Acts 5:31

Him hath God exalted, etc. The Jewish temple a material symbol of the Divine method of grace. The chief chamber was the place of God's glory - the inner, nest presence-chamber of the great King; its chief feature, the mercy-seat, a proclamation of love to all. Yet access to the blessedness only by the appointed way, through the consecrated rites and persons; thus the will and righteousness of God sustained at the same time as his mercy. Compare heathen ideas of Divine favors - slavish, cruel, degrading, capricious, destructive of righteousness both in God and in man. Moreover, no heathen system appealed to a universal humanity.


1. Deliverance from sin, both by remission and moral elevation. Show that the conscience regains satisfaction, the life security, the heart peace.

2. A free and unpurchased forgiveness, lest we should be burdened by their inequalities, destroyed by their despair, seduced by their errors, enslaved by their superstition.

3. Confidence without fanaticism, peace of mind without inertia, and a sense of righteousness without pride.


1. It is built upon facts - a personal history, an accumulation of historic evidence, an ascent from Bethlehem to the heavenly throne. The supernatural absolutely necessary to hold up the human spirit in its greatest emergency. God's right hand must be seen, must be conspicuous. We cannot depend on mere human sympathy, wisdom, or strength.

2. The twofold character of Christ meets the twofold demand of the soul, for the greatness of the King and the compassion of the Savior. The exaltation of Christ was both human and Divine. We recognize the great fact of mediation and reconciliation.

3. The one supreme test of sufficiency, the gift of the Holy Ghost. We do not appeal to men on the ground that God can save them, or that there is in Christianity a satisfactory theory of the atonement, but on the ground that the Spirit of God is saving them, that the gift is there - repentance and remission.

APPLICATION. What was true of Israel is true of us. The state of the Jewish world was the condemnation of all men. If God so wrought for us," how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" The gift has all God's heart in it. Return his love. - R.

Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Elevation is necessary to influence. Of what advantage is a candle under a bushel? While the sun is below our earth, all is dark and cold; but when he rises, he scatters his enlightening and enlivening beams. When the shrub rises up out of the ground, it requires support; but when it becomes a tree, the birds lodge in its branches. A man in the obscurity and contractedness of private life can only pour forth benevolent wishes and shed ineffectual tears. But give him pre-eminence, and thousands are protected by his power and enriched by his bounty. Take the case of Joseph, e.g. But a greater than Joseph is here. Jesus suffered from the hands of sinners; but His sufferings led to His exaltation. Some are exalted as princes who are by no means saviours. They sacrifice the lives of their subjects to save their own; but He sacrificed Himself for the welfare of His subjects. They are princes of war; but He is "the Prince of peace." They are princes of death; but He is "the Prince of life." They are princes and destroyers; but He is "a Prince and a Saviour." Let us take three views of the blessings which the exalted Saviour gives.


1. What is repentance? The inquiry is necessary because of the counterfeits of repentance. Pharaoh, Ahab, and Judas repented, and yet died in their sins. An old divine tells us that "Genuine repentance consists in having the heart broken for sin, and from it."(1) The subject of repentance, then, is convinced of sin. He sees that it is the greatest evil in the universe. Hence he feels shame, grief, and contrition — especially when he apprehends the goodness of God. This dissolves the heart, and makes him "sorrowful after a godly sort." For the tear of evangelical penitence drops from the eye of faith; and faith while it weeps stands under the Cross. The pressure of these various feelings constitutes what we mean by having the heart broken for sin.(2) But the man has now new dispositions and resolutions; and hence a new course of life. He is delivered from the love of all sin, however dear before. He is freed from its dominion, and avoids its occasions. And this is what we mean by having the heart broken from sin.

2. And what is forgiveness? It does not render a man innocent. Sin contracts guilt, and guilt binds over to punishment; forgiveness cancels this obligation, and restores the offender to safety. And frequently among men forgiveness extends no further. But God takes pleasure in those whom He pardons, and indulges them with the most intimate friendship. When two individuals have been at variance, the hardest to believe in reconciliation is the offender. A man once offended Augustus, and the emperor, to show his greatness of mind, declared that he pardoned him. But the poor creature, fearing the declaration was too good to be true, desired his majesty to give him some present as a proof that he had really forgiven him. Thus anxious is the awakened mind. Such a free and full forgiveness after all his heinous provocations seems incredible; he therefore desires a token for good: and many pledges of the most perfect reconciliation the God of all grace affords.

