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The Futile Fight Against God (Acts 5:27-42)

Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Futile Fight Against God (Acts 5:27-42)

12.15

12.15.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

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.” 33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.35 Then he addressed them: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” 40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.


At the beginning of Acts 5, there was a lot of consternation because of the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphaira – deceivers of the HS and other disciples. They didn’t have the fear of the Lord they should have. And they paid the ultimate price because of it. That brought a great fear on the church.

Also, there was great grace during that time. They prayed in the evenings for those who were troubled and afflicted by spirits or diseases.

So, in this great grace and great fear, many more joined the apostles, and many also stayed farther and farther away.

Many people benefited from the outpouring of the Spirit. The apostles were preaching and teaching and the church was growing, and the Pharisees and Sadducees started to become jealous and had them arrested. They wanted to punish them so they put them in jail – but at night an angel came and freed them and sent them back to preach some more. So, they did. At daybreak, the members of the Council sent for the disciples – who weren’t there. They went back to report, and at the same time someone else reported “Hey! Those dudes are back!” So, they sent someone to arrest them AGAIN. Then they appeared before the Council.

The Pharisees said, “Didn’t we tell you not to preach in THAT name?” (Couldn’t even say the name “Jesus”).

All the apostles agreed that it was their duty to obey God rather than men and to continue preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus.

Now the Council members get quite angry, because Peter had pretty much showed that they were responsible for Jesus’ death – but he wasn’t out to BLAME them for it. They said, “You put the guilt of this on us!” He said, “Jesus was raised by God as a man, from the dead, in his ascension.” (3 steps). Because he was glorified, he was therefore also called out on the Pentecost (the HS – his Spirit). He was also sent to be the Savior of the world.

Jesus was raised as the Savior of the world (the WHOLE world) – first to the Jew, then the Gentile.

Even though Peter presents his case in this manner, the Pharisees were angry. Peter says, “You hung him on a tree.” In Greek (zulon) = something made of wood.

In Deuteronomy, anyone who was guilty of a capital was hung up on a tree or a pole during the day, but the body had to be taken down at nightfall because it was believed to be condemned by God.

  • Peter is basically saying, “You thought of him as a curse (probably still do). YET, this was God’s plan from the Beginning anyway. This was to be God’s plan for restoration.”
  • Paul: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having been cursed for us – because it is written ‘cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree.’”

Remember the Old Covenant under Abraham. If the people obeyed God, they would be blessed in every way. But if the disobeyed God, they would receive the curses of God – disease, hurt, trouble.

Even though they said, “We will obey” they didn’t understand their own inability to do so. So, God made a way for them to be cleansed regardless – the spotless lamb that was sacrificed. Paul says that this was just a “warm-up.” The true sacrifice, the eternal sacrifice is Jesus. Paul points everything to Jesus. Even the Centurion who guarded Jesus’ body at his death said, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.”

Romans “There’s not one righteous, no not one. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Derick Prince (theologian) “Everything is provided in the cross.” – He suffered our hell for us, he took our punishment, he was wounded for us – so that we would be made whole, we would be healed, we could have eternal life.

What we all need = spiritual healing. Physical, mental, emotional healing is all appropriate as well and Christ (ultimately) has provided all these.

Prince was very sick (after WWII) and read and meditated on the Scriptures and became well. His wife as well – after meditating on the Scriptures.

We can do so as well – but must also get rid of any barriers that might prevent healing – such as unforgiveness or hidden sins.

The scapegoat (in the Old Testament) was given all the sins of the people, then led off into the wilderness and was destroyed. Jesus was OUR scapegoat – he bore the penalty for our sins. He exchanged his righteousness for our sins, and we have received his righteousness in place of our sins. What a cost.

He was punished, wounded for us. He was made SIN for us. He died. We all die. Why do we die? Sin brings death. (Genesis 2 “You may eat of any tree in the Garden except that one. If you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 3 Snake “You won’t die…” – but that sin brings death – not instantly, but inevitably).

If we receive Christ, his spirit is an eternal Spirit, so that we might have life. Jesus says, “I’ve come that they might have life and have it abundantly.” (Gospel of John).

Jesus also became poor for us. If the OT Law was broken, then poverty, a loss of all things was the consequence. Jesus didn’t even have a grave – a different guy – a rich guy – donated one for him. Even the presence of his Father in Heaven was taken away “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He died in poverty, but rose again in splendor and glory.

When people receive Jesus, they are blessed – inevitably.

Example: Alcohol, sexual addictions, drugs – when you receive Christ and know that he is enough (and you don’t need your old crutches) – you become blessed. You get cleaned up, help others get cleaned up. Jesus takes away the barriers to your blessing.

Jesus bore our shame. When we sin or even are sinned against – violence, abuse, sexual abuse – even if it’s not your fault – sometimes you experience guilt and shame. But Jesus KNOWS that same shame – he bore it – he TOOK it. He was naked and abused, hanging and dying on that cross. Shame is eliminated in the cross.

  • He bore our shame that we might share in his glory (not his intrinsic God glory) – but his heavenly, resurrected glory. He is the first of our family in heaven.
  • He also took our rejection as he bore the consequence of our sin. He = our rejection. We = now accepted by God.
  • He bore the curse of the broken law.

(Gap for spent battery)

Let’s pray…

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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen
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