Acts 5:17-42 Opposition, Rescue, Suffering, Joy and Exalting Jesus…Just Another Day Doing Kingdom Work

Acts 5:17-42

Opposition, Rescue, Suffering, Joy and Exalting Jesus…Just Another Day Doing Kingdom Work

Context

As we move through Acts it is important for us to revisit the foundational passage that sets the tone for the narrative of the Spirit’s work in the advance of the kingdom through the work of the community of the kingdom as they obeyed the command of the Lord Jesus to disciple the nations.

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The disciples are empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit to be Jesus’ witnesses from home base to the nations.

What follows in Acts is the account of Jesus’ disciples being empowered to witness to the gospel of the kingdom.

The Lord’s Testimonies

Psalm 119:24, 59, 99

“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”

“When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies.”

“I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.”

The testimonies of the Lord are the accounts of how God has acted in history on behalf of his people for their good and joy and his glory.

What we have in Acts are “testimonies” of the Spirit working to in and through Jesus’ people as Jesus builds his church with Spirit empowered people for their good and joy and his glory.

These testimonies are our delight and counselors.

These testimonies are where we should turn our feet to.

These testimonies will give us more understanding as we think on them than those who do not think on them and apply them.

What can we take away from the testimony of Acts 5:17-42?

Observation 1: What do we see/What does it mean?

As we work to advance the kingdom there will be opposition and rescue and we will need to persevere v. 17-21a

We will be opposed from without by agents of the domain of darkness whether knowing or unknowing puppets.

We will often be tempted to fall prey to the schemes of the evil one within. LISTEN TO JIM’S MESSAGE FROM LAST WEEK.

It is never “if”. It is “when” and “how” we handle opposition from within. We can submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, outdo one another in showing honor, do 1 Thessalonians 5:12-26, live full of the Spirit, etc.

We are also going to experience the supernatural rescue of God. LISTEN TO JONATHAN’S SERMON FROM TWO WEEKS AGO.

When rescued, and often that is daily, we need to stay on the task.

What do we do with this?

1. Be aware of the schemes of the evil one.

2. Practice loving each other well.

3. Expect the God to work for our good and remember that our good is becoming more like Jesus not our comfort.

4. Keep preaching the truths of the bible.

Observation 2: What do we see/What does it mean?

Opposition to the kingdom will be blind to the supernatural work of the kingdom v. 21b-26

You would think that after this miraculous escape from prison the enemies of the gospel would repent and believe. But they are blind!

Illustration: Uncle Andrew in “The Magician’s Nephew” is unable to hear Aslan’s singing and instead hears roaring that he perceives as angry roaring. He also cannot understand the talking animals and only hears animal noises because he does not believe. His unbelief renders uncle Andrew blind to reality and he lives in the fantasy world of deception.

Unbelief renders the enemies of the gospel blind.

What do we do with this?

1. We expect blindness on the part of those who oppose us from without.

2. 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Observation 3: What do we see/What does it mean?

We must be clear and bold in our response to the opposition we encounter v. 27-32

What do we do with this?

1. Preach the word! 2 Timothy 3:16-4:5

2. We must have integrity and respect accompany our boldness 1 Peter 3:15-17

“…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”

Observation 4: What do we see/What does it mean?

We can expect God to provide us with what we need to advance the cause of the kingdom v. 33-49

In this instance the Lord provided a person of peace just like he promised he would in Luke 10:6

Regardless of what we need, we are promised provision.

What do we do with this?

1. We live in rest not anxiety.

2. We Sabbath well.

3. We say “no” to the intrusion of the domain of darkness and it’s encroachment on our lives. The beggar of time is never satisfied. We must learn to give our time to things most eternally good.

4. Expect the Lord to provide just like he promised. Matthew 6:33

Observation 5: What do we see/What does it mean?

When doing the work of the kingdom, suffering and joy often accompany each other v. 40-41

“Bear the cross as you wait for the crown,

Tell the world of the treasure you’ve found.”

What do we do with this?

1. Embrace the fact that difficulty is part of following Jesus.

Observation 6: What do we see/What does it mean?

We continue to exalt Jesus in our teaching publicly and privately v. 42

What do we do with this?

1. Talk often about Jesus, his word and the application of his word.

Worship!

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”

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