Written by Ken Braddy – Manager of Adult Ongoing Bible Studies at Lifeway Christian Resources
“After they called in the apostles and had them flogged, they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be dishonored on behalf of the Name.” -Acts 5:40-41
One of the most famous things ever said in the New Testament occurs within the context of this Bible study from Acts 5. Peter stated that “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), and his words continue to remind us of the importance of being faithful to share the gospel, even when we feel pressure to remain silent and be unfaithful. Faithfulness to a marriage partner, a company we work for, or faithfulness to a friend is a quality people in our culture still value. As important as spouses, jobs, and friends are, how much more so important is it for you and I to remain faithful to Jesus, faithfully explaining the reason for the hope that is within us?
As you teach this passage of Scripture, be sensitive to the people in your group who know they should regularly share their faith, but do not. It may be that the gospel is not shared because of fear. Or it may be that the gospel is not shared because the person doesn’t fully understand what to say. When we have those kinds of feelings and thoughts, our attention has turned inward. Sharing the gospel is all about telling what we know, and trusting God and His Holy Spirit to do the convicting and convincing – our only duty is to be faithful to speak up when we have the opportunity. Being faithful in sharing our faith simply means we place the focus of evangelism back where it belongs – on God!