Day 8

The Apostles Preach the Gospel

from the reading plan

Acts 5:12-42, Isaiah 40:6-8, 1 John 2:15-17, John 6:66-69

Back when I was a youth minister, I took my first youth group to New York City on a mission trip. We worked with kids from the Dominican Republic in Washington Heights. I’m from Alabama and hadn’t experienced anything like NYC. I was blown away. The whole time I walked around that huge city, I marveled at how different it was. This was especially true in Washington Heights where all the signs were in Spanish. I remember thinking, “This is a totally different world.”

When I read Acts 5:17-42, I feel like I am reading about a world that is different from my own.

The world of Acts was a world of persecution. In the Western world, we don’t have to worry about this. We can teach and preach and even those who do not like what we say will leave us alone. They will not beat us and put us in prison. It’s a very different world indeed.

But that is not what seems so otherworldly to me. What Strikes me most is how they respond to the imprisonment and the beating.

The apostles are arrested and put in prison. Then to everyone’s great relief, they are supernaturally freed by an angel. But instead of enjoying their freedom, they go out and preach again, doing the very thing that got them put in prison in the first place. So, they are brought in again and beaten before being released.

There is no record of complaint. No cries of injustice. No plans for revenge. No, they rejoice because they have been treated terribly, just like the One they follow.

Their response to being imprisoned? They go back out and publicly preach Jesus. Their response to being beaten? Joy, because they had suffered like Jesus.

These apostles lived in a world so foreign to the world I live in. I live comfortably in a world where I demand my rights and complain about my pain. I walk around in a world paved with expecting pity for hardship. But I don’t want to reside in that world.

I want to reside in a world where my freedom is about Jesus and my suffering is about Jesus.

Maybe you do too. How do we get there?

If you are anything like me, your first inclination will be to resolve to do better, to be more willing to do things that might bring on suffering. That’s not a terrible way of thinking, but if that’s all that drives me, I will just get worn down and give up. And that sounds like a world of my own making anyway.

No, sheer determination was not the thing that fueled the apostles’ desire to live for Jesus. They lived like this because they believed the gospel— to the point that it was their only hope for this life and the next, as the old confession says. They lived in a world where the gospel left no room for fear; where suffering couldn’t crowd out joy.

Oh, to live and believe in that world.

Written By Matthew B. Redmond

Post Comments (25)

25 thoughts on "The Apostles Preach the Gospel"

  1. Marc says:

    When I hear about the sacrifices and the lengths that the early Church went to proclaim about their first hand encounter with Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, I can’t help but think how real it is. Today we gush on social media about and want everybody to know every small detail of our lives. These men had seen something that they could not keep quiet about. Willing to be jailed and beaten! What are we willing to be beaten and jailed for?….

  2. Marc says:

    We should be willing to get very uncomfortable to talk about Jesus. With Acts as our example of how to grow the Church, we should be filled with the desire to teach the Gospel to anyone and everyone

  3. Marc says:

    I need to be more willing to share the Gospel. I don’t live in a society where I will be stoned for professing faith and I certainly have not been taking full advantage of that.

  4. Marc says:

    Father, open my heart to Your will today. Allow me an opportunity to share Your Son with someone. Help me to realize the sacrifices that Your servants have paid and the ultimate sacrifice through Jesus. Daily I ask for Your direction. Help to walk in righteousness and under Your will. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!

  5. Paul Aldridge says:

    The apostles are the same people before acts as they were during acts. In physical form. But the Holy Spirit changed everything for them. Just as we have in us. We should be following on the Lord for that boldness. They truly were mission all in spreading the gospel as we should rely on the spirit of the lord to do the same instead of the insecurities of man.

  6. Paul Aldridge says:

    With boldness as I go to get ready to be more active in evangelism. The apostles set the precedent for the modern church. We should only be as bold. Even a sliver of what they have would change the post Christian nation we live in.

  7. Paul Aldridge says:

    We are weak and only willing to look out for our own means. And we fear those that we don’t understand or agree sometimes. But the boldness of the lord is that empowers man. Just as he spirit empowered the apostles.

  8. Paul Aldridge says:

    It’s the truth and if you are responding to it as the only truth and grounding for your life. The lord will bless you and be with you constantly.

  9. Paul Aldridge says:

    For a revival in our church’s and a fire in myself to spread and we willing to rely on the spirit of truth for strength and now why insecurities I face or fears of man. The lord is with me and he goes before and makes a place. That comfort is huge and I need the lord to be my boldness.

  10. Enoch says:

    It is the true message of hope and power. Those that believe it and preach it should be changed and have the resources to create change.

  11. Enoch says:

    He is the only one that can offer life and fulfillment. Nothing is beyond Him and He gives strength to those that follow Him.

  12. Enoch says:

    Yet again, we see pride and selfish desires blocking us from a life of meaning and purpose. To follow Him is to deny ourselves.

  13. Enoch says:

    I must daily crucify my old nature to prevent it from creeping back and distracting me from my, and every Christian’s, purpose.

  14. Enoch says:

    Lord, give me the wisdom to know what is Your truth and the strength to follow through according to Your will.

  15. Aidan Corona says:

    God’s truth is TRUTH and it’s the only way to true life eternal.

  16. Aidan Corona says:

    Man is temporary and purposeless without God.

  17. Aidan Corona says:

    The Gospel is important and worth joyfully suffering for.

  18. Aidan Corona says:

    I need to make my freedom and my suffering about Jesus.

  19. Aidan Corona says:

    Lead me to your everlasting truth, Lord, and help me to live freely and suffer for your Gospel!

  20. Brien Johnson says:

    God is not all about our comfort ; he’s about people. Many times following him and sharing his good news will push us out of our comfort zone’s. This is where the gospel is needed most and where it can potentially do it’s greatest work in our lives. Inevitably following God will take us to these places.

  21. Brien Johnson says:

    I will seek to not live for my own comfort and pleasure. I will seek to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and carry the message of the gospel to places and in ways that might pull me out of my comfort zones.

  22. Brien Johnson says:

    Spirit of God grant unto me the boldness to live for your glory and to carry your Gospel no matter the cost. Jesus I recognize that you gave everything and sacrificed all so that I could be transformed, May your spirit carry me and grace me to live in the same way.

  23. Brien Johnson says:

    It’s all too easy for people to become sidetracked and consumed with the pleasures of this life. If were chasing earthly treasures we will miss the external opportunities. It would be a mistake to live for my own comfort’s and miss the eternal reward.

  24. Brien Johnson says:

    The Gospel provides its own reward. It’s independent of the cares and comforts of this life. The apostles were willingly and joyfully prepared to sacrifice their own bodies and comforts for the sake of the Gospel. The Gospel provided it’s own motivation.

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