"We Ought To Obey God Rather Than Men"
In Acts 5:29 Peter, along with the other apostles made the statement, "We ought to obey God rather than men." They were answering a question from the high priest in Jerusalem regarding Peter's and the other apostles' teaching of the gospel of Christ. Acts 5:28, "saying, 'Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!'" Earlier in Acts chapter 5 Peter and the apostles were going about the city preaching the gospel and performing miracles that confirmed that their message was indeed from God. The result of their teaching is stated in Acts 5:14, "And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women." The apostles were carrying out the work of the Great Commission given to them by Christ in Matthew 28:18-20. And as a result of following Christ's command, many souls were being added to the Lord's church. However, the high priest and elders, we are told, in Acts 5:17 were filled with "indignation" or jealousy not believing and even fearing the message the apostles were preaching. Therefore, verse 18 says the high priests and those who were with them, "laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison." Verses 19-20 say, "But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, (20) Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life". Verse 21 finds the apostles in the temple early the next morning teaching the people about Christ just as the angel of the Lord had told them to.
The point is that even in today's world there are certain people, even people in positions of great power and authority, that try to stop the word of God from being taught, practiced, and upheld. They believe that man makes his own laws and answers to no one but himself. Some believe man is his own authority and the standards we must live up to are the standards approved of by mankind. As Christians, however, we know that we are in subjection to a higher, divine authority. We know that God has set the standards for how we are to conduct each and every aspect of our lives. We must be fearless and zealous in our pursuit to live as Christ would have us live, and when that contradicts the standards and laws of man, we must be willing to stand firm upon God's standards of right and wrong and be prepared to deal with the consequences mankind may throw at us. Because we realize that in the end, God is in control and will eternally bless those who follow Him until the end. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." God's promise of eternal reward can and will carry us through all hard times and persecutions man may throw at us. Be strong and trust God!!!!
- Garrett Alsip