trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Take That!

Beaten and rejoicing.

Acts (5)

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

Meditate on Acts 5.33-42.
God used Gamaliel in this situation to defuse tempers and caution a more moderate course than what the enraged Council was seeking (v. 33). While the Sadducees were running the show, there were enough God-conscious (if not God-fearing) members of that assembly to check the murderous intentions of their leaders.

For reflection
1.  It is likely that Saul of Tarsus was present at these proceedings, just as we will see him to be when Gamaliel’s counsel won’t even get a hearing for Stephen. Gamliel was Paul’s teacher (Acts 22.3). How do you suppose Gamaliel’s counsel might have struck Saul at this time?

2.  Gamaliel’s little history lesson wins the day, but the disciples still get a beating out of the deal (“Take that!”). Does Satan stand to applaud this little “victory”? He is knocked down again as the apostles leave “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (v. 41). How could they rejoice with the sting of the rods still on their backs? What do we learn from them in this situation about seeking the Kingdom?

3. Then it’s back to the ongoing work of King Jesus (v. 42). Take that! What did the disciples’ perseverance indicate (sign) about the Kingdom of God? Is this your experience of the Kingdom? Explain.

4.  We note that “in the temple and from house to house” (v. 42). The suggestion of a level of organization was being established within the church in Jerusalem. There was the large gathering – the church in the city, we might say; and there were small gatherings – house churches, equally churches, with all the functions and responsibilities, but within the larger church of the city. This arrangement defined the basic structure of churches throughout the period of the New Testament and beyond. Why doesn’t it define the structure of churches in our day? Is this a good thing?

5.  What advantages might there be to organizing our churches into smaller churches, perhaps within neighborhoods? Meditate on John 17.21 and Ephesians 4.3. Do these words apply to churches within a given community? Explain.

The effect of this situation was to strengthen the advance of the Kingdom, weaken the devil’s grip on many unbelievers in Jerusalem, and prepare the hearts of many religious leaders for coming to Christ (see Acts 6.1-6). Can we expect people to find the Gospel compelling if they see little or no evidence of its power at work in our lives, that is, if we as believers and churches are not signing the Kingdom? Explain.

Closing Prayer
The fool has said in his heart,
There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity;
There is none who does good.
God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Every one of them has turned aside;
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.
Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call upon God?
There they are in great fear
Where no fear was,
For God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you;
You have put them to shame,
Because God has despised them.
Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When God brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

Psalm 53

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

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.