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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

The Old Ways Still Don't Work

The Kingdom goes on anyway.

Acts (5)

Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 5 (Lesson 5) by clicking here.

Meditate on Acts 5.17-21.
He’s not in the picture here, but the devil is behind the scenes, up to his old tricks. Which still don’t work. He sows the seed of jealousy into the religious leaders (yawn) and they arrest the apostles and lock ‘em up (vv. 17, 18). We can almost hear the devil boasting among his henchmen, “That’ll fix ‘em!”

For reflection
1.  Well, no. Satan may have power to cloud and corrupt the hearts of self-centered men, but Jesus Christ has all power in heaven and on earth – even over locked prison doors (v. 19), even over Satan himself. What are the implications of the Kingship of Jesus for your calling to your Personal Mission Field?

2.  Do angels still work to protect and encourage the Kingdom people of God in our day? Explain.

3.  The apostles are sent right back into the fray again (v. 20). Like their Master before them (Jn. 6.68), the apostles – and we their spiritual descendants – have the word of Life. Undaunted and unafraid, they head straight back into the temple and pick up right where they left off. The devil’s about to learn that the old ways of trying to stop the mission of Christ still don’t work, and the new ways of the Kingdom of God will ultimately prevail over all. How is it clear that your church is following these new Kingdom ways in fulfilling its calling to sign the Kingdom of God?

4.  Frankly, I find this portion of chapter 5 rather comical. When you look at it as a contest between Satan and the Lord, it’s a joke. Satan has learned nothing. He has no real power over the Kingdom of God. His old ways are as dumb and useless as ever. But he’s still after it. He never quits. How can we tell when Satan, by his wiles and deception, is getting the best of our churches?

5. Based on what we’ve seen thus far in this chapter, how should churches today expect to fulfill their callings as signs of the Kingdom of God?

The adversary has many ways to try to stop the ongoing work of Christ, but the Lord has more resources and power to defeat him again and again. The church needs to draw on that power by pursuing holiness, going out to serve their community, being willing to suffer if necessary, and staying on task with our mission. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the highest rating, how would you rate your church’s dependence on the Holy Spirit for realizing more of the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God?

Closing Prayer
Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The goodness of God endures continually.
Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
You love evil more than good,
Lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah
You love all devouring words,
You deceitful tongue.
God shall likewise destroy you forever;
He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place,
And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
The righteous also shall see and fear,
And shall laugh at him, saying,
“Here is the man who did not make God his strength,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches,
And strengthened himself in his wickedness.”
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.

Psalm 52.1-8

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. For more insight into His work in our here and now, order the book,
The Kingship of Jesus, from our online store by clicking here.

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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