II. Their CONNECTION. This is not a meritorious connection, as if repentance deserved forgiveness, for they are both given; and how can one gift merit another? But there is between them a connection of —

1. Propriety. It would not accord with the wisdom of God to for give one incapable of enjoying or serving Him — yea, one who abhors Him. If a servant or a child were to behave improperly, though goodness may incline you to pardon, you would naturally require a proper state of mind, and signs of sorrow, confession, and reformation; otherwise your forgiveness would look like connivance or indifference, and encourage a repetition of disobedience.

2. Certainty. No one ever really enjoyed forgiveness without repentance; and no one ever truly exercised repentance without forgiveness. On the other hand, "He that confesseth, and forsaketh his sins, shall have mercy."

III. Their SOURCE. Some think repentance a very legal subject; but there never was a greater mistake. For, not to mention that our Lord "came to call sinners to repentance," and that the apostles "went forth preaching everywhere that men should repent," repentance is peculiarly evangelical. The law has nothing to do with it; it does not even command it; all it has to do with the transgressor is to condemn. It allows him neither liberty nor ability to repent; but the gospel gives him both, and Christ was exalted to effect the purpose of the gospel. And if repentance be a gift, can the forgiveness be a purchase? Hence two things follow.

1. If we possess these blessings, we learn to whom we are to address our praise. "In the Lord have I righteousness and strength."

2. If we want them, we see to whom we are to address our prayers.

(W. Jay.)

1. The murderer is haunted by the ghost of his victim. This is a part of the sublime machinery of providence for the punishment, and so for the prevention of crime. All history teems with examples of this. Witness Herod — "John the Baptist, whom I beheaded, is risen from the dead." These high priests were compelled to undergo this inevitable sentence, "Whom ye slew, God has exalted." Their victim has risen, and the murderers tremble. They showed Him no mercy, and expect none from Him. But now that He is exalted, and His enemies in His power, instead of taking vengeance He offers remission.

2. The water is exalted into the heavens that it may give rain. In the same way He who comes as rain on the mown grass was exalted that He might give Himself as the Living Water. The exalted Giver bestows every kind of good. "Every good and perfect gift is from above." But the fundamental benefit, without which all others would be of no avail, is the twin gift promised in our text.

3. Repentance and forgiveness constitute one entire redemption. These two God has joined as He has joined the right and left sides of a body. to make one organised life. To separate them is to destroy them. Forgiveness is an act of the Supreme God, repentance the act of sinful man, and yet both are the gift of the risen Redeemer. It is not like two portions of an extended straight line, but like two halves of a great revolving ring — as it goes rapidly round it seems as if this half were impelling that, and sometimes as if that were impelling this. From one point of view repentance seems to draw forgiveness, from another forgiveness seems to work repentance. It is true Christ says, "If any man open I will come in"; but it is also true that no one would open unless moved by the plaintive voice, "Behold I stand at the door and knock." It is opening from within that lets the Saviour enter, but it is the pressure of the Saviour that causes the fastenings of the heart to give way.

4. We cannot determine the precise point at which the process begins. I do not know the point in the circle which the Spirit touches to communicate motion. All I know is that He gives it motion, and that when one point moves all move. And this wheel is like Ezekiel's, so high that it is dreadful. The upper part is in heaven, while its lower edge rolls upon the earth. Forgiveness is an act done by God; the official act of the Judge on the great white throne. Repentance is a rending and a melting of the heart here upon earth. The lower part of the circle is in the chambers of the sinner's soul, and yet every movement of a hair's breadth is accompanied by a corresponding movement on high. So "there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth." These two were joined in Peter's own experience. When he had denied his Lord, "the Lord looked on Peter"; that look conveyed pardon, and the repenting disciple went out and wept bitterly.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

I. THE EXALTATION OF CHRIST, properly speaking, consists of four parts — His resurrection, ascension, sitting at the right hand of God, and His coming to judge the world. It is to His sitting at the right hand of God, however, that our attention is here called. And, regarding it, three circumstances are noticed in the text.

