Friday, February 10, 2012

Acts 5:29-32

Summary retelling of Acts 5:29-32:

Peter and the rest of the apostles answer the Sanhedrin’s charges.  They say that they must obey God and not mankind.  They do acknowledge that it was the Sanhedrin who called for the crucifixion of Jesus, but that God – the God of the patriarchs – raised Jesus back to life.  They also say that all of this was to open the door for genuine repentance of sins and then for the forgiveness of sins.  Finally, they conclude by affirming that they are a witness to these things – in addition to the Hoy Spirit that has been given to them.

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
Notice that the beginning of our passage for the day is “Peter and the other apostles.”  Yes, Peter is given specific name – after all, Peter does mean “rock” and he does become the cornerstone of the early church.  But what this passage is showing us is the unified position of the apostles.  (Remember unified doesn’t mean they are clones of each other, just individuals coming together for the purpose of asserting a single point.)  The apostles support one another publically.  They back each other theologically.  There is an attitude of “I can rely upon my spiritual brothers and sisters.”

How important is it to have some people you can rely upon when making a theological stand in this world?  Do you have a group like this that you can rely upon?

Second Thought:
The opening line that the apostles assert is “We must obey God, not mankind.”  This is such a powerful claim, and I give credit to the apostles for laying it out there right up front.  But you will notice that the claim is specific.  The obedience to God is specifically in reference to the command from the Sanhedrin to not preach Jesus publicly.  Jesus told them to preach Him publicly.  They must obey God in this aspect.  They must be a witness to Jesus Christ.  That is the most important thing in this life.

Are you a witness to Jesus Christ?  If so, how do you do it?  Could you be better at it?  How is being a witness to Christ an act of obedience to God?

Third Thought:
I see so many Christians abuse this verse.  They say “We must obey God, not man” just about anytime they want to get away with doing things their way (or not doing them someone else’s way).  That isn’t what this verse is trying to imply.  The apostles are saying that with respect to obeying God instead of man, we must proclaim Christ publicly.  So yeah, if you want to use this verse, you had better be talking about it in terms of your public witness to Jesus Christ.

Why do you think people are interested in doing things their way and not someone else’s way?  Why do people go through the Bible looking for that one verse that proves their point and using it regardless of what the rest of scripture says?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 5:33-34
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