Acts

Acts 5:12-32 Old Covenant Curse And New Covenant Renewal.

The apostles continued to have their message authenticated through signs and wonders. That these signs and wonders were specifically for the apostolic period is made abundantly clear throughout the scriptures (Cf. 2:43; 4:30; 6:8; 14:3; 15:12; Rom. 15:19; II Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:4). With the replacement of Judas they were all now of one mind (v. 12). Furthermore, with the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira, “none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly” (v. 13). Through their ministry many men and women continued to come to the Lord (v. 14). People also brought the sick, thinking that even if Peter’s shadow passed by they might be healed (v. 15). Even those tormented by unclean spirits were healed (v. 16). The latter healings are of particular note since they show that Satan was not all powerful in the face of the apostles and their message.

The high priest and the Sadducees were all the more indignant, especially since the apostles were preaching as witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection (v. 17 Cf. 4:2). So they “laid hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison” (v. 18). Evidently the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira were no deterrent to these men. However, the Lord’s purposes would not be thwarted. To continue the apostolic witness an angel was sent to open the prison doors (v. 19), so that they might return to the temple to “speak to the people all the words of this life” (v. 20). So the apostles continued to obey God rather than men (v. 21a, 29 Cf. 4:19-20). Not knowing what had transpired, the council gathered together again to have the apostles brought from the prison, only to have the guards find the prison empty (vv. 21b-23). They continued to be clueless but fearful nonetheless (v. 24).

It wasn’t until they were informed of the apostles preaching in the temple that they resumed their prosecution, but they did so without violence, fearing that the people might in fact stone the prosecutors (vv. 25-26). When they were brought before the council it was clear that the opposition to the apostles was not simply for the doctrine which they preached, but for the fact that the Jewish religious leadership were on the lead in Jesus death. Peter and the rest of the twelve would not let them forget their crime (v. 30 Cf. 2:23, 36; Mt. 23:35; 27:25). However, they also preached the gospel of new covenant renewal, that the Father raised the Lord to His right hand to reign forever as Prince and Saviour, the very one who gives repentance and forgiveness of sins, even to those in Israel who were guilty of His murder (v. 31). This is what the apostles were bearing witness to, along with the Holy Spirit (v. 32).

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