by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Acts 5:27-42
I. The rulers of the Jews were upset.
A. They had killed off a man whom they thought was leading the people against them, but his teachings just won’t go away.
1. Men who were his disciples had continued to teach this man’s doctrine.
2. They could not be intimidated, despite threats and punishments, they continued to teach.
3. Now they openly defied the rulers - Acts 5:29-33
B. But Gamaliel pointed out a basic fact, when man makes plans, it eventually falls apart, but if this is God’s plan, then it would be impossible to stand against it - Acts 5:34-39
II. Think about it, what great plan of man has ever withstood the test of time?
A. Man is not as clever as he imagines. Even Eliphaz recognized this - Job 5:12-14
1. What passes as wisdom in this world is foolishness - I Corinthians 3:19
B. Man doesn’t often factor in what he cannot control, such as God - Psalm 33:10
1. You can’t plan against God - Proverbs 21:30
2. While wisdom is found in a multitude of advice (Proverbs 15:22), all of it is for nought if is against God - Isaiah 8:10
3. Where is the man who has been able to bring about a plan that is against God? - Lamentations 3:37
C. Man is too short lived to insure his plans remain - James 4:13-15
D. Man doesn’t have all the facts
1. The Bible gives us glimpses of what goes on at times behind the scene of the physical world
2. But how many of us truly grasp what is happening?
3. The king of Syria was once frustrated because every time he went to attack Israel, it seemed that Israel was one step ahead of him. He was certain that he had a spy in his ranks - II Kings 6:8-20
a. Oh, they learned the hard way not to fight against God
b. But think about the young man in a panic, who couldn’t understand the calmness of Elisha because he didn’t see what was happening behind the scenes.
E. If man had the ability, he could save himself - Job 40:9-14
F. But man doesn’t have the ability - Jeremiah 10:23
III. The might of God’s plans
A. God’s plans are forever, stretching across all of man’s generations - Psalm 33:11
1. God states from the beginning how things will end, and sees that it happens as He declares - Isaiah 46:10-11
2. In speaking of the end of the Assyrian empire - Isaiah 14:24-27
B. No one can reverse God’s plans - Isaiah 43:13
C. No one has the strength to oppose God or to question Him - Daniel 4:35
1. It is like a pot questioning the potter’s skill - Isaiah 45:9
D. God is stronger and wiser than all men - I Corinthians 1:25
1. It doesn’t mean people don’t try, but they never win - Revelation 17:12-14
2. Unsearchable is God’s ways - Romans 11:33-36
E. Even Satan, the arch enemy of God, is not able to prevent God’s attack on his own domain
1. The world is Satan’s - Ephesians 2:1-3
2. Christ’s church was founded to attack Satan in his stronghold - Matthew 16:18
3. Jesus’ death destroyed Satan’s power - John 12:31-32; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14
IV. The unusual features of God’s plans
A. God doesn’t think like we do and it is seen in His plans - Isaiah 55:6-11
B. The spreading of the Gospel by preaching - I Corinthians 1:20-31
1. Why? - II Corinthians 4:7
2. Think about it, the message of a man dying on a cross is able to sort out the lovers of truth from the lovers of lies - II Corinthians 2:15-17
a. Satan has blinded people - II Corinthians 4:3-4
b. Without love for the truth - II Thessalonians 2:10-14
3. Hidden from the wise - Luke 10:21
4. Commanded of God - Acts 10:39-43
C. By God’s wisdom this spreading is done by the church - Ephesians 3:8-12
D. The word of God is an unusual weapon
1. Able to divide - Hebrews 4:12
2. Able to pull down strongholds - II Corinthians 10:3–6
E. But then think that the whole world was made by God speaking. Words are more powerful that we realize.
V. A plan not to be changed
A. Isn’t this why we have so many tinkering with God’s plan?
1. It is not the way they would do it, so obviously it needs some enhancements.
2. It needs more pizzaz, so groups claim to see and do miracles!
3. It isn’t intellectual enough, so the Bible is called too deep to understand except by a select few.
4. It needs something to draw people in, so they offer entertainment
B. Man doesn’t understand God’s plan, so he seeks to change it - I Corinthians 2:14
C. This is why, in no uncertain terms, not to alter the message - Galatians 1:6-10
D. Salvation comes by God’s purpose and not man’s - II Timothy 1:9