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Summary: In this text, we see the jealous scheme of men, the unwavering stand of the disciples and the amazing signs of God. We can trust in God's providence.

Hi, a very good morning to you and welcome back. We praise God for being gracious to us, keeping everyone safe and well.

• We thank God for His Word, that’s our hope and strength.

• We want to wish all our fathers a happy and blessed Father's Day. Thank you, fathers, for your love and sacrifices for the family. Thank you for your good word and kind deeds. May the Lord bless you with joy and peace.

• Let us pray before we read the Scriptures and share the Word of God.

PRAYER

Our heavenly Father, we thank You that as Your children we are valued and cared for. We praise You, our loving Father, and honour You as Lord and God. We submit to Your will and we seek to obey You.

Bless every father, grandfather, and our spiritual fathers in this midst, with a greater measure of Your love and grace. Bless them with good health and a growing faith in You. Let their hearts be filled with joy and gratitude for Your abundant goodness in their lives. Continue to watch over their families and loved ones.

We thank you for Your written Word. Help us hear from You and know You. Give us the faith to stand firm and strong. You are our hope and strength.

You have not promised us that life will be without trials or pain, but we know You are with us and will lead us through. You are our refuge in times of danger and our help in times of need. Help us stay obedient to You and dependent on You always.

Let us find assurance from your Word again. This we ask, in Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

This morning from Acts 5 we are going to see the apostles of Christ standing firm for the truth despise the persecution.

• Which began in Acts 4 when Peter and John were brought before the Jewish Council after the healing of the lame man.

• They were warned not to speak again in the Name of Jesus, but that did not stop them. They prayed instead for more courage to do the same.

The last 2 Sundays we saw how the Lord revealed His holiness in a tangible way when Ananias and Sapphira were judged, and great fear of the Lord came upon the people.

• The disciples continued to preach boldly and many came to believe Christ.

• The church continued to grow, unhindered by the threats, without and within.

We see the persecution growing. Peter and all the other apostles were thrown into jail by the high priest and the Sadducee party.

• The Council wants to stop them from preaching about Jesus and charged them for disobeying their order, which is the words of men as Peter puts it.

• The apostles did not even spent a full night in jail because an “angel of the Lord” came during the night and released them (5:19).

• They were back in the temple courts the next day preaching, and the religious authorities rounded them up again, as expected.

That’s where we pick up the story - Acts 5:27-33.

27Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28"We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."

29 Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead-whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him." 33When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

>> We see the jealous SCHEME of men, the rejection of the truth.

>> We see the unwavering STAND of the apostles in persecution, and

>> We see the amazing SIGNS of God, the works of God in the midst of it all.

THE SCHEME OF MEN

The religious leaders in the Council would have heard the message and seen the miracles, like the many in Jerusalem, by now.

• They would have heard it and discuss it, because they accused the apostles of filling Jerusalem with their message (5:28).

• Signs and wonders were happening, with miraculous healings of the sick and demon-possessed, coming even from the surrounding towns around Jerusalem (5:16).

Yet the men of the Council were only concerned about themselves - they were filled with jealousy.

• They rejected the message and ignored the signs and wonders authenticating that message. It didn’t fit their preconceived understanding or go with their traditions.

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