If It Be Of God
Acts 5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
A. The Indignation – vs. 17 (because of what God was doing vs. 12-16)
B. The Incarceration – vs. 18 (the LOGIC of the lost: when you can’t shut them up, then shut them up)
C. The Interrogation – vs. 28 (they can’t believe that their commands fell on deaf ears)
D. The Insubordination – vs. 29-32 (what we ought to do; you don’t know what we ought to do.)
E. The Illustration – vs. 36-37 (Gamaliel gave two separate examples of lost causes)
F. The Implication – vs. 38, 39 (Refrain from these men, and let them alone…time will reveal)
I. The Focus on the Origin
There is a huge difference in something being of man, or something being of God.
Gamaliel was making a massive distinction between the two.
If this work be of men… but if it be of God…
Let me say – God gets blamed for a lot of men’s nonsense.
Much of what man says and does is attributed falsely to God when God had nothing to do with it.
The First Mention Principle of the phrase “OF GOD” is Genesis 1:2 And the Spirit of God moved…
Notice the importance:
- John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
We find throughout Scripture:
- …the image of God – Gen. 1:27
- …the likeness of God – Gen. 5:1
- …the sons of God – Gen. 6:2
- …the fear of God – Gen. 20:11
- …the angel of God – Gen. 21:17
And the list goes on.
In the New Testament, we have:
- …the Spirit of God – Matthew 3:16
- …the Son of God – Matthew 4:3
- …the children of God – Matthew 5:9
- …the Kingdom of God – Matthew 6:33
- …the house of God – Matthew 12:4
- …the power of God – Matthew 22:29
- …the way of God – Mark 12:14
- …the word of God – Luke 8:11
- …the love of God – Luke 11:49
- …the counsel of God – Acts 20:27
- …the church of God – Acts 20:28
Trust me when I tell – there is a huge distinction between what is of man, and what is of God!
II. The Futility of the Opposition
Gamaliel’s advice was simple, yet so profound.
If it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.
Many down through history have tried, but got the tables turned on them.
The Tower of Babel – Genesis 11
That crowd at the Tower of Babel decided to build a town whose top may reach unto heaven.
They insisted on making a name – lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth.
God came down and did just that.
Pharaoh – Exodus 5
- Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who [is] the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
If God be for us…
- Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
III. The Faithfulness in the Outreach
Notice the command not to speak in the name of Jesus.
In verse 28, they were commanded not to TEACH in “this name.”
In verse 40, they were commanded not to SPEAK in his name.
We cannot forget this key fact:
It is not our preaching or teaching or speaking that they have a problem with.
Their problem is WITH JESUS CHRIST!
They were faithful despite:
- Their Stripes
- Their Suffering
- Their Shame
Conclusion: No amount of opposition can stop anything when IT IS OF GOD!