1. The dignity to which Christ is raised.(1) The expression, "with His right hand," does not denote the agency by which, but the glory to which He is exalted. It intimates that our Mediator enjoys Divine honour at the Father's right hand, exercises Divine authority, and dispenses Divine government. This is a situation which no mere creature can occupy. I admit that the divinity of Christ being necessarily unchangeable, could not, strictly speaking, be humbled or exalted. But inasmuch as He took our nature into personal union with Him, He was humbled. And when His work was finished He dropped His lowly character, but not His human nature. Clothed in it He gloriously appeared before God on our behalf, and, as the reward of His undertaking, received, at His Father's hands, universal authority.(2) And let none suppose that the right hand of God in heaven denotes any visible proximity to the infinite Spirit, like nearness of place in the case of a prince at the right hand of an earthly sovereign. The human nature of Jesus, indeed, requires a local residence. But who can describe His dignity and glory in heaven? "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power," etc.

2. The character in which He is raised, "a Prince and a Saviour."(1) As a Divine person, Jesus was never deprived of His royal supremacy, and therefore could never be exalted to a dignity from which He had never descended. But there was a dignity to which, as God and man in one person, He had never hitherto been formally raised, although from the beginning He had acted as King of the Church and Lord of the Universe. But this princely office arose entirely from the covenant made between the Father and the Son, which required from the latter obedience unto death, as absolutely necessary to His being formally installed into His regal authority as King in Zion.(2) And as the nature of Christ's kingly office is peculiar, so also is its exercise. His law, indeed, is still the immutable rule of righteousness. But there is exercised to obstinate sinners the most marvellous long-suffering; and to believers the freest and most astonishingly gracious forgiveness, joined with the choicest spiritual blessings. Such a mode of administration can only be accounted for on the principle that a system of mediatorial authority exists, in consequence of which "sentence against an evil work is not speedily executed " on unbelievers; and pardon, purity, spiritual protection, comfort, and eternal glory, secured to all the faithful.(3) But Christ is not only an exalted Prince, but also a glorified Saviour. We have seen that as a Prince He completely secures the happiness and dignity of His people. Rut deliverance from sin could never have been realised unless, like the high priests of old, He had entered into the holy place, and presented the blood of His atonement as the ground of His intercession. He saves to the uttermost all that come to God by Him, because He ever lives to make intercession for them.

3. The agency of the Father in the exaltation of His Son — "Him hath God exalted." We are here carried back to the council of peace, the agreement of the Divine persons in reference to the salvation of men. The Father was bound to exalt the Mediator when His work of humiliation was accomplished.

II. ITS BLESSED CONSEQUENCES. Amongst these are the glory of God, the establishment of order and harmony in the universe, the increased light thrown upon God's character and designs; but what chiefly concerns us is that the exalted Saviour bestows —

1. Repentance.

2. Forgiveness. Conclusion: This subject ought to be improved, especially by —(1) Those who have good reason to conclude that they are already in possession of these blessings. Such are under infinite obligations to the God of all grace, and forget not that it flows through the channel of Christ's mediation; and while you admire this salvation in its rise and progress and application, forget not to pray for the continued communication of grace to your soul. Remember that faith needs to be strengthened, and repentance deepened.(2) Those who doubt their interest in Christ are here encouraged. Your very sorrow is a hopeful symptom. It is well that you feel your unworthiness; and instead of making it an argument against coming to Christ, use it as a strong argument to lay vigorous hold of Him.(3) To those who are as yet destitute of Divine grace. These are of two classes.

(a)The hypocrite knows that he is not what he pretends to be. Yet, notwithstanding your aggravated guilt, you are invited to the Saviour.

