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  • Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

    Posted on September 6th, 2023 Pastor Ed

    This critical scripture and its application in every believer’s life must be clearly understood. This answer given by Peter and the others to the Jewish authorities is something that will arise in everyone’s life over and over. The word translated ‘ought’ could be better translated with the word “must.” Civil disobedience is the issue here. Romans thirteen clearly tells us of our responsibility to be in submission to those over us in authority but there are many instances of civil disobedience in the Bible when obeying God became the only response possible. Daniel was ordered not to pray to anyone other that the Babylonian Ruler but he prayed to God anyway. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were ordered to bow down to the image on the plain of Dura but they refused, only to get thrown into a furnace. In Egypt the midwives of the Hebrew children refused to report the male babies born so they could be drowned as ordered by Pharaoh. By faith Rahab the harlot hide the Hebrew spies in Jericho and God blessed her by putting her in the Messianic line. Paul the Apostle was let down over the wall of Damascus to escape the authorities there. There are two principles here that are required if we find ourselves in a similar situation. First make sure that you have scriptural authority and then secondly be careful to act with humility.

    For example a local city in California not long ago passed a city ordinance making it unlawful to witness in public places. A young believer went and preached anyway because he had scriptural authority (Mark 16:15 ‘go and preach’) and humility. He was willing to be arrested and humble enough to receive punishment if the court upheld the ordinance. Thankfully the matter was resolved without him being arrested and the ordinance was removed because of the attention that he had brought to the matter. This is the foundation on which believers have gone out sharing their faith down through the centuries and all over the globe. Oh that we would be inspired by the sacrifices of those who have gone before us and especially by those who paid the ultimate price.

    “LORD, keep us fresh and open to see this day the opportunities You put us in to share Your love with others.”