Summary: Sometimes even the best of Christians may be faced with a particular circumstance, and they will decide (for themselves) what is right and what is wrong. Actually, without even talking to God about it.
WITNESSES OF FORGIVENESS
This morning I want to talk about obedience in being a Christian. Sometimes even the best of Christians may be faced with a particular circumstance, and they will decide (for themselves) what is right and what is wrong. Actually, without even talking to God about it.
Have you ever found yourself doing something that seems to be the right thing to do, only to find out later that it wasn’t? Sure thing, we all have.
And when we find out later that what we did wasn’t even close to being Christ like, we may feel really very foolish. We ask ourselves why we did what we did.
Why didn’t we know better? We didn’t mean anyone harm, but we made a decision that wasn’t the best decision.
Listen – God wants what is best for you.
All of the time. Everyday.
Text: Acts 5:27 thru 32
The Bible has many stories about people who make good choices and others who did not. Fortunately, here in Acts 5, Peter and the other Apostles did the right thing. They obeyed God, rather than men.
Actually, this was the second time the Apostles had been through this with the Jewish leaders. In Acts 4, Peter had already been confronted once by the Jewish leaders and told what he was to do. But Peter did not do what the Jewish leaders told him. He kept preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Why was Peter, and the other apostles, so determined to tell others about Jesus?
Because each of them had realized –
1. How much Jesus loved them
2. How Jesus had forgiven them
Peter, and the other apostles, had witnessed for themselves how Christ forgave them all with His death and resurrection from the grave.
They were all WITNESSES OF FORGIVENESS
Here in our text, the Jewish leaders are very upset.
Even though the Jewish leaders weren’t happy, I have to believe God was. God is always happy with His children when they are obedient. I believe this is exactly what God wants from each of us. Amen?
And so, Peter begins to explain himself.
"We ought to obey God rather than men.”
And that is a pretty good explanation.
It really was simple to Peter, but sometimes it is not quite so simple for Christians living today. Peter simply said,
"We ought to obey God rather than men.”
In essence Peter was telling the Jewish leaders: “I have not changed my mind.
I am going to tell everyone I know about Jesus. No matter what you think or say.”
For Peter, talking about Jesus was not an option. When someone discovers how much Jesus loves them and has forgiven them, they can’t help but tell everybody they know about Him.
Talking about Jesus was something Peter knew he had to do. Peter was obedient to what Jesus had told him to do.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…”
You could not silence Peter. He was obedient to the “Great Commission.”
Likewise, we must be obedient to all that God commands us to do.
James said it well,
"…to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin"
Shouldn’t we all –
• Be WITNESSES OF FORGIVNESS?
• Know how to do what is good?
As Christians, we all should know what is good in God’s eyes. But many do not. Many struggle when faced with the challenge as to what should be done.
Listen again to what Peter told the Jewish leaders and is telling you and I today,
“We ought to obey God rather than man."
This is a truth from God that we should consider to be mandatory for us.
Unfortunately, some who claim to be Christians prefer to obey what they read in trashy tabloids to be right. Or what they see on the television, or what they hear on the radio, is what is right.
Some would rather obey what the horoscope tells them, or what the Hollywood celebrity tells them than to simply obey the Word of God.
My friend we have to –
Stop listening to what the world is saying.
Start reading what the Word of God says.
Here is another example.
Listen to Jeremiah 7:23.
"But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you."
Things not going quite how you would like for them to? Ask yourself if you are “walking in all the ways” that God has commanded you “that it may be well unto you”.