(b)Let the self-deceiver open his eyes to his true state and character.You say you repent; but yours is a legal repentance, which consists in a dread of the Divine wrath. Such a sorrow works death. Repentance unto life, on the other hand, is that sorrow which flows from a believing view of the atonement of Christ and of the evil of sin, as manifested in the Cross, and is recognised to be genuine only by the fruits of holiness which result from it.

(W. Orr.)

I. NOTE CHRIST'S TITLES and learn their meaning.

1. A Prince. This tells of —(1) Honour as the reward of His sufferings on earth. While He was here He was treated as a felon. What presents the Prince of Wales brought home from his travels! But the Prince of Glory took home with Him His wounds only. But the shame and the rejection are now ended, and in glory Jesus is manifestly a Prince, reverenced, obeyed, and honoured.(2) Power. His is no nominal princedom — He has both glory and strength. Unto Him is given the mediatorial kingdom, which includes all power in heaven and in earth, so that He is well styled "the blessed and only Potentate." There is no bound to this power:(3) Dominion. If Christ is to be yours you must let Him rule over you. "He must reign." He claims to be Master and Lord to those who ask salvation at His hands; and is not the claim a just one? Whom should we serve but the Lord who became a servant for our sakes? It must be so, or salvation is impossible. You must accept Jesus to be a leader and a commander to you, or you cannot win the battle of life. You must yield Him loving obedience, or He will not be married to your souls. His dominion is sweetly tempered by love; so that, as the prophet writes, "Thou shalt call Me no more Baali," that is, "My Lord," with a hardness of rulership, but Ishi, "My Lord," because Thou art my Husband.

2. A Saviour. Observe here —(1) The perseverance of the Lord's love. He was a Saviour here; He is a Saviour now that He has reached His throne. "The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost," and now "He is able to save them to the uttermost," etc.(2) The prevalence of the work He achieved here. Here He was able to save, but His salvation was not complete, for He had not yet said, "It is finished." Now His redeeming work is done, and saving is a simple matter to Him.(3) His approachableness. You might be abashed at coming to a prince, but you may be encouraged in coming to a Saviour.

3. Put the words together —(1) Prince-Saviour: one who is kingly in the salvation which He brings, and deals out no stinted grace, but makes us to receive of His fulness grace for grace.(2) Saviour-Prince whose glory it is to save, whose kingdom and power and dominion are all turned in full force to achieve the work of rescuing His people.

II. Approach him, then, under these two characters.

1. As a Prince. And how shall we do that?(1) With the sorrowful confession of past rebellion. "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry."(2) Accept His great purpose and submit to His rule. He is a Prince, therefore yield yourself to be His subject. The object of His rule is to make you love God, and to be like God.(3) Surrender everything to Him. If He has redeemed you then you belong to Him; henceforth you are not your own, you are bought with a price.(4) Pay your loving, loyal homage to your Prince. Behold Him in His glory, where all the angels cast their crowns before Him, while the elders adore Him with vials full of sweet odours.

2. As Saviour.(1) Confessing that you need a Saviour.(2) Believing that He is able to save you.(3) Submitting entirely to His processes of salvation. He will not save thee in thy way, but in His way; and His way of saving thee is to make thee feel the smart and bitterness of sin, to make thee hate that sin, and so to turn thee from it for ever.(4) Trusting Him as Saviour.


1. Repentance. This does not mean to give space for repentance, nor to make repentance acceptable, but to give repentance itself. What is repentance?(1) It is a change of mind.(a) He can give thee to change thy mind about all the past, so that the things which pleased thee shall grieve thee, that which charmed thee shall disgust thee.(b) He can also change thy mind as to the present and the future, so that instead of looking for present pleasure thou wilt find thy delight in future glory realised by faith.(2) It includes a most needful sense of sin, and the Saviour can give thee this by His Spirit.(3) He can work in thee desires after holiness and hatred of every false way; He can take the guile out of thy soul as well as the guilt out of thy life.

2. Forgiveness.(1) He can pass an act of amnesty and oblivion for all thy sin. "I have blotted out thy sins like a cloud, and as a thick cloud thy transgressions."(2) When full forgiveness comes it brings with it the eternal removal of the penalty. The forgiven man cannot be punished.(3) With pardon there shall come a restoration of every privilege.


