An Easter Deliverance

Text: Acts 12:1-11

Peter is in prison and James has been killed by Herod.  In these few verses there are some fantastic principles of deliverance.  The most common idea of deliverance is that God breaks the chains and a person is delivered from what’s held them in bondage for so long.  While it is true that God delivers, there is a responsibility on the part of you and I in that deliverance.  The verses beautifully illustrate deliverance God’s way.

The need for deliverance

  • The enemy is real (vs 1)
  • The enemy has destroyed the lives of people you know (vs 2)
  • The enemy is after you (vs 3)
  • The enemy has you (vs 4)
    • Injustice may be his weapon, but usually, it is…
    • Sin – Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
    • When you choose to sin, sin controls you, you never control sin.
    • When you choose pride, pride controls you, you never control pride.
    • When you choose fornication, fornication controls you, you never control fornication.

Why you don’t care about deliverance

  • kept in prison (vs 5)
    • The early stages of sin will allow you to function and live normal life.
    • The early stages of sin are pleasurable.
  • prayer was made…for him (vs 5)
    • What you don’t think about is your bondage causes someone else pain.
    • You are the reason some people are praying.
    • You don’t want deliverance because you don’t care who you’re sin is hurting.
  • When Herod would have brought him forth (vs 6)
    • You don’t care that your situation will get worse.
  • Peter was sleeping… (vs 6)
    • You’ve become perfectly content in sin. We have lived there so long that it is our new normal.
    • The hopelessness of your situation has caused you to stop caring about the fact that you’re in prison!

What the Lord has done for your deliverance

  • light shined in the prison (vs 7)
    • God will put some light on your problem, he will point it out to you.
    • He’s going to highlight and remind you of where you are.  And it’s not where you need to be.
  • he smote Peter on the side (vs 7)
    • The Holy Spirit will reprove you, bring conviction.
    • The Lord will try to get you to move.
  • raised him up…and the chains fell off his hands (vs 7)
    • Peter was free at that point!
    • He removes the bondage of the enemy and makes it possible to be at liberty.

Your responsibility in deliverance

  • At this point in time Peter is free.  But Peter can stay in prison or he can get up and leave prison.  This is his responsibility.
  • Gird thyself (vs 8)
    • Surround yourself with the truth.
  • Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…
  • bind on thy sandals (vs 8)
    • Prepare for a new walk.
    • Shoes for different things.  Basketball shoes.  Boots for working.  Steel toes for work.
    • Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel.
  • cast thy garment about thee (vs 8)
    • Get out of the prison clothes and put on free man’s clothes.
    • Cover yourself in righteousness.
    • Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and get the prison clothes off.
  • follow me (vs 8)
    • Follow the Lord.

Results of deliverance

  • and he went out… and followed (vs 9)
    • Leadership in deliverance.
    • You have to make the first move. The angel of the Lord did not carry Peter out of the prison, he, himself walked out.
  • wist not that it was true (vs 9)
    • You don’t need to understand everything. We stop and choose to remain in bondage because we need to know and understand the future.  
  • When they…they…them…they went… (vs 10)
    • Peter was never alone for the rest of the deliverance.  God will walk with you through every obstacle until you are completely delivered.
    • I notice also that the Lord was with Peter until he fully understood what was going on.  The Lord supplied the steps – follow me – when there was no understanding.
    • The Lord says to the pastor, Feed my sheep.  The pastor says, But the sheep aren’t listening.  All the sheep have their own agenda.  I don’t think anyone cares.  That is questioning whether what the Lord is doing is true or not.
    • Be a witness.  I don’t see any fruit.  Be a witness.
  • and when Peter was come to himself (vs 11)
    • The point of understanding just like the prodigal son.
    • Required upon completion – Give glory to God. Psalm 50:15