We either speak and work by the integrating power of God, or by the disintegrating power from below. We need to stand by the name of Jesus in both the small things and the big things.
Scripture: Acts 5:12-42
- The miracles in early Acts confirm that the Apostles had God's authority behind their ministry (Acts 5:15, cf. Mark 6:56).
- The apostles were challenged to answer by what authority, i.e., by what name, they healed and preached.
- All of us need power from the Holy Spirit and each of us are given a delegated authority under God.
- False sources of ultimate power include money, political salvation, the occult, etc.
- We either speak and work by the integrating power of God, or by the disintegrating power from below.
- Just a few weeks earlier Peter was afraid of the questioning of a servant girl regarding his identification with Jesus' name.
- Peter is transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, giving him boldness for witness before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:11-12).
- Jesus, the one rejected by the Jewish leaders, was made Lord and Prince (Acts 5:30-31, cf. Psalm 118:22).
- Authority and power only come when we are under God's rule ourselves. Unless we place our thoughts and deeds under the Lordship of Christ, we don't have authority before the world.
- David came against Goliath in the name of the Lord (1 Sam. 17:45).
- Peter says it's only through Christ and His authority that wellness and wholeness has come. Jesus is the only source of power for salvation.
- Salvation in Christ deals with alienation within ourselves, with others, and with God.
- The Hebrew midwives disobeyed Pharaoh; Daniel refused to pray to the king; and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow before an image.
- As with the saints of old, Peter committed civil disobedience, choosing to obey God rather than men.
- When re-arrested, the apostles did not resort to revolutionary anarchy, but they remained faithful to Jesus in witnessing to their opponents.
- The witness of the leaders was that the apostles “had filled Jerusalem with teaching about Jesus.”
- We need to stand by the name of Jesus in both the small things and the big things.
- The church must continue to proclaim that there isn't a king, a power, or a parliament that transcends the authority of the Lord Jesus.
- God has exalted Jesus to be Lord and Prince. We're to declare the authority and Lordship of Jesus.
- The apostles, facing threat of imprisonment, lifted their voices to God and prayed (Acts 5:23-30), citing Christ's exalted reign in Psalm 2.
- The victory of God in Christ's Lordship is portrayed in Psalm 2, 22, 72.
- Christ is the Ruler of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5).
- Gamaliel recognizes the futility of fighting against God (Acts 5:34-40).
- The apostles rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus (Acts 5:41).
- God's Word must, and will, accomplish what He sends it out to do.
- Sharing the gospel, we must be ready to face jealousy, rage, hostility and persecution.
- By what power and by what authority do we live and speak and act?
- What are some false gods people rely on to empower their lives?
- How do we respond when we must suffer for the name of Jesus? How should we respond?
- How must we as Christians respond to authority before we will have authority before the world?
- Do we fear the opinion of men more than that of God?
- What do the Psalms reveal about the nature of Christ's authority and Kingdom? (For example, Psalm 2, 22, 72, 118).
- Have we filled Toronto, our communities, our families with the preaching of the gospel?
- How might we declare the authority and Lordship of Jesus this week?