Summary: In Acts 5 are 3 attitudes about Jesus and the preaching of the cross. One is satanic & one SEEMS reasonable & sensible, but is really a product of human wisdom & leads to error. Only one is biblical & blessed by God. Part 1 deals with the first 2.
Three Attitudes about Christ (Part 1)
April 13, 2015
TEXT: Turn in your Bibles to Acts 5 [TEXT TO BE READ LATER]
In Reader’s Digest, a young woman told of being employed as a dental receptionist. She was on duty when an extremely nervous patient came for root canal surgery. He was brought into the examining room and seated in the dental chair. The dentist then injected a numbing agent around the patient’s tooth, and left the room for a few minutes while the medication took hold. When he returned, the patient was standing next to a tray of dental equipment. “What are you doing by the surgical instruments?” asked the surprised dentist. The patient replied, “I’m taking out the ones I don’t like.”
As we’ll see, this perfectly illustrates what the religious leaders were trying to do with Peter and John and the other pesky disciples in Acts 5:17-42. Already, in chapter 4, Peter and John had been brought before the religious leaders and told not to preach in the name of Jesus anymore, to which they replied that they could not BUT speak the things they had seen and heard. Without any real charge against them, they released them, bringing joy to the church. Then, at the beginning of chapter 5, we saw how God struck Ananias and Sapphira dead for hypocrisy and lying to God, an act that purified the early church. But rather than lead to the church’s decline, verse 14 says, “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” Moreover, the apostles preached Jesus everywhere, despite being forbidden to do so.
Let’s pick the narrative up now at verse 17 – “Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation.”
Enraged, they had Peter and John arrested and had them put into prison: verse 18 – “And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.” But look what happens in verses 19-21 – “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.”
They hauled Peter and John before the council again, with the intent of destroying this troublesome movement once and for all! But they couldn’t do it—because, as Jesus said, “…the gates of hell shall not prevail against [the church].” (Matthew 16:18)
Now in verses 22-42 we see three attitudes about Christ and His Church, and that’s what I want to spend the rest of our time on this morning, and next. One of these attitudes is clearly satanic; the second SEEMS to be wise and reasonable but is actually unbiblical; and only the third is the godly attitude. Interestingly, even today people look at Christ from one of these three perspectives.