Sermon notes for 021509
Prayer Psalm – 111
1Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. 2Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. 3Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. 4He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful. 5He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant. 6He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. 7The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. 8They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. 9He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name. 10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.
26 Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people. 27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might 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.” 33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35 Then he said to them, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!”
They were convinced by him, 40 and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 42 And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.
Thoughts for Conversation
· Where have we faced conflict or struggle in the church among faithful, goodhearted lovers of God who strongly disagree on a theological point?
· When do we need to ‘let them alone’ even if we don’t understand or agree with them?
· When have you looked back on a situation and realized you were fighting against God?