Thursday, August 2, 2018

Expressions of Faith. Acts Ch 5. Rejoicing in...


41 So [the apostles] departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Acts 5:41-42
10. Rejoice in Suffering Disgrace
Peter and the rest of the apostles are arrested.
  • An angel helps them escape.
  • They return to doing what got them arrested.
  • They are arrested again, but this time the soldiers escort the apostles to the Sanhedrin.

After the apostles begin with verse 29, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” the Sanhedrin members get an earful.

Not surprisingly, maybe as many as 69/70 members of the Sanhedrin are ready to kill the apostles.

Have you ever been the voice of reason?
  • Sometimes you’re a hero.
  • Sometimes you’re a goat.

Gamaliel, one of the Sadducees, becomes the voice of reason. 
  • He gives specific counsel. 
  • Verses 38-39 are the crux.

38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Surprisingly, the Sanhedrin’s Sadducee majority agrees with him. They decide to flog the apostles instead of killing them.

You’ll note that one word in the title of this Expressions of Faith is  crossed out .

That’s because I misinterpreted verse 41 at first.
  • I was impressed with the thought that the apostles rejoiced in suffering.
  • That’s not an easy thing to do. 
  • In fact, rejoicing is usually far down on the “to do list” of suffering people.


BUT . . .
  • The apostles were not rejoicing because the suffered the flogging, disgraceful act to a Jew.
  • They were rejoicing because the Jewish leadership thought enough of their message that they flogged them and told them to keep their mouths shut. 
  • They were rejoicing because they were disgraced for the sake of The Gospel.


When’s the last time you were disgraced for defending your faith?

Hmmm.

When was the last time you spoke about your faith outside the walls of your church?
Make it a point to share your faith this week.

You might find that it doesn’t need defending!


My next Expression of Faith is Allspice and Crescent Wrenches - Conclusion

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