How To O.B.E.Y. In A Crisis - Acts 5:12-32 NIV
Continue the new Acts study - Sequel & Requel. Our 13th today. Why study this? Story of Crisis - not always of our own making. How to we respond. Not waver as a Christ-follower. Example of early church
Two opposing forces:
#1 - The power of the true church to ______________ .
“The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people.” Acts 5:12a NIV
True of physical healing. But of every other kind too. Relationships. Financial. Attitudes. Hurting people find healing in church!
God’s healing leads to: __________________
“United in mind and purpose, the believers met in Schlomo’s Colonnade.” Acts 5:12b The Complete Jewish Bible.
Older translations, especially Jewish translations, emphasize unity. Yes they were together on Solomon’s Porch, but this together more than just physical. They were united in their mind and purpose. When such a large number of people (5,000 in beginning of Acts 4) exhibit such unity, it attracts attention. Consider splits within political parties today.
God’s healing leads to: _______________
“More and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.” Acts 5:14
By now more than 5,000 men and now the counting stops. Too many to track. Healing leads to growth. 2 reasons. (1) Healthy things grow. (2) Unity and growth in any organization lead to more growth because people like to be a part of such. Sense of purpose & belonging.
God’s healing leads to: _________________
“As a result, people brought their sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.” Acts 5:15
Reason for growth is that so many good things going on within the church that those without want to be a part of it! Can we say the same?
#2 - The jealousy of the unbelievers to ______________ .
“Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.” Acts 5:17 NIV
Jealousy of others good success leads to trying to hold everything in status quo. Keep to tradition, rules. Hold back change. (Not letting go!)
Man’s holding leads to: _______________
“They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.” Acts 5:18
Arrest - means stop. Quick fix. Throw them in jail. Those who want to hold back change often look to legal remedy. Find a judge who will agree with me. Stop YOUR joy!
Man’s holding leads to: __________________
“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.” Acts 5:26
Such bitter / divisive legal wrangling leads to apprehension. What about those who disagree? Always about winning public favor. Worried about majority
Man’s holding leads to: ____________________
“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name...Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Acts 5:28
Frustration because all the remedies, wrangling, manipulations of power aren’t working against the power of God. When we are resting on our own power, thinking, planning, manipulations - no PEACE!!!
#3 - How to O.B.E.Y. when caught in the crisis.
“We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
This is the key, central part of this passage and so far the theme of entirety of Acts. They obeyed God rather than the instructions of men. That was (1) Apostles explanation; (2) their bedrock. Important for us to learn. How to obey? Follow the apostles’ example.
Indicators that we need this - Which describes us best? (United, Growing and Desirable?) or (Legalistic, Apprehensive and Frustrated?)
O. ___________________ with God’s power and plan.
“But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.” Acts 5:19 NIV
Apostles did NOT fight fire with fire. Didn’t hire attorneys. Didn’t mount a public relations campaign. Went willingly to public jail. Didn’t know the outcome, but knew they were obedient and following God. Knowing that I’m right where God wants me is the best place to be - even when that place is in jail! Who got them out? Not them or even other followers.
“An angel of the Lord opened the doors…”
Notice that the jailers didn’t even know it happened and all were surprised the next morning that the apostles were missing. We serve a God Who is not limited in His ability to release us from our prisons - sometimes even of our own making! Who are you relying upon to release you from your prison?
B. ___________________ the good news about life with Jesus.
“Go, stand in the temple courts and tell people all about this new life.” Acts 5:20 NIV
There is more to these 2 verbs “stand” and “tell” than we see in English. Greek for stand is aorist, participle, passive, meaning “having stood.” Tell is present, imperative, active. Now that you’ve shown your backbone, speak out. Now your words mean even more.
MSG - “Take your stand!”
Our actions speak louder than words! Even so our actions need words!
E. __________________ God’s control when I’m not in control.
“The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest.” Acts 5:27 NIV
Few things are more frightening than when we are not in control. This is when trusting God makes all the difference. When I know I’m out of control but I know that God is in control AND I know that God’s loves me and has a plan for me - even when I don’t know what it is - I can be confident. Nothing is more disconcerting for an enemy to see you not frightened when you should be! This leads them to questioning!
Y. _________________ to repentance and God’s forgiveness.
“God exalted [Jesus] to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.” Acts 5:31 NIV
We have the tendency to read this as applying to “others”. Peter is talking to high priest and religious leaders who oppose Jesus’ message. So naturally we identify with Peter.
But we must always remember that this message is a universal message to all mankind and thus applies to me as well. I need to repent. I need God’s forgiveness. Not just once but always and forever. Ask myself this morning: Am I leading a yielded life? Am I trusting in God’s forgiveness? (Have I therefore forgiven myself?)