Faithful Acts 5:25-35, 38-42 HCSB April 17, 2016

 

Introduction 

       If only one word can be said about any of us the word Faithful would be a great word to have used. As a pastor for many years I know many of the church members deserve that title. The world picks up on every tale of gossip about the church. Today the local newspaper has a story about a former pastor, and many people will be eager to tell us about that but know little about the great leaders we have in our churches.

 

1.    Faithful . . Returning to the Scene. 5:25-28

       A.   Returning to the Scene . . Irregardless of Their Orders. 5:25-26

       25 Someone came and reported to them, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple complex

       and teaching the people."

       26 Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them in without force, because they were

       afraid the people might stone them.

 

       B.   Returning to the Scene and . . Indited by the Sanhedrin. 5:25-26

       27 When they had brought them in, they had them stand before the Sanhedrin, and the high priest asked,

       28 "Didn't we strictly order you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your

       teaching and are determined to bring this man's blood on us!"


       The report came that the Apostles were not obeying the command to refrain from teaching in the name of Jesus. What a compliment to have thrust upon them. Of course the Sanhedrin did not give this commendation as a compliment but every Christian knows it is a very good compliment. Why don’t most of us talk more about Jesus? Have you taken any of the courses offered to train church members in witnessing? I would encourage you to do that. We are commanded to do so. We can do it and be found obedient and Faithful.

 

2.    Faithful and . . Righteously Standing Their Ground. 5:29-32

       A.   Righteously Standing with A . . Brazen and Shameless Reply. 5:29-30

       29 But Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than men.

       30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree.

 

       B.   Righteously Standing with A . . Bold Reply. 5:31-32

       31 God exalted this man to His right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and

       forgiveness of sins.

       32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those

       who obey Him."


       The response of Peter and the apostles came in a brazen and shameless manner. They were proud of Jesus. What He did and could do needed to be proclaimed. In fact Jesus ordered them to do it. They proclaimed they were witnesses and were only being bold about what Jesus told them to do as the Holy Spirit empowered them to accomplish.

 

3.    Faithful and . . Remaining Dependent Upon the Lord. 5:33-35, 38-39

       A.   Remaining Dependant and . . Gamaliel is Raised Up. 5:33-35

       33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.

       34 A Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up in the

       Sanhedrin and ordered the men to be taken outside for a little while.

       35 He said to them, "Men of Israel, be careful about what you're going to do to these men.


 

       B.   Remaining Dependant and . . God Controls. 5:38-39

       38 And now, I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or this work is of

       men, it will be overthrown;

       39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even be found fighting against

       God." So they were persuaded by him.

 

The disciples had to be surprised that a man like Gamaliel spoke up and ordered the disciple to be taken out

so the crowd could cool down. In the heat of a discussion when sides may be equally strong in their opinions the wisdom of it many times needs time to be evaluated. They needed a time of more calm reasoning. God’s control was said to be able to be highlighted in the process of time but not in anger. Gamaliel suggested they might be fighting against God if they continued and broke into an emotional rage.

 

4.    Faithful . . Rejoicing For The Opportunity. 5:40-42

       A.   Rejoicing they were . . Counted Worthy. 5:40-41

40 After they called in the apostles and had them flogged, they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them.

       41 Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be

       dishonored on behalf of the name.

 

       B.   Rejoicing and . . Continuing to Proclaim about Jesus. 5:42

       42 Every day in the temple complex, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the

       good news that the Messiah is Jesus. HCSB


       Have you ever suffered because you were doing something the Lord told you to do? The apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for such a cause of being faithful to the Lord. Few of us have had a similar reward. In the first century many people did not know Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah. The disciples were faithfully proclaiming that truth. Today there is a similar need as many do not know the truth about Jesus. In America we have many people who have never heard the truth about Jesus. We should love to be led by the Holy Spirit and share this need. We certainly need to be Faithful. Amen? Amen!