Acts 5: Preaching the Resurrected Christ (Easter Sunday)

Peter Barnes: Acts 5:27-32

(1 April 2018)

Here the apostles are in trouble, as Peter exchanges words with the high priest, who was a Sadducee. Acts 3-5 should be read as a unit.
1. We must confess God’s truth against the world.

– 5:27-29. See too 5:33 and 5:40.

– their motives are corrupt. What is the Christian answer to this? In the first place it is quite simple – 5:29. The Sanhedrin declared Jesus dead and buried as a blasphemer. God reversed that – 5:30. The man Jesus is Leader (ESV) or Prince (KJV, NIV) and Saviour, at God’s right hand in heaven. Because of His obedience unto death, God highly exalted (‘hyper-exalted’) Him – Phil.2:8-9.
2. Witnesses to Christ’s resurrection.

(a) This fulfils Old Testament Scripture – 5:30a. The God of the New Testament is the God of the Old Testament. It is there in the Old Testament e.g. Isa.53:10-12.
(b) The apostle were witnesses to this – 5:32a; 1 Cor.15:5-8.

– Charles Colson: ‘I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because twelve men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for forty years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled twelve (actually about ten) of the most powerful men in the world – and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks (actually closer to two weeks). You’re telling me twelve apostles could keep a lie for forty years? Absolutely impossible.’
(c) The Holy Spirit is the divine witness to this – 5:32; John 14:16-17.
3. Benefits to those who obey the gospel.

– there are two: repentance and forgiveness – 5:31. Charles Wesley put: ‘False and full of sin I am;/ Thou art full of truth and grace.’ Calvin: ‘an inward turning round of man to God, which reveals itself afterwards in outward works’. The result is forgiveness.