said
     unto them.

 (9) The apostles share their troubles with the congregation.

Acts 4:24
4:24 {10} And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice
     to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou [art] God,
     which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all
     that in them is:

 (10) We should neither be afraid of the threats of our enemies,
      neither yet foolishly condemn their rage and madness
      against us: but we have to set against their force and
      malice an earnest thinking upon the power and good will of
      God (both which we manifestly behold in Christ) and so
      flee to the aid and assistance of our Father.

Acts 4:27
4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast
     anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the
     Gentiles, and the {l} people of Israel, were gathered
     together,

     (l) Although the people of Israel were but one people, yet
         the plural number is used here, not so much for the
         twelve tribes, every one of which counted as a people,
         but because of the great multitude of them, as though
         many nations had assembled themselves together, as in
         Judges 5:14.

Acts 4:28
4:28 For to {m} do whatsoever {n} thy hand and thy counsel
     determined before to be done.

     (m) The wicked execute God's counsel, even though they
         think nothing of it, but they are not therefore without
         fault.
     (n) You had determined by your absolute authority and
         power.

Acts 4:31
4:31 {11} And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where
     they were assembled together; and they were all filled with
     the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with
     boldness.

 (11) God witnesses to his Church by a visible sign that it is
      he that will establish it, by shaking the powers both of
      heaven and of earth.

Acts 4:32
4:32 {12} And the multitude of them that believed were of {o}
     one heart and of one soul: neither said any [of them] that
     ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but
     they had all things common.

 (12) An example of the true Church, in which there is equal
      consent both in doctrine and in charity toward one
      another: and the pastors deliver true doctrine both
      sincerely and constantly.
      (o) They agreed in counsel, will, and all plans.

Acts 4:34
4:34 {13} Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as
     many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and
     brought the prices of the things that were sold,

 (13) True charity helps the need of the poor with its own loss,
      but in such a way that all things are done well and
      orderly.



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