April 7, 2019

You cannot fight against God

Passage: Acts 5:12-42
Service Type:


  • Chapter 4 - a period of great generosity
  • Chapter 5:1-11 - a fearful expression of the will of God
    • Explanation
    • You may have thought that do this fear the numbers would diminish
    • The opposite happened - v14
    • A time of great searching and holiness
    • There was a fear to join them - v13, but as the gospel was preached many were converted
  • Does God still act in this way today?
    • Think of the believers in Corinth
    • At times of difficult we should examine ourselves and ask if there is a temporal judgment of God
      • Especially if there is deliberate sin in our live
  • v12-42 - encouraging passage
    • v39
    • No man or woman can stand against the purposes of God
  • Overview:
    • v12-18: Great power in God
    • v19-32: The Gospel cannot be bound
    • v33-42: God can overrule

Great power in God (v12-18)

  • They are in Solomon's Porch and many signs and wonders were being done
    • Seated about 10'000 people
    • They were all in one accord (v12) - the people of God were united
  • Many miracles are done
    • By the apostles
    • To authenticate God's servants and God's message
    • An answer to an earlier prayer - 4:29-30
  • It is ludicrous to think the religious elite would stand against such men and against God
    • They are full of envy
    • They are full of indignation (v16)
      • The multitudes came ... and all were healed
      • Yet the sadducees are only concerned for themselves
  • Application:
    • Don't fall into similar sins:
      • A lust for power
      • An attempt to discredit an opponent
    • These are devilish - cf James
      • Are we content to be thankful just to be a doorkeeper in the House of the Lord
      • We need to consider out motives
    • The apostles do not stand upon their rights but submit to persecution

The Gospel cannot be bound (v19-32)

  • God's people will always witness
  • A remarkable occurrence
    • An angel brings them out of prison
    • They are commanded to stand in the temple ... and speak "all the words of this life"
    • Preach a full message
    • The Officers and guards come and 'arrest them again' - trying to move against God even in these remarkable events
    • Three supernatural deliverances - Acts 5, 12 & 16
  • Do these things happen today?
    • Example of John Patten
    • Do you believe that God can protect His people?
    • Do you believe that when God chooses to, He delivers them?
  • The religious leaders could not stand it
    • The apostles answered they should obey God rather than men
    • They do not stop preaching God - a great many of the priests (those opposed to God) were saved - 6:7
    • There is a great work of God that the apostles are merely witness to
    • It is foolish to fight against God if He is working in powerful ways
  • Application:
    • Why did they have such power?
      • United prayer
      • Filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4)
      • Because God was very precious to them
      • God had purified the Church
    • Are we afraid to be out and out for God?
    • Are we more afraid of men than God?
      • Consider the words of David
      • Prov 29:25, 14:26

God can overrule (v33-42)

  • The sadducees plotted to kill the apostles
    • God raises up a pharisee to influence the whole council
  • A man named Gamaliel
    • He gives examples of two that were slain
    • Faulty logic - God didn't put the others down because the religious leaders were right
    • Correct logic - the work cannot be put down if it is of God
  • The apostles rejoiced at their persecution
    • They continued to meet daily in the temple and meeting in people's home
    • They did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ
  • Example of Richard Wormbrand and a French Minister