May 31, 2015
When the Rock Rolled
The Gospel Reaction
(Advance Slide #1)
You all know me as a ‘particular’ eater...I prefer this over picky.
(Advance Slide #2)
- I remember sitting down to dinner when I was young and looking at what mom had prepared.
- I did not like the selection of vegetables….the idea of having to eat them made me uncomfortable.
- But I wanted one of the chocolate chip cookies that she also made.
- So, I removed the items that made me uncomfortable by secretly placing them in my napkin, and going over to the trashcan.
- After several trip to the trash can my trick was found out and I got vegetables and no cookies!
(Advance Slide #3)
In our text this morning the High Priest and the Sanhedrin are uncomfortable.
- There is something about the Apostles that is exacerbating this.
- So they try to remove this 'irritation' from their midst!
- It all begins in chapter 4:
- They warn, they jail, they flog, they warn some more.
- Later they turn their persecution on the entire church.
- Threats, beating, imprisonment, even stoning!
So what was at the root of all this persecution?
(Advance Slide #4)
- I don't get it...weren't Peter and John good people...doing good things.
- Helping the sick, the poor, standing up against what was evil...these were good people!
- So, why exactly were they so upset with the Apostles?
- It had nothing to do with what they were DOING, but what they were TEACHING.
(Advance Slide #5)
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Acts 5:27-32
(Advance Slide #6)
The Apostles did not change their convictions.
- They obeyed God and trusted Him to take care of the consequences.
- They could not serve two masters, and they had already declared whose side they were on.
- Had they been diplomats instead of ambassadors, they could have pleased everybody and escaped a beating.
- But they stood firmly for the Lord, and He honored their courage and faith.
Neither did they change their message!
- They were left to DEAL with the the world’s reaction to this message.
(Advance Slide #7)
People ARE going to react to the gospel.
- Their reaction long ago is very similar to the reaction that people still experience today.
(Advance Slide #8)
What about the teaching upset them?
- When they are before the Sanhedrin we find out what the underlying reason for their anger.
“We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
- So their message was this, "Your guilty of Jesus' blood!"
(Advance Slide #9)
- Were they really...you better believe it!
What did they do?
- Jesus was arrested around midnight...the Sanhedrin began His trial around 2 am before the Sabbath.
- The trial was riddled with errors and illegalities:
- Jesus was arrested even though He was not in the act of a crime...no warrant.
- Jewish courts did not hear cases in the middle of the night.
- Also, Jewish law didn't allow for death penalty cases to be heard in one day.
- Jesus was tried convicted, and executed all in one day!
- Their mind was already made up before the trial.
They were guilty...and they knew it!
- They were not the only ones.
- We are ALL guilty of His blood...it was our sin that condemned Him!
"...he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed." Isa. 53:5
- We are part of the reason He was on the cross:
- Our sin, guilt, lust, bitterness, selfishness, OUR sin!
The world reacts in anger when they hear this.
(Advance Slide #10)
What upsets people today?
- Scripture tells us what the reaction of man will be.
"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:18-19
- See also: Matthew 10:22 and Luke 6:22
Why? Why still the hatred today?
- Jesus is not an 'inclusive' God.
- Living in Christ does not give us the right to live as we please.
- We cannot belong to Him and go ahead entertaining our flesh like the rest of the world!
(Advance Slide #11)
- When we belong to Jesus...we MUST change!
- We must admit that we have been wrong, that we have sinned, that we truly want to be different.
(Advance Slide #12)
- An acknowledgement that we NEED His mercy and grace!
Until we come to understand this reality we are not going to be happy around Jesus and His people...they will not be happy around us either!
- The reality that we need forgiveness.
- The reality that we need His mercy.
"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life..."
- We smell of a life to those loves Jesus.
- We smell of death to those who hate Jesus.
- Because of this the world: insults, excludes...and even worse!
(Advance Slide #13)
How will you handle the world's response against you?
- It is really contingent upon if you love Jesus and how much you love Him.
I love my wife and boys...more than you.
- I will do things for them that I will likely not do for you.
- Why? Because I love them more deeply and in a different way than I love you.
- The same can be said for our love for Jesus.
- If our love is true and deeper and different than other's love it will show itself in how we react to those who reject us.
The Sanhedrin instructed Peter and the Apostles to NEVER speak the name of Jesus.
- Because of the deep abiding love for Jesus, whom they preached he replied:
(Advance Slide #14)
"We must obey God rather than men!" - Acts 5:29