Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

19 April 2020

Easter 2A Sermon: God Rather Than Man

Preached on Acts 5:29–42
The Second Sunday of Easter (Series A)
A Spoken Order of Morning Prayer (LSB 235)
19 April AD 2020

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of God Rather Than Man. Morning Prayer from the Lutheran Service Book begins with the Verse (235), the Psalmody (LSB 235–237) with the Venite and Psalm 148, and the Readings with Responses (LSB 238). The sermon starts at the 9:40 mark. The service concludes with the Benedictus (LSB 238–240), Collect of the Day, Prayer of the Church, Collect for Grace (LSB 241), Lord’s Prayer, Benedicamus (LSB 241), and Benediction (LSB 242).

Audio: Alternatively, choose God Rather Than Man, MP3 audio of the sermon only.

Acts 5:29–42 Summary: We don’t always grasp exactly what the Scriptures are saying without careful thought. For example, obeying God rather than man doesn’t mean that Christians always try to get their way, even if their government isn’t the friendliest to them. However, if we are commanded to sin against God or other people, God then commands us to take a stand.

Similarly, not every Bible passage describes thoughts and behavior that Christians should embrace. In today’s text, Gamaliel says that if the disciples undertaking is of man, it will fail while if it’s of God, there will be no stopping it. Obviously this isn’t always true, since many false teachers rose up in the past and still have followers in the thousands, even the millions. And while God’s ultimate plan will never fail, not everything He initiates continues successfully in holiness. Many things that He wants to happen and that He sets in motion are sidetracked, stalled, or stopped by sinful humanity.

Yet when we follow God in faith, accepting His Law’s rebuke and the full and free forgiveness of His Gospel, the Lord prospers that which is truly vital. He continues to guard our way and lead us from this life to life everlasting.

Text: Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

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

And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 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. 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.

“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; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”

So they took his advice, 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. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. Acts 5:29–42

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Video: Click to view the YouTube video of God Rather Than Man. Sermon begins at the 9:40 mark.

Audio: Click God Rather Than Man for MP3 audio of just the sermon.

Other Readings: Psalm 148; 1 Peter 1:3–9; John 20:19–31

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