Summary: This is a sermon given to Cornerstone Christian Church in Wichita, KS over Acts 5:17-32.
May 18, 2014 - [Heresy: Impeaching the Precedent]
There was a man speaking at a Communist rally and he looked out in to the crowd and pointed at a poorly dressed man and said, "Communism will put a new suit on that man." Someone in the crowd shouted out in response, "Christ will put a new man in that suit."
That's the order and process of the world we live in, we desire to conform each other to our finite understandings and expectations. Our 21st century is equipped to change the outer appearance of a man so that he better follows the societal norm. But by putting "new suits" on, or by putting him through an assembly line of education, family life, and moral and ethical values, we help establish the building blocks for a new orthodox view -- something that quickly changes out the old standards of tradition. I think most of you would agree that the
principles we lived by 20, 30, or 40 years ago are incredibly different than we the principles and standards we live by now.
Christian Spoken Word artist Jason Petty, or otherwise known by his entertainment name, Propaganda, said this, "You know lower standards will lower the culture. The Roman empire was destroyed because of lower standards and moral decay." That is, the life we are living. We are a ruled by an orthodox, or traditional, environment that allows lower standards and moral decay to run rampant... There is an out to this however.
But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy 18 they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” 24Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. 25 And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain with the officers
went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Alright, let's walk through this together.
So the first thing we start out with here is that Sadducees are about to act on this commotion that's happening over at Solomon's Porch, because a crowd has gathered to be healed and to have their demons cast out by the Spirit-led Apostles. And already the Apostles have given themselves a bad name among the leaders in Jerusalem because they're out there healing in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the man they deemed a heretic and whom they crucified. And we know this is bad because in verses 17 and 18 it talks about the Sadducees being filled with jealousy, or other translations read, "religious indignation". By teaching, the Apostle's are not honoring the Jewish symbols of maintaining the purity and integrity of teaching in the Temple. These guys are mad, how dare ANYONE oppose them? How dare anyone publically preach this heresy? --- The Pharisees and Sadducees are never in favor of having their way of life threatened, and we know that same thing happened when Jesus was ministering... Their way of life was threatened then, which is exactly what is being done again here.