1. Humbly. You do not deserve them. You have no claim to His love, and must not set up any.

2. Importunately. Do not come with a cold heart and a trifling spirit. Come with this resolve, "I will not leave the Cross till my sins have left me."

3. Believingly — believing that Christ can give, and that He is as willing as He is able.

4. Now. The Romans when they meant to bring things to an issue with an Oriental tyrant, sent their ambassador to bring his answer back — yes or no, war or peace. The messenger when he saw the king stooped down, and drew a ring upon the ground round the monarch; and then said, "Step outside that ring, and it means war; before you leave that circle you must accept our terms of peace, or know that Rome will use her utmost force to fight with you." I draw a ring round you, and I demand an answer. Sinner, wilt thou now be saved or not? To-day is the accepted time, to-day is the day of salvation.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. A PRINCE. According to —

1. His heavenly origin.

2. His Divine credentials, even when in the form of a servant.

3. His glorious exaltation to the right hand of God.


1. Already in the manger by His self renunciation.

2. On the Cross by His sacrifice.

3. On the throne by His intercession.


1. If He were not a Saviour He could not be a Prince — His fairest princely ornament is His crown of thorns.

2. If He were not a Prince He could not be a Saviour — the efficacy of His sacrifice depends on His Divine dignity.

3. As a Prince we must honour and obey Him, and as a Saviour love and confide in Him, in order to become partakers of His salvation.

(K. Gerok.)

The doctrine of the gospel appears to be not only that Christ taught the efficacy of repentance, but rendered it of the efficacy which it is, by what He did and suffered for us; that He obtained for us the benefit of having our repentance accepted unto eternal life; not only that He revealed to sinners that they were in a capacity of salvation by what He did and suffered for them. And it is our wisdom thankfully to accept the benefit by performing the conditions on which it is offered, on our part without disputing how it is procured on His.

(Bp. Butler.)

I. THE OFFICES OF CHRIST THE LORD IN HIS HEAVENLY STATE, or what He is exalted to be, viz., "a Prince and a Saviour."

II. THE GIFTS AT HIS DISPOSAL, or what He is able to bestow, viz., "repentance and forgiveness of sins." Application:

1. Give to Him whom God hath exalted an exalted place in your thoughts and affections.

2. Give to Him, at all times, the daily homage of your faith and love and obedience.(1) Go to Him as the only Mediator between God and man, the sole appointed medium of all your communications with the most High God.(2) Go to Him, and give heed to Him, as presenting you at once with the noblest model, and strongest motives, in every duty.(3) Go to Him farther as the authorised source and dispenser of spiritual blessings to your souls.

3. See that you value these blessings which He is exalted. to bestow, and that you faithfully seek them according to His Word.

4. Take, then, the full consolation and encouragement of having such an exalted Redeemer.

(James Brewster.)

There are some. who would object to this phraseology as unsound, if it were not the phraseology of Holy Writ. It appears to savour too much of legalism, both because it is repentance — not faith — with which the forgiveness of sins stands connected, and because in the statement of the two things, repentance is placed first in. order. But it will be seen upon examination that here, as everywhere else, the grace of the gospel and the authority of the law are equally recognised, and that there is not the slightest sacrifice of the one of these Divine dispensations to the other.


1. Forgiveness of sins denotes it as applied to our condition. We are in a state of guilt — Liable to God's displeasure, and under a sentence of condemnation. But Christ by "suffering, the just for the unjust," procures for us "redemption, even the forgiveness of sins." And thus, the only thing which separated between God and us being effectually removed, we are restored to His favour, and regain a title to every blessing.

2. Repentance denotes it in reference to our character. A change of character is as essential for us as a change of condition. Though pardon and eternal life had been procured for us, yet these we could not enjoy so long as we were alienated from God, by whom that pardon was to be granted and with whom that eternal life was to be spent. And accordingly provision is made in the gospel scheme for producing the revolution in our moral nature which is thus found to be indispensable. Of this revolution Christ is the author, as He is of every other benefit. In this way our salvation is complete.

