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Should We Respect Higher Authorities?

September 13, 2020 Speaker: Scott Slaughter Series: Acts, Continuing the Work of Jesus

Topic: Discipleship, God's Will, Obedience to God Scripture: Acts 5:17–5:42

Pilgrim’s Progress, the classic parable of the Christian life was written by Puritan John Bunyan while imprisoned for preaching the gospel without a license from the government church. Bunyan wrote this spiritual classic on the only medium he had available, the wax paper used to cover his food delivered to him each day.  

The narrative in Acts is filled with reoccurrences of the early believers and Christian leaders being confronted with the problem of respecting higher authorities. In these last verses of chapter 5, Luke presents us with an account that, in many ways, mirrors what happened in chapter 4:1-21. Luke reports that once again the party of the Sadducees seeks to counteract the growth of the church. In the passage before us today, we may observe that the increase of intensity of this oppression, William Hendriksen observes in his New Testament Commentary. 

Once again God’s people are faced with the issue of authority, human authority figures. Are we free to disobey and disrespect them? Are we bound to obey the laws and rules of men? Is there a price to be paid for despising people in authority? Is it ever right to disobey them? How do we know when and if that has been approved by God?