SERIES: The Book of Acts
TEXT: Acts 5:27-42
TITLE: “A Movement From God”
“Tackling (the biggest global challenges) will require an unshakable trust in God that can face any future without fear, a profound intellectual seriousness that is willing to wrestle with problems that are unprecedented in human experience, a constant reliance on God’s Spirit for fresh and creative imagination to conceive of what has never yet been, and an untiring perseverance that will be worthy of the heroism of the great reformers of the past.” — Os Guinness Book: ”Renaissance” (p. 49)
“…the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church…” — Tertullian
TEXT: Acts 5:27-42
What does a movement of God look like? (1. Obeying a higher conviction 2. Trusting a greater leader 3. Joining in God’s Mission)
1. Obeying a Higher Conviction (v. 27-29)
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 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.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
2. Trusting a Greater Leader (v. 30-32)
“The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” — Hebrews 12:1-2
3. Joining in God’s Mission (v. 33-39)
“When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 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. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 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. 37 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. 38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”
“There still remains only God to protect man against man. Either we will serve him in spirit and in truth or we shall enslave ourselves ceaselessly, more and more, to the monstrous idol that we have made with our own hands to our own image and likeness.” — Etienne Gilson
- Are your convictions shaped by God?
- Have you surrendered to God’s authority?
- Will you join in what God is doing?
Hebrews 12:4 — “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
Benediction Prayer: “O Lord, great Creator of our great universe and all its splendors, and lover of all that is true and good and beautiful, we give thanks for all your works and for your giving us the privilege of being creators too under you. Forgive us that, made in your image, we have represented you so poorly, and we have been such irresponsible stewards in the world that you gave us to order and to enjoy. Grant that even now we may become such faithful agents of your kingdom and entrepreneurs of your calling, that the fruit of your gifts, and the schemes of our minds and the works of our hands may once again produce a way of life that is true to our calling and worthy to represent you. In the name of Jesus, Amen.” ― Os Guinness