Summary: Do our actions show us obedient or fighting God
Are we fighting GOD?
Acts 5: 17-42
This segment reminds us who the enemy really is, the enemy is not flesh and blood, and it is not ideologies or even legalism. The enemy is a spiritual being who manipulates, who twists truths, and uses our ego for his gain. Look around today and see what causes most arguments; most of the time the underlying issue in arguments is a person’s ego. What about my rights, what about my feelings, these are the issues. Most skeptics argue from a point of feelings rather than truth. The Sanhedrin is unmoved even with Peter’s most persuasive argument. The issue became “what about us” rather than “what does God want.” So I ask today, are we fighting GOD?
This is the second time the Apostles are called before the Sanhedrin. Out of jealousy the Apostles are arrested, what was their crime, what did they do? Well for starters, they were preaching without the permission of the Sanhedrin, they were preaching a message that made them guilty of shedding innocent blood. Well, truth is we all are guilty. Legalists do not want to associate themselves with guilt that was always someone else’s problem, someone else is guilty, and it is always someone else’s fault. Yet that was not the issue here, the issue here is jealousy.
Even though the apostles experienced power to do miracles, preach with boldness, and God’s presence in their lives, they were not free from hatred and persecution. They were arrested, put in jail, beaten, and slandered by their religious leaders. Being in Christ does not make troubles disappear it makes them less frightening because it puts them in the right perspective. When we live like we are suppose to there are those who it will offend, even make them jealous. Not everyone will act positively to the message, we are to expect some negatives yet we are to be more concerned with following God.
The price paid by the apostles is a public jail. I am not exactly sure what it would have been, but I imagine it to be like stocks. Public square type setting, cage or stocks and they were publicly humiliated in these places. The prison was a place they put common and notorious prisoners. It was a measure to make known that the temple authorities considered the teaching of the apostles to be dangerous.
The hearing was to be conducted the next day, but God had other ideas. An angel comes and frees them during the night; this is not the only time this will happen. However, it is not the rescue but the message. GO STAND IN THE TEMPLE COURTS TEACHING THE PEOPLE.
Instead of fleeing for their own safety, they are commanded to go preach to the people. Let’s talk about that for a moment. What exactly is preaching? Is it only for the gifted? Is it always to a crowd? The answer is NO, preaching is simply telling the message. The message is simple, Jesus is the Christ. We preach, teach, and tell others the good news. To preach is to urge, advocate, talk or lecture about the good news. God says GO, what do we do?
Fighting God is more than physical. I remember a song and short play where a Mom tells her son “your arms are too short to box with God.” Disobedience is a way we fight GOD. The Sanhedrin had a problem, they were fighting God and did not know it.
How we fight GOD
1. Disobedience, God says GO, we say NO
2. Jealousy and Pride (Sanhedrin Problem) verse 27-28
3. Legalisms (Pharisee Problem)
4. Changing His Word (World Problem)
Are we fighting GOD?
We are to obey God rather than man. God has called us to be good citizens and obey our earthly leaders, yet when the rules of our earthly leaders command us to disobey God, we must disobey men. We might call this civil disobedience; praise God that here in America we have not yet been pushed to that extreme.
The Apostles were given a choice, obey the Sanhedrin and be free, or obey God and be eternally free.
Once again Peter tells the TRUTH plain and simple. There are times we will explain things plain and simple, and still people will reject it. How will we react when that happens?
Instead of obeying, the Sanhedrin reacts violently. Jealousy, pride, envy, discord, and the like will respond likewise. That is why God says he hates/detests these sins.
1. A Pharisee among Pharisees so to speak, a religious leader who was well respected.
2. He was Paul’s teacher.
3. Probably teacher to many in the Sanhedrin at that time.
4. He makes comparisons between Theudas, Judas the Galilean, and probably in the back of his mind he is thinking about Jesus and these men.