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"The Vanity of Resisting God" - Dr. Gary Cass

January 9, 2022 Preacher: Gary Cass Series: Acts

Topic: unbelief, Sin, Justification, Holy Spirit, Gospel Renewal, God's Sovereignty Passage: Acts 5:17–33


ACTS 5:17-33
INFUSION CHURCH  /  01-09-22


Vs 17: But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy 18 they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison.

At its core unbelief is irrational, biased and based in passions, not reason

Acts 4:1-2;  And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

This is the same corruption Jesus confronted his whole ministry.

Vss. 19; But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said

Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection or in angles.

Vs. 20; “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.

Notice, the Apostles are not directed to the rile up the multitude and storm the Temple.

“This life…” refers to what they were experiencing in Christ- His abundent life of love, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit; a life of knowing God and seeing Him at work in your life.

Jesus is the only person you can seek with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and not be disapointed or destroy your life.

Acts 5:21b-23a; Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23“We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.”

Vss 24-26: Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. 25 And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people…

The Apostles aren’t hiding out, they are actively defying the council preaching in the Temple in the name of Jesus.

Mark 13:9-11: But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

Vs.28; We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.

Mat 27:24-25; So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!


Vss.29: But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to 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.

Acts 4:19-20; But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

Vs 30: The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.

Vs 31: God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

Barnes: “By Prince, Jesus, is actually in the “excercise” of the office of a prince as the… messiah… He has “dominion” and “power.”

Vs.32: And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

By the spirit, Jesus is giving forgiveness and repentance as He, the Prince wills.

Vs. 33: When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.


Vss. 34-39; But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too 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, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”

In all his learning & wisdom Gamaliel has been reduced to an unbelieving irrational fool.

This is not virtue and sweet reason on display, it is cunning and cowardice and tactics.

Acts 8:1&3: And Saul approved of his [Stephan’s] execution… and Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life.


Acts 5:39b-41: So they took his advice, 40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.

The world has no answer for the Church except violence, but that does not even work.

Mat 5:11&12; Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Christ Our King is in His Holy Habitation ruling the nations with His rod of iron and removing the lampstands from churches who tolerate evil.

Vs 42: And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.