As we look at the apostles and how they changed their culture if we were to look for a common denominator we might find a couple.
First we know that according to the society of their time, they were nobodies. In other words if you looked at them they had no power, affluence or charisma that are looked on as qualities of great leaders. Acts 4 contains this verse “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished." This is the most freeing thing that we can have in our life. We don't need to be weighed down by the feeling that we can do nothing because we are common people. The knowledge that we do not have to be an amazing person to be used by God liberates us. In fact, it bears repeating in case we missed it the first time. We do not have to be an amazing person to be used by God. While most of us know this, we often forget it or maybe we just don’t really believe it. We somehow think that to be used by God we have to be something above average. Often the only requirement that God has placed on ones he can use is “o” “b” “e” “d” “I” “e” “n” “c” “e” obedience. So to you, my friends do you want to change your culture for Jesus? The good news is you don’t have to be Mr. or Mrs. Incredible or some other superhero (you can insert which ever one you want) you don’t have to have lots of money or power either. God can use us no matter where we are.
Second, they were doing what came natural to them. Peter’s sermons were a result of him trying to explain the things that they were seeing and the miracles that God was doing. They may have felt more like they were doing the only things they knew to do in that situation. They met a lame beggar and they had nothing to give so Peter and John did the only thing they could do. Ask God to heal the man and he did.
Third, they had been with Jesus. Time with Jesus is essential. How can we shift the tide of culture toward God if we are not first immersed in God’s word? Acts 4 contains this verse “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” When they looked at these men and tried to explain how they could be so bold they said, “Man I got nothing.” The only thing they knew for sure is that they had been with Jesus. Do people know that we have been with Jesus? Is that what people see when they see us? Or do they see just another person trying to fit in with this world? When we have been with Jesus, we will have a boldness that is not our own. We will have the boldness that comes from the Holy Spirit in our life.