Session 11 — “Being the Church,” A Bible study of the Book of Acts

I am excited to offer you a video Bible study of the Book of Acts, and I invite you to watch the video of “Being the Church” on Youtube OR Vimeo . . . for Vimeo, see the link in the Blogroll in the right column on my blog screen. Just as with my sermons, I’ll post notes to accompany each Bible study video.

Review of the study thus far

— Jesus’ briefing on the Holy Spirit in John 14-17

— The promise for which they were to wait

— Fulfilled in Acts 2

— Peter’s sermon, boldly speaking their sin and Christ’s resurrection, and 3,000 come to Christ

— The beggar born lame is healed, Peter speaks again of Christ’s resurrection and their sin, and 5,000 come to Christ

— Peter, John and the beggar are brought before the Sanhedrin

— Do not speak this name or do anything in this name

— Should we obey God or you? You be the judge!

—We cannot stop speaking of what we have seen and heard

— The bond-servants of the Lord ask for greater boldness to speak,

and God answers their prayer!

— Contrast between Barnabas, who gives all, and Ananias and Sapphira, who lie about their offering, and the consequences.

Now, Session 11 — Acts 5:12-32

Verse 12 — The judgment of God toward Ananias and Sapphira does not slow the growth of the church, and signs and wonders continue to follow the proclamation of the gospel.

All are OF one accord (again, the divine nature), so all they do is OF one accord. They are on Solomon’s porch, to save their countrymen. Boldness! The prayer of 4:30 continues to be answered by the Lord. He stretches out His hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders!

Verse 13 — Those who were not OF them did not dare to associate WITH them, because of God’s judgment upon Ananias and Sapphira, though the apostles were highly esteemed.

NOTE: The people esteem them, but NOT the high priest and his associates — again, the Sadducees, who do not believe in resurrection which is being boldly taught.

Verses 14-15 — Multitudes continue to come to faith, both men and women. God’s striking down of Ananias and Sapphira does not keep others from coming to Christ.

The sick are even carried to the streets, laid on cots or pallets, in the hopes that Peter’s shadow would fall on them. Though this verse doesn’t expressly say it, they are healed (see Verse 16). It is not Peter’s shadow that heals, but the power of God in him.

Verse 16 — People from cities outside Jerusalem were coming with sick and demon-possessed people, and ALL were being healed! ALL!

Verses 17-18 — Of course, persecution results. The high priest and Saducees are filled with jealousy, because the people are seeking the apostles (and not them) in the same way they sought Jesus (and not them). So they throw them (all 12) in jail.

Verses 19-20 — But an angel comes, opens the gates of the prison and takes them out, with this instruction:  “Go, stand and speak to the people in the Temple the whole message (all the words, literal translation) of this Life.”

This message is for us:

GO: Do not stay in your pew. Go! Do not hide in your room. Receive power from on high, be filled, so you cannot help but speak about what you have seen and heard!
STAND: Continue, present the Gospel, be strong!

SPEAK ALL THE WORDS: Don’t leave anything out — sin, righteousness, the coming judgment, the truth that they have sinned, that Christ had to die for THEIR sin, and that there is no other name by which they MUST be saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to God! Repent and turn to Jesus, so your sins are wiped away! You will experience times — moments in time — of revival, and the Father will send Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit!

OF THIS LIFE: Capital “L!” Zoe in the Greek, Life as God has it, God’s eternal Life in you! Eternal life starting here and now!

Verse 21 — The moment the apostles heard, they entered into the Temple at about daybreak, and taught. Obedience is a hallmark of the Spirit-filled believer.

Meanwhile, the high priest had sent to the prison house so the apostles could be brought before the Sanhedrin.

Verse 22-24 — But the Apostles are gone! That is the report from the officers sent to bring them to the Sanhedrin and captain of the Temple guard. The prison was securely locked, the guards were at their stations, but no one was inside!

The captain and the chief priests hear and are perplexed. What would this become (the original Greek)?

Verses 25-26 — Someone reports that they are standing in the Temple and teaching. They are fetched by the captain and the officers. They did not violently seize the apostles, because they were afraid the people might retaliate by stoning them for violently capturing the apostles.

Verses 27-28 — The Twelve are brought before the Sanhedrin. The high priest rebukes them.

— We told you to stop teaching in this name (they refused to speak Jesus’ name).

— Yet you have filled Jerusalem with YOUR teaching (not ours).

— And you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us (again, not speaking Jesus’ name, and to them, He’s just a man)

Verse 29 — Exactly! Peter and the apostles said, “We must obey God rather than men.” Again, see 4:19. The Sanhedrin members were not speaking from God. Thus, they can neither override the Lord’s command nor the angel’s message from Him.

Verse 30-31 — God, our God, raised Him up whom YOU put to death on a cross. This surely infuriates the Saducees once again, because they do not believe in resurrection.

And we do intend to continue to tell you that you have killed God’s Son. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as Prince (of Peace, see Isaiah 9:6) and Savior.

Why? So all Israel, even the Sanhedrin members (and us, though they didn’t see it yet!), would be granted the ability to repent, and the ability to be forgiven for their sins (and we would be able to be forgiven for ours).

“Granted!” Repentance and forgiveness are A GIFT! Do not refuse God the Father as these members of the Sanhedrin did!

Verse 32 — And the Twelve are EYEWITNESSES of  these things, and so is the Holy Spirit. This is all according to what the Holy Spirit gave prophets of the Old Testament, and the Holy Spirit Himself is the witness of the truth that Jesus is who He says He is!

To whom does God give His Holy Spirit? To those who obey God. IF you are disobedient, you cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit. He is given to those who obey God.

We will see the response of the Sanhedrin next time.

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Author: Susan Wynn, servant of Jesus Christ

Healed by Jesus Christ of MS in 2001, in the middle of the night! Proclaiming His gospel, His healing, His heart. Author of From Death To Life--A True Story of Healing, Hope and Being Set Free. Our ministry: My Father's Place, a ministry without walls, proclaiming Jesus Christ to the world.

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