Verse of the Day Devotion: Acts 5:29
“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29
Peter and John were arrested for teaching about Christ as well as the miracle healing of the man lame from birth to the crowds in Solomon’s Portico. They were eventually released; however, they were ordered by the Jewish leadership not to speak of Christ or the healing of this man anymore. But they did not heed their demand. “And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. Also, the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.” Acts 5:14-16.
This did not set well with the High Priest for it went against their firm warning. “But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail.” Acts 5:17-18. However, that night an angel of the Lord set them free and said to them, “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.” Acts 5:20. Now, the High Priest ordered the prisoners brought to the council, but the guards could not find them. Then someone came and reported to the council that the two men they had jailed the previous night were in the temple teaching the people about Christ.
When they arrived and were standing before the council, the High Priest questioned them saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” Acts 5:28. However, Peter and the apostles answered with our focus verse, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29.
Francis Schaeffer in his book “A Christian Manifesto” stated, “The bottom line is that at a certain point there is not only the right, but the duty, to disobey the state.” This comes only when what the state commands by way of law is contrary to God’s Law. It is important that obeying God comes before obeying the government. I want to clarify something though. If what the state commands by law does not disobey God, then we are obligated to follow it. It is only when, for example they legislate that all doctors must perform abortions when desired by the patient, that we must disobey because taking a human life is against God’s laws.
We must be ready, as Peter and John were, to do what is right in the eyes of God through disobedience when necessary. Again, if it does not go against the laws of God, then we must do what they command. Christianity is coming under much persecution because people want to do what they want. They hate and abuse those who openly disagree with them. They do not want Christian teachings and values in our public schools, but many other religious ideas are praised. We must be willing to stand up in all areas to any group that demands us to disobey God. He is our Lord, King and Eternal Father, worthy of complete obedience. Are we ready to take such a stand for Christ?
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.