St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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DATE: April 16, 2023
SCRIPTURE: Acts 5:29
THEME: God or Man?

  1. The situation in Acts
    • Earlier in the chapter we read about Ananias and Sapphira, a husband and wife who sold property to support the church.
    • But they held back a portion of the proceeds.
    • Peter called them out (called out their sin) and Ananias and Sapphira died.
    • They obeyed man (their own sinful selves) rather than God and death was the result.
  2. What does it mean to obey man instead of God?
    • Compromise
    • Rationalize
    • Glamourize
  3. What does it mean to obey God instead of man?
    • Prioritize
      • How did Jesus prioritize His life so that He obeyed His Father?
      • Did He consider the Commandments mere suggestions, or did He live His life by them?
      • How did living His life by the Word of God play out in how He loved and ministered to others?
    • Evangelize
      • When the Apostles were faced with the temptation to compromise, rationalize, or glamourize disobedience, how did they respond?
      • How did they use these opportunities to witness and draw sinners to repentance?
    • Crucifize
      • For Jesus and the Apostles, what was the ultimate consequence to obeying God?
      • Why did they see persecution and death as gain?
  4. Looking to Jesus (and the Apostles) how can we learn to obey God rather than man?
    • Do NOT Compromise, but Prioritize.
      • Even when God’s Word is hard, uncomfortable, difficult, or seemingly “unloving” (by the world’s standards) yet we obey. Since Christ’s obedience to His Father led to a resurrection, so too will our faithfulness to Christ and His forgiveness lead to everlasting life for us. Faith in Christ and hope in the resurrection and love for God must come first so that we do not start to rationalize our disobedience
    • Do NOT Rationalize, but Evangelize
      • When we sin, our inclination should never be to sweep it under the rug or pretend it’s not sin. We should not follow the world’s path of redefining sin and evil. Instead, we must repent of our sin, confess it to God, and trust with all our heart that He forgives us.
      • Then, in the forgiveness and salvation He gives us because of Christ, we take what He says in the Scripture and we boldly and unapologetically speak it – we make His Word our words because His Word is truth and salvation and mercy and holy and…
    • Do not glamourize, but crucifize!
      • Obeying men rather than God always leads to a glamourization of sin and rebellion. We see this in our world today as unbelievers go about making sexual deviance, transgenderism, premarital sex, abortion, alcoholism and drug abuse, anger, malice, and all the other sins of the flesh, making them desirable and even profitable. And the more we hear that these sins are good and acceptable, the more we believe it!
      • But for believers, we must not glamourize sin; we must not make what is evil and ungodly to be godly and good, not in our own lives and not in our confession of faith. Instead, we must take our sin and place it on the cross of Christ and let it die with Him so that, just as He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might be reborn to a new and living hope, with a new life, a new self, and a new heart.
    • Thus, rather than compromising, rationalizing, and glamourizing sin, death, and the devil, we must be a people of God who trust in the mercy of God in Christ, confess His name boldly in the world, and by His Spirit, put to death all sin and disobedience and by faith, learn to obey God rather than man in all things.