Last Sunday, Deen Salami continued our sermon series in Acts, "Who Do You Think You Are?"
We looked at Acts 5:17-42 and Acts 6:8-8:1.
Aversion - Jewish officials were jealous of God's movement.
First - emotional response. Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. Any supernatural things were stamped out.
Second - they tried to deny their role in Jesus' death. Gamaliel stands up and says that if the movement is from men, it would die out, but if it was from God...it would be bad. But they had the apostles flogged out of spite. The apostles leave, rejoicing.
Adversity - the emphasis was on the resurrection. When the angel tells them to go back to the location of their arrest and teach, they do it, regardless of the suffering.
Endurance is important. Jesus endured the cross for us, so we cannot go around our adversity. We will feel intense emotions of anger and vengeance, but instead, we must rejoice.
Advancement - how do we maintain the attitude necessary to move the gospel forward? The apostles were public about it, and rejoiced with suffering. However, what happens when we're put on our own?
Example: Stephen. He was a Hellenistic Jew, he did a bunch of miracles, the Jews tried to argue with him, but they lost the argument. They brought charges against Stephen of blasphemy and trying to abolish the law.
Stephen gives the apologia for himself. It's about how God's chosen vessel is rejected, and the people move to idolatry. The Sanhedrin got angry, Stephen had a vision of heaven. The Sanhedrin then went and stoned him.