Summary: This sermon deals with the age old struggle between pleasing God or pleasing man
Acts 5:29-42 – oBEdient
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom YOU killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.
BUT a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After HIM Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of MAN, it WILL fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”
So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them NOT to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.
A little boy was sent to bed early by his dad because of disobedience. 5 minutes later he hollers out, “Daaaaaad!” “What, son?” “I’m thirsty! Can you bring me a glass of water??” “No son… you had your chance, now lights out!”
5 minutes later, “Daaaaaaad!” “What?!?” “I’m thirsty. Can I PLEASE have a glass of water??” “Son, I told you ‘no,’ and if you ask one more time, I’m gonna spank you.”
5 minutes later, “Daaaaaaaad!” “What!?!?” “When you come to spank me, can you bring me a glass of water????”
Ahhhh obedience - Like it or not, much of the Christian life is defined by the word “obedience.” Jesus Himself said… “IF you love me, KEEP my commandments.”
Additionally, He said… “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Obedience is important. According to the scriptures, there are certain things believers OUGHT to do. In fact, the word “ought” is used 32 different times in the NT, and means, “that which is necessary,” or “things we must do.” Scripture teaches that failure to do what we “OUGHT,” is sin.
And from the lips of Samuel the prophet in a confrontation with his King who thought he could have religion without obedience, comes THESE classic words, “…to OBEY is BETTER than sacrifice, and to LISTEN than the fat of rams.”
His point? Worship, without obedience, is meaningless. Service and sacrifice, while living in disobedience, renders those things unacceptable.
Peter understood this. That’s why HE, standing in front of men who had the power to take his life, said, “we must obey God, rather than men.”
We MUST obey God EVEN WHEN it puts us in a bad position with men.
When Peter made this statement, it was in response to the court outlawing the preaching of the Gospel. Man said, “This is forbidden!” Peter said, in effect, “I owe everything to Jesus. Do to me what you have to do – but I MUST obey my Lord!”
Obedience is essential to pleasing the Lord.
There will come a time in EACH of our lives when we will have to decide between obeying MEN or obeying GOD.
It might be as a teenager - under the influence of a powerful peer-group to do those things that are WRONG - you have a decision to make
It might be that young man or young woman who feels the Spirit’s gentle tug to professional ministry - though surrounded by individuals who thinks such a move to be a waste of talent. You have a decision to make.
OR it might be as an adult, expected by their employer to blur the lines between RIGHT and WRONG. You have a decision to make