Summary: Our faith will be tested. The question is can we stand up to the test?
Text: Acts 5:27-32
Title: Faith on Trial
Introduction: (play Perry Mason track) Raymond Burr (the eponymous attorney Perry Mason), Barbara Hale (Perry’s very capable private and proper secretary Della Street), William Hopper (Perry’s detective of choice Paul Drake), Connie Cezon (Perry’s perky receptionist Gertrude “Gertie” Lade), William Talman (Perry’s most frequent and always defeated adversary District Attorney Hamilton Burger), and Ray Collins (the crafty and irascible Police Detective Lt. Arthur Tragg). In the text today the apostles’ faith is being placed on trial again. But it is important to remember, “ A faith not worth testing, is not worth having.” The purpose of the sermon today is
I. The Council’s Interrogation (interrogation – to examine by questioning formally or officially) (27-28)
• The apostles were guilty of disobeying an order of the Sanhedrin. But they hardly made the leaders “guilty of this man’s blood.” Not long before, this very crowd made themselves responsible, shouting, “Let His blood be on us and on our children” (Matt. 27:25).
• ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine—noble testimony to the success of their preaching, and (for the reason mentioned on Ac 4:4) to the truth of their testimony, from reluctant lips!
II. The Apostles’ Vindication (vindication – to provide justification or support for) (29-32)
• Must – as expressing compulsion, necessity, or inevitability in an event it is necessary, one must, one has to
• Must – that which must be done from a sense of duty
• The Apostles did not change their convictions (Acts 4:19–20). They obeyed God and trusted Him to take care of the consequences. They could not serve two masters, and they had already declared whose side they were on.
III. The Council’s Deliberation (deliberation – discussion and consideration of all sides of an issue) (33-39)
• Gamaliel and his wisdom…(33-35, 38-39)
• The Council’s Verdict – The Apostles’ Liberation (liberation – freedom) (40-41)
• Had they been diplomats instead of ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20), they could have pleased everybody and escaped a beating. But they stood firmly for the Lord, and He honored their courage and faith.
• 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
• Galatians 6:17 (New Living Translation), “For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus.”
• 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (read)
Conclusion – “What say ye?” I think I will call a few witnesses…
…Woman with the issue of blood…the 10 lepers…Jairus’ daughter…man with a withered hand…Peter’s mother-in-law with a fever...Blind Bartimaeus…Lazarus…Is there anybody here who can be a witness about our God and His power????