All The Words of This Life

All the Words of This Life

All the Words of This Life

William Stout / General

Acting Out Acts

 

All The Words of This Life

 

Acts 5:17–18 NKJV

Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation,

and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison.

  • They were filled with indignation
  • Why were the high priests indignant?
  • Some versions say they were filled with “jealousy”
  • The healing of many people and the growing acclaim of the apostles lead to their arrest, just like healing the lame man lead to the first arrest
  • First Peter had healed the lame man. Now all the apostles were doing signs and wonders
  • As we have said many times “not everyone will be happy when you do good”
  • There are many reasons people resist when God is working
  • Jealousy – these High Priests were jealous of the success of the Apostles in winning people to God
  • Lives were being changed and instead of rejoicing, it was evidence that the existing methods were not leading to changed lives –
  • As Jesus had instructed the lepers to go show yourselves to the priests

 

Mark 1:44 NKJV

and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

  • In addition to jealousy, some people get angry because your good calls attention to their evil
  • You may not notice how bad someone is, until someone else starts setting a good example
  • People make up many reasons to justify their contempt for God –

They Put them in the Common Prison

  • They were out in “prison” a way of “binding them” or stopping them, and others from their purpose
  • It is still the same today – the enemy desires to hinder our purpose
  • So many countries have laws forbidding people to evangelize for Jesus
  • Many places have laws and policies making it difficult for Christians (India’s subsidies for example)
  • Even here there are many public and private examples of people resisting, becoming indignant when God’s Word is preached
  • even the food bank, operated by the Catholic Church, has impeded our efforts to share the gospel
  • Many other examples of laws and policies being promoted to shackle the Word
  • But what is it that all these people were and are angry about?
  • In our case, we serve free food to hungry kids and tell teach positive moral virtues. What is t he problem with that?
  • In the case at hand, the apostles were healing people of diseases and performing miracles that no one else was able to do.
  • People express faith in Jesus Christ and their lives change for the better – according to their own accounts
  • The fact that there is so much opposition should be proof that the Gospel is divine

Acts 5:19–20 NKJV

But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said,

“Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”

 

  • An angel of the Lord opened the door –
  • This happened “at night”
  • when things seem darkest – your breakthrough comes
  • When things are dark, you may not be able to see how your deliverance can come
  • It was at night, when they could not see, God could see just fine
  • God sent and angel – a messenger
  • God still has a lot of messengers in this would – The bible says many of us have entertained them without even knowing it.
  • Don’t be moved by your circumstances , or by what you can see

2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

  • We walk by faith
  • For instance when we started this ministry –
  • We had some misfortune – we could not see how it was going to work
  • It was in the night – the dark – God delivered us in a way I could not have imagined.
  • God is not limited to the resources and methods that you are aware of

God speak to the people “All the Words of this Life”

  • The were rescued for a reason
  • It was not to go hide in a cave
  • You were saved from death, and you were saved for a reason!
  • God has a purpose for you – Go tell all the world

 

Isaiah 60:1–3 NKJV

1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.

3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

 

  • Arise and Shine! We are the saved of the Lord
  • You should never be ashamed of your salvation –
  • Too many people are content to hide their lights under a bushel
  • Sometimes after we have endured persecution or trouble, when the Lord delivers us, we think, “I don’t want to do that again”
  • Many people, after they get loosed from the snare won’t go back out into the harvest
  • But the Lord says “Go speak to the people! Tell them all the Words of this life!
  • It is through “Words” that people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ
  • Paul said “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…”

Isaiah 62:6–7 NKJV

6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,

7 And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

  • Are we seeing a pattern here so far?
  • Christians have power from God
  • Christians wait on Jesus
  • Christians stay in “one accord” (set aside their differences)
  • Christians “witness” for Jesus – the whole truth of the gospel
  • Christians do good works – including miracles by faith
  • Christians are not moved by threats or intimidation
  • They are not moved to run away and they are not moved to retaliate
  • Christians are moved by faith
  • Christians trust God and rejoice, even in suffering
  • Christians use every opportunity to share the Gospel of salvation
  • Everywhere, in every situation, when people are looking at them with praise, and when people are looking at them with contempt, they take opportunity to glorify Jesus
  • Are we Christians today? These should be our examples

Acts 5:21–25 NKJV

And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.

But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported,

saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!”

Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be.

So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”

  • When they heard from the angel, they obeyed
  • They went early in the morning, like Abraham when God called him to offer Isaac…
  • How many of us, when we hear from God, begin to reason within ourselves
  • Thank God for our ability to reason, but the foolishness of God is wiser than men
  • When we hear from Him, we need to obey

Acts 5:26–32 NKJV

Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned.

And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them,

saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.

Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

  • And so, here we see the pattern repeating, as it did the last time they were arrested
  • again they are reminded that they were commanded not to teach in His name
  • Again Peter reminded them that they have decided to obey God rather than men
  • How many people claim to believe these things, until it come time to put it into practice?
  • Most people don’t even need to be threatened with prison or death these days, just the idea of being unpopular or embarrassed is enough to silence them
  • They even reason within themselves that they are not denying Jesus by their silence, they just aren’t being offensive
  • But that is not the pattern we see in the early Church – if so there wouldn’t be a church
  • They (and we) were told to “go and speak to the people” – Who are you telling?

God raised up Jesus – Prince and Savior

  • Again, even in the face of threats, they go right on to the gospel
  • The didn’t just stop with saying we like Jesus
  • The also said “He is the Prince and Savior”
  • They went on to call people to repentance
  • We must not forsake this word
  • And forgiveness of sins
  • If people don’t think they have sinned how can they be forgiven?

1 John 1:8–9 NKJV

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Acts 5:33–40 NKJV

When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them.

Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while.

And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men.

For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.

After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.

And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;

but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”

And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

  • When you continue to honor God, not only do people get angry, sometimes they plot against you
  • They intended to kill them- But God
  • God had a person in their midst who spoke up
  • there was no evidence that Gamaliel was even a Christian
  • You don’t know who God will use to help you
  • But you can be sure that He always has people in places that He is able to move
  • Even in the midst of the enemies clan (we have also seen examples like this)
  • If it is God you cannot overthrow it –
  • these are wise words than many Christians would do well to heed

Acts 5:40–42 NKJV

And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

 

  • Even when beaten – they rejoiced –
  • Not because they were beaten – but because God had chosen them
  • Sometimes we Christians of today should rejoice in places we are used to complaining
  • If we suffer for doing good happy are we
  • And daily in the temple and in every house they did not cease
  • do not cease to teach and to preach His name

 

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