Giving the Reason
Acts 4:7-10
And when they had set them in the middle, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have you done this?…

Let us see that we can give a good reason for our work, both to ourselves and also to others. It is well for us again and again to question ourselves as to the real motives and, as far as we can predict them, the probable results of our actions. Let us see that we can give thoroughly satisfactory answers to questions about whose real meaning there can be no possible doubt. Questions such as these, Why do I teach in the Sunday school? Why ought I to teach? What should be the reason for and the object of my instruction? Don't let us be satisfied with merely general and indefinite answers, such as, "Because it is right," or "Because it is known and admitted to be a good work." The real answer should be of this kind, "It is most important that these children and these young people should have a thorough knowledge of the life and words, the example and teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. They should be taught to seek for and be guided by His Spirit, they should be prepared for the many temptations they will meet in the world. The conscience must be made tender and able to discern between good and evil. The will must be strengthened so that they may be able to persevere in that course of life which they perceive and know to be right. Moreover, since the conflict upon which they will enter will be of lifelong duration, it is most important that they should be trained to live a disciplined life; that they should be taught that the Church, besides being a school, is also an army, the members of which should lead disciplined lives; that they should learn that a means and a method and a safeguard is provided against all forms of temptation by means of this discipline." The district visitor should also be able to answer the same questions. They must answer both themselves and others. From the nature of their work they are more likely to be criticised than the Sunday-school teacher; for they deal with those of mature years, with those who can form an opinion, and who are not slow to detect and judge their motives. Let people see, then, that our object is helpfulness. Teach them how many are, by sad experience, proved to be impotent to carry on the struggle of life; tell them how we would instruct them in the laws of life, and help and strengthen them to live happier and healthier lives. St. Peter pointed to effects produced; we must do the same; we must show men and women how those who are really obedient to the teaching of Christ and the discipline of the Church are more able to fulfil the duty to which God has called them.

(W. E. Chadwick, M. A.)May I never be disposed to apologise for any "good deed" which I may have wrought in the name of Jesus, no matter who may be offended thereby. May I never be tempted to give to myself any glory for anything that has been wrought through me by the Holy Ghost. May I not be moved by any regard for the opinions of what is called cultivated society or the opinions of materialistic scientists to attempt to explain away, or explain on some natural principle, that which has been wrought by the supernatural grace of God, by the power of faith in Jesus. May I never be ashamed of Jesus because of the opprobrium thrown on Him by His enemies. Jesus of Nazareth: call Him so, bigoted churchmen; call Him so, powerful worldlings; call Him so, cultivated sceptics; but He is Jesus, and whether of Nazareth, or Bethlehem, or Jerusalem, or earth, or heaven, faith in His name has healed millions, and not a single soul has ever been healed by faith in any other name.

(C. F. Deems, LL. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?

WEB: When they had stood them in the middle of them, they inquired, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?"

Christ the Head of the Corner
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