Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 5 (Lesson 5) by clicking here.
Meditate on Acts 5.21-26.
Talk about the blinding power of sin! Didn’t they just try this a short while ago? And did it work then? So why should they think all this pomp and pressure and bullying would have any effect this time around? Because they were so full of themselves and their supposed authority that they could not see past their jealous hearts to the real issue. Sin is like that, yeah, it is.
1. “OK, so they’re not in prison where we put them yesterday. And, OK, so they’re back doing what we’ve already threatened them not to do. So, OK, go get ‘em and bring in here and we’ll threaten them again – this time, with emphasis.” Should we expect the unbelieving world ever to give up its opposition to the Gospel? Explain.
2. But be sure of this: These rulers were not only jealous of the apostles; they feared them. And the reason they feared them is because they saw the power of God at work within them, even though these particular leaders (Sadducees, v. 17) didn’t believe in the resurrection. Do you think atheists and other outspoken unbelievers today are actually afraid of the Gospel? Explain.
3. These religious leaders didn’t believe in the power of God, but they couldn’t explain what they were seeing, and they – as ever – feared inciting the people against themselves. So all their nefarious work is done very hush-hush and on the sly (v. 26). No wonder they were scratching their heads, wondering what this would come to (v. 24). What do you think unbelievers fear about the progress of the Gospel? What about the Kingdom should be Good News for them?
4. It takes more faith not to believe the Gospel of the Kingdom than to believe it. Why is this so?
5. For nearly 2,000 years the Kingdom of God has been growing, expanding, increasing, and blessing the world, and still people think they can shut us up by a few threats to our liberty. If it weren’t so sad, it would be laughable. What is your church doing to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God into the public places of your community?
Believers will always be opposed as they pursue the ongoing work of Christ. People won’t care how many good works we do, how clear and loving our presentation of the Gospel might be, or how determined we show ourselves. Some people simply hate the idea of not being their own god, and they will not bow to the Lord for any reason, and will resist His Kingdom as it unfolds right in front of their eyes. Nevertheless, what is the local church’s duty and calling as a sign of the Kingdom?
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In His holy mountain.
Beautiful in elevation,
The joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north,
The city of the great King.
God is in her palaces;
He is known as her refuge.
For behold, the kings assembled,
They passed by together.
They saw it, and so they marveled;
They were troubled, they hastened away.
Fear took hold of them there,
And pain, as of a woman in birth pangs,
As when You break the ships of Tarshish
With an east wind.
As we have heard,
So we have seen
In the city of the LORD of hosts,
In the city of our God:
God will establish it forever.
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.
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