Acts: The Story Continues • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 38:22
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Radiant Church, October 27, 2019 Mike Rydman Acts 5:12-42 Acts 5:12-16 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. Solomon’s Portico – where the lame man had been healed There is something significant about the physical act of gathering. There is something defining about when the people of God come together. It is a visible demonstration of the nature of the church: a diverse people, brought together by the gospel, submitting to that word in both life and doctrine. This significance is affirmed and celebrated consistently throughout the Bible. Church fundamentally involves actual ‘churching,’ that is, gathering. The church has to gather, not least because in that gathering the agenda is set and the church resourced for its missional scattering. Because of Ananias and Sapphira, others (knowing their own hypocrisy or unbelief) did not want to join them. For others, their superstitions overruled their skepticism They wanted the gifts more than they wanted the Giver The apostles (Peter) were exercising what Jesus had promised them Luke’s point in writing this part of Acts was to show how Israel as a nation was continuing down its tragic path of rejecting Jesus as its Messiah Acts 5:17-21a But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach. “Words of the Life” – the full message of this new life Acts 5:21b-26 Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. And when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people. Acts 5:27-32 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 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. “This Name” – the council were very reluctant to even utter Jesus’ name “Intend to bring this man’s blood upon us” – didn’t want to be guilty/accountable Matthew 27:24-25 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Acts 5:33-40 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 it 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. “If it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them” “You might even be found opposing God” Gamaliel was not sympathetic to the Church, but toward God’s sovereign working But they beat them anyway – like, “take that, anyway” Acts 5:41-42 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for the name. and every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ was Jesus. Joy in being counted worthy Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake The joy the apostles had was in knowing that they were completely accepted and adopted by the Father. Their sufferings were proof of their salvation Galatians 2:20 I have ben crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.