OPPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
After the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, attempts were made by the apostles to spread from the Jewish religious authorities the Chief Priest and the Sanhedrin. Some of the techniques employed by these people to frustrate the spread of the gospel included arrest, fake trials, imprisonment, persecution and killing.
THE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT OF PETER (Acts 4: 1-31)
After Peter and John had healed the lame man at the temple gate, the people gathered in amazement and Peter and John preached to them in the name of Jesus. This teaching annoyed the Priest, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees because the apostles were teaching the people proclaiming Jesus resurrection from the ideas. For this, they arrested them and put them in custody. The following day, Peter and John were brought before the elders, they asked for the source of the power with which they did what they had done. Peter, filled with the Holy spirit defended their action declaring they did all they did as a result of the power in the name of Jesus Christ whom they crucified and whom God raised from the dead the third day and is now seated at the right hand of God. They finally decided to charge the men not so speak in the name of Jesus anymore. But Peter and John asked them whether it was right to obey God or man. They further threatened them and then released them.
Effect of the Holy Spirit on the life and ministry of Stephen.
Stephen, full of Holy Spirit and wisdom, was one of the seven ordained disciples for the duty of daily ministration. In the synagogue one day, he met opposition from the Hellenistic Jews who accused him of insulting the temple, that they heard him say Jesus will destroy the temple and will change the custom or law of Moses. He narrated the history of the Patriarchs till their own time. He said the Jews have always rejected those appointed to save them – Joseph, Moses and the Prophets. He said the temple was not ordered by God, the law was not a pre-condition for God’s salvation.
They rose against him, dragged him outside the city and stoned him. But Stephen prayed for those stoning him that their sin might not be held against them. After this he cried aloud that God should receive his spirit, and he fell asleep.