“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/The Apostles Persecuted

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“The Apostles Persecuted”, Acts 5:17) Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees, who denied the doctrine (teaching) of the Resurrection) and were filled with indignation (or envy),  18) And laid their hands on the Apostles, and put them in the common prison.  Luke 21:12.  19) But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth and said,  20) Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.  Hebrews 1:14.  21) And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught.  But the high priest came, and they that were with him and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.  Acts 4:5, 6.  22) But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 23) Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors:  but when we had opened, we found no man within.  24) Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.  25) Then came one and told them, saying Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.  26) Then went the captain with the officers, and bought them without violence:  for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.  27) And when they had brought them, they set them before the council:  and the high priest asked them, 28) Saying, Did not we straightly command you that ye should not teach in this Name?  and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s Blood upon us.  29) Then Peter and the other Apostles answered and said, We out to obey God rather than men.  Galatians 1:10.  30) The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  Galatians 3:13.  31) Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  Revelations 1:5; Ephesians 1:7.  32) And we are His witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost ( or Holy Spirit), whom God hath given to them that obey Him.  33) When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.  34) Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee (whose main purpose was to preserve tradition), named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the Apostles forth a little space;  35) And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.  36) For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves:  who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed (or believed) him, were scattered, and brought to nought.  37) After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him:  he also perished and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.  38) And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone:  for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:  Proverbs 21:30; Matthew 15:13.  39) But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.  Genesis 24:5; 1Corinthians 1:25; Revelations 17:14.  40) And to him they agreed:  and when they had called the Apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  Matthew 10:17; Mark 13:9.  41) And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.  Romans 5:3; Philippians 1:29; Hebrews 10:34.  42) And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – v17-25, There is no prison so dark, so strong, but God can visit His people in it, and, if He pleases, fetch them out.  Recoveries from sickness, releases out of trouble, are granted, not that we may enjoy the comforts of life, but that God may be honoured with the services of our life.  It is not for the preachers of Christ’s Gospel (good news) to retire into corners, as long as they can have any opportunity of preaching in the great congregation.  They must preach to the lowest, whose souls are as precious to Christ as the souls of the greatest.  Speak as those who resolve to stand to it, to live and die by it.  Speak all the words of this Heavenly Divine Life, in comparison with which the present earthly life does not deserve the name.  These are the Words of life, which the Holy Ghost puts into your mouth, the Words of the Gospel, whereby, we may be saved.  How wretched are those who are vexed at the success of the Gospel!  They see that the Word and power of the Lord are against them, and they tremble in fear of the consequences, yet they will go on anyway.  v26-33, Many will do an evil thing with daring, yet cannot bear to hear of it afterward, or to have it charged upon them.  We cannot expect to be redeemed and healed by Christ, unless we give up ourselves to be ruled by Him.  Faith takes the Saviour in all His offices (Lord, Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, High Priest, Redeemer, etc.) , who came, not to save us in our sins, but to save us from our sins.  Had Christ been exalted to give dominion to Israel, the chief priests would have welcomed Him.  But repentance and remission of sins are blessings they neither valued nor saw their need of; therefore they would by no means admit His Doctrine (Teaching).  None are freed from the guilt and punishment of sin, but those who are freed from the power and dominion of sin; who are tuned from it and turned against it.  Christ gives repentance, by His Spirit working with the Word, to awaken the conscience, to work sorrow for sin, and an effectual change in the heart and life.  The giving of the Holy Ghost, is plain evidence that it is the will of God that Christ should be obeyed.  v34-42, Common sense tells us to be cautious, while experience and observation show that the success of frauds in matters of religion has been very short.  If we suffer ill for doing well, provided we suffer it well, and as we should, we ought to rejoice in that Grace (the kindness of God) which enabled us to do so.  The Apostles did not preach about themselves, but Christ.  This was the preaching that most offended the priests.  But it ought to be the constant business of Gospel ministers to preach Christ.  Christ, and Him Crucified; Christ, and Him Glorified (Beautified, Honored); nothing beside this, except what has reference to it.  And whatever is our station or rank in life, we should seek to make Him known, and to glorify His Name.  Amen. 

More to come and God Bless You.

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