Acts – The Gospel Advances because God is King
BIG IDEA: We lose when we oppose God.
We pursue our own praise
We pursue power
God opposes our pursuits
Trust that Jesus has saved you from your opposition to
Imitate Jesus’ humility in our relationships and in our
We may not pursue the praise of men by beheading people or throwing them in jail, but we are all guilty of seeking the praise of men, we do this through idle gossiping about people, like bullying, like spending late nights working while ignoring our spouse and kids, at their expense, just so we can collect the praises of our bosses and the glory of a lofty paycheck. In all these things we are like Herod. We may not be gaining power by cutting off the food supply of Syrian cities but we pursue power by other means, bullying or by mistreating your spouse, your kids, like demanding your employees regularly work over time without paying them for it. Or by not paying your employees a living wage. Like dressing promiscuously so other’s will notice you and ascribe you praise for your good looks or like overspending on luxurious foods or clothing and fancy cars, condos and gadgets so that others will see your stuff and give you praise. In all these ways we are pursuing power and praise at the expense of others. We are all like Herod, and just like Herod we are all opposing God. And we will lose.
But while we are all like Herod, our stories do not have to end like Herod’s. Romans 5 says, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life”, (5:10). Jesus Christ, the one true living God, king of all creation, saw us in our rebellion and out of his great love for us, he emptied himself of all perceived glory, honor and power and he humbled himself to take on the form of a human and voluntarily serve people, (Phi. 2:5-11). He further humbled himself by taking the penalty for our opposition, dying a brutal death on our behalf. But because of the power of his love Jesus Christ rose from the dead 3 days later to ascend to heaven as the self sacrificial king of the universe. Jesus promises that anyone who repents of their opposition and follows Jesus as their true lord and savior will be forgiven their opposition and inherit eternal life by the power and for the praise of God.
Through Jesus we no longer need to be enemies of God. Jesus showed us that there is another way. By giving up his power and serving others Jesus became the most influential person in the world. Jesus’ sacrifice shows that true power comes from humility and humbly serving others. Jesus calls us to imitate that self sacrificial humility through the power of his spirit.