22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.
Three great characteristics of these early Christians:
They had courage. The command to go straight back and preach in the Temple sounds to a prudent mind almost incredible. To obey that command was an act of almost reckless boldness. And yet they went.
They had principles. And their ruling principle was that in all circumstances obedience to God must come first. They never asked: “Is this course of action safe?” They asked: “Is this what God wants me to do?”
They had a clear idea of their function. They knew that they were witness for Christ. Witness are essentially people who speak from first-hand knowledge. They know from personal experience that what they say is true; and it is impossible to stop people like that, because it is impossible to stop the truth.