“Fighting God or Fearless of People?”

April 27, 2008   Acts 5:27-33,40-42  Play AUDIO (mp3)  Play VIDEO (wmv)

Things We Fear

o      Fears vary through stages of life

o      News reflects fear of corrupt officials, prison, mobs

o      Fear of God gives life, security, protection (Prov 19:23)

The Confusion of Misplaced Fear

o      High priest and others afraid of losing popularity; ‘fear of men’ (17f, 21)

o      Puzzled, wonderment at apostles’ escape (23f)

o      Frustration ahead in fighting against God (38)

Faith’s Unflappability in the Face of Flogging

o      Apostles’ certainty based on what they’d witnessed (30ff)

o      God ‘for them’: angel gave reassurance (19; Rom 8:31,35,37)

Clear Priorities and Crazy Perseverance

o      Along with greatness, God’s goodness in giving forgiveness, Holy Spirit (31f; Jn 14:23)

o      Flogging backfired – joy at being counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name (40f)

o      John / Peter / Paul viewed sufferings as sharing in Christ’s afflictions (Rev 1:9; 1Pet 2:21; 4:1,13,16; Col 1:24; Php 3:10; Rom 8:17)

Words of Life Echo On

o      Bear with hardships of human interaction without giving in to fear (1Pet 3:6)

o      Adoniram Judson’s scarred hands backed up missionary’s message