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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
April 17, 2004

     When the apostles were brought before the council, the high priest said to them, "We told you plainly not to teach in the name of Jesus. But look what you have done! You have been teaching all over Jerusalem, and you are trying to blame us for his death."
     Peter and the apostles replied:
     We don't obey people. We obey God.

Acts 5:27-29 (CEV*)

Because authorities give you an order, should you obey? Other scriptures suggest that Christians generally should accept being subject to the governing authorities. What we have here is an exception to that, based upon a higher principle.

Our loyalty is owed first and foremost to God. Whenever anyone tells us to do something that would be against God's law, or not to do something required of us by God, we are put in the situation of obeying people or God. In that situation it does not matter who the people are or what they can do to us, we must obey God rather than people.

In this case the apostles were told not to teach in the name of Jesus. But they were doing this at God's direction, so they could not obey the council. Even today, in some parts of the world, Christians risk their freedom and sometimes their lives for teaching in the name of Jesus despite orders from the authorities not to do so. In doing so, they are following in the footsteps of the first apostles.

Are you ready to obey God no matter what people tell you to do and despite any consequences? Do you pray for Christians in parts of the world where it is very dangerous to follow the Christian faith?

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2004 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 24-Apr-2004 16:35:08 EDT