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Not a Sword, but Authority

November 5, 2017 Series: The Power of Prayer

Topic: Not a Sword, but Authority

Sermon Title: “Not a Sword, but Authority”

Sermon Series:  The Power of Prayer

Date: November 6th, 2017

Speaker: Pastor Damian Mericka

Text: Acts 12; 13:1-3; 14:19-23    


The Resurrection of Jesus changed everything.  Becoming the sacrifice for sin Himself Jesus has brought atonement for all who come for forgiveness.  After His Resurrection Jesus appeared before His Disciples and helped them understand further what His Mission truly was- and the ongoing role they would have.

Jesus then ascended to the Father sending the Holy Spirit to indwell His believers enabling them to accomplish the work He started- building the church.  You and I carry on this legacy today here in Cornerstone Church.  Together we live out the salvation, healing, and transforming power of the Gospel through the Spirit to prepare ourselves and the world around us for the Second Coming of Jesus.

  1. The Church is Not Given a Sword, but Authority (Acts 12:1-5)
  • Herod the King delivers a violent blow to the Church
    • James is Slain by the Sword (First Apostle Martyr) (Vv.1-2)
      • Note: See Deuteronomy 13:12-18
      • Remember: John 16:1-15
    • Peter is arrested, awaiting a publicly violent end (Vv.3-4)
  • Down but not out the Church responds, not with violence, but prayer! (v.5)

Going Deeper: Have you ever stopped to think how, if the Gospel is such “good news” for the world-why does the world respond as it does?  Have you ever been on the side of trying to help someone- pleading, sacrificing, and laboring for their own good only to be viewed as “bad”?  What is significant with the manner James was killed? How do Jesus’ words challenge us amidst times of great persecution? Think about Peter, in prison awaiting a similar fate.  What was going through his mind?  What would you be doing in Peter’s place?  Is your faith worth dying for?

  1. The Church Wields Her Authority through Prayer (Acts 12:6-19)
  • More than a Dream! (Vv. 6-11)
    • The Angel appears in light to Peter
      • Awakens Peter
    • The Angel directs Peter
      • Frees Peter
    • The Angel Prepares Peter
      • Peter obeys
    • The Angel Leads Peter
      • Peter follows
    • More than just words (Vv.12-19)
      • The Church gathered and praying did not expect a literal answer that delivered Peter to their door.

Going Deeper:  As we look at this portion of the message we find the church praying in v.5 before Peter is delivered and again in v.12 after Peter is delivered.  Yet, no mention of Peter praying.  Whether he did or not (I’m sure he did), the author wants our attention drawn to the prayer of the church.  Would Peter have been delivered if the church was not praying?  (Note: this was not the “whole” church- but a small group of believers gathered in a prayer meeting).  Do you believe there is power in prayer?  When you pray for someone (intercession) do you believe God will do what the Spirit asks through you? (Remember John 16:12-15) If you answered yes, how many people do you pray for?  Are you sure your answer is yes?


III. The Praying Church is a Multiplying Church (Acts 13:1-3)

  • The Church in Antioch had:
    • Prophets bringing God’s Word to the Congregation
    • Teachers applying God’s Word to the Congregation
  • As the leadership were:
    • Worshipping- Priestly acts such as prayer, teaching, leading, etc.
    • Fasting- Focused prayer accompanied by abstinence of food
  • God’s Spirit moved to separate Barnabas and Saul (Paul)
  • After further Fasting & Praying, the two are sent.
  • Barnabas and Paul are noted as Apostles (Acts 14:4 & 14)
    • Apostle – Someone empowered who was an eye witness to the Resurrected Jesus and personally commissioned by Him.
    • Apostle- Someone sent in authority; Messenger or Missionary
  • The Apostles appoint others in positions of leadership with prayer and fasting (Acts 14:19-23)


Going Deeper: What were the Prophets and Teachers doing in the Antioch Church?  When we look at Worship, do you consider your prayer life an act of Worship?  What about fasting- have you ever either been so consumed by God that you forget to eat or set aside time to not eat for focus on prayer life?  Was Barnabas an apostle in the same sense as Paul or the other disciples who were with Jesus? Why did Antioch Church send Barnabas and Paul out?  Would you go? We may not be called to the Mission Field on a Global scale, but we are called and commissioned by our Church (Cornerstone) to go into our local Mission Field and share Jesus.  How often does God lead you to talk with someone, or give to something- to go outside of your comfort zone and represent Him?  How eager and faithful are you?

More in The Power of Prayer

November 26, 2017

Stay the Course (Part 2)

November 12, 2017

Stay the Course (Part 1)

October 29, 2017

When Visions Collide