Summary: Lordship requires our allegiance be first and foremost to the authority and call of God.


ACTS 5:17-32

“Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!”(Acts 5:29)

Big Idea: Lordship requires our allegiance be first and foremost to the authority and call of God.

ACTS 5:17-32

17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees,were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 "Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life." 21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin--the full assembly of the elders of Israel--and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 "We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside." 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this. 25 Then someone came and said, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people." 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them. 27 Having 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 Jerusalem 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! 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead--whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."


Recent years have seen a distinct and tragic shift in morality, and in the understanding of morality in our nation. This can be seen clearly (but not exclusively) in the laws that are being enacted by local, state and national governments. We used to make laws that restrained danger to the public and benefitted the general population; things like public drunkenness, violence, drug abuse, even adultery, homosexuality, and divorce.

But those days are gone. Now the laws are trying to create a new code of morality. Many of them call good evil and evil good. Now the laws that get attention are about REALLY important public issues {sarcasm}. Issues like, how many ounces of soda you can buy, what the nutritional content must be in the food you feed your family, what politically correct words are okay to say and which words will get you fined or arrested, forbidding the use of plastic bags for carry-out in grocery stores (California), and deciding which light bulbs are legal to use and sell. I know I am cherry-picking but it is much easier to do these days with the moral shift. We have made things morality based that are anything but that and we have become permissive on things that detrimentally affect culture and offend God.

The Christian blog, “First Things” said this in the opening statement of an article this week called “A Call to Martyrdom.” “It’s tough medicine to realize that principles inimical to traditional Christian morals are now deeply embedded in our laws, institutions and culture. The only America that actually exists is one in which 'marriage' includes same-sex couples and women have a Constitutional right to kill their babies.” (source:

This, of course, is good news and its bad news.

• The bad news? It shows America no longer has a moral anchor or a social conscience. Pluralism, syncretism, and hedonism have brought us to a place akin to the book of Judges where “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6, 21:25). And it’s not a good thing.

• The Good News? The church can, if she will embrace her calling, be the model of morality in our country. We can set the standard for decency, civility, and morality. We must set that standard by taking Paul’s admonition “be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2) seriously. Many people you meet every day literally do not know right from wrong. Jesus’ church is God’s salt to influence them towards righteousness and God’s light to show them the way. The need for such an understanding of our mission might never have been greater in our country than it is right now.

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