3. The circumstance that faith is not specified does not amount to an underrating of its value, or a depriving it of its just province. Repentance includes faith, not only as one of its component parts, but as its essential feature. Faith, whether considered simply as a belief in the Divine testimony respecting Christ, or as an actual embracing of Him, and trusting in Him, enters into the very substance of repentance. Note that it is the "repentance of Israel" that is especially spoken of. They had crucified Christ. Their repentance must necessarily have mainly consisted in a transition from their obstinate infidelity to faith in Jesus as a suffering Saviour. In like-manner the predominant sin of all who have not repented, is that Christ has been offered to them, and that they have refused the offer. So that when they repent, the great thing they have to do is to open their ears and hearts to the message which the gospel brings them concerning the Saviour, and to flee for refuge in His Divine person and finished work.

II. THOUGH REPENTANCE IS FIRST IN ORDER, IT DOES NOT BEAR TO FORGIVENESS OF SINS THE RELATION OF CAUSE TO EFFECT, AND IS NOT THE CONDITION OF FORGIVENESS. Were there nothing in the passage itself to indicate this we should be entitled to explain it by what the Bible says as to the nature of repentance — viz., that it cannot meritoriously contribute to the attainment of any blessing from God; and by the general analogy of Scripture, one of whose great objects is to strip all human moralities of every thing like good desert, or in cancelling the guilt of man. But we have no occasion to wander front the text. Forgiveness comes to us from Divine mercy. Christ is exalted to give it. And, represented as His gift, it is not traced to repentance as its source. Nay, the very juxtaposition of the two benefits serves to put them on the same footing- Repentance is just as much a gift as forgiveness. And if this be so, does it not; exclude altogether the idea of forgiveness being earned or deserved by repentance and virtually prohibit us from attaching any merit to the change that is effected in our character, more than to the change that is effected in our condition? And by, teaching us to assign the whole of our salvation to the achievement of Christ alone, does it not discountenance every feeling of confidence in our own performances, and bid us cherish as profound humility, in respect to our need of repentance, as in respect to our need of forgiveness? We must therefore simply regard ourselves as the mere undeserving recipients of both. We may recognise the distinction, that while the one is bestowed upon us, the other is wrought in us; but still for neither of them must we feel indebted to any virtue or efficiency of our own.

III. REPENTANCE IS INDISSOLUBLY LINKED WITH FORGIVENESS, AND UNLESS THE FIRST IS WROUGHT IN US, MOST CERTAINLY THE SECOND IS NOT CONVEYED TO US. Men are very apt to overlook this. The fear of hell is felt to be so awful that they are desirous to escape from it, and the hope of heaven so delightful that they willingly entertain it. And as the gospel proposes a plan, whose tendency is to deliver from the one and to encourage the other, they cherish the expectation that, through Divine mercy, all will be well with them at last. But all this while they have overlooked that moral change without which punishment cannot be shunned, nor felicity reached. Now it requires no elaborate train of argument to demonstrate the utter groundlessness and danger of such views.

1. "God commandeth all men everywhere to repent" — Christ has said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all perish" and, with all the rich mercy which it unfolds, the gospel gives no one the slightest ground to hope for salvation, if the exhortation to repent is neglected. And do not you perceive that this position is a proof more ample and conclusive than anything else, that repentance is essential? Men are so much in love with sin that they not only cherish the prospect of going into heaven, though unprepared for it, but resolutely shut out from their view all that the God of heaven has told them of. the necessity of a moral renovation, and deliberately rest upon the grace He has manifested, while they as deliberately maintain the character with which that grace is declared by Him to be completely irreconcilable. Wherefore, I would say to all such, look to this declaration of the Apostle Peter, in which repentance is as emphatically announced as forgiveness. It is honoured by having conferred upon it the precedence to forgiveness. At any rate, so closely are the two conjoined that you cannot look upon either without seeing both.

2. And besides this, consider repentance and forgiveness as proceeding alike from Christ. He died to purchase them — He is exalted to communicate them. And could this have been the case, unless both of them had been necessary for you? If both of them are thus demonstrated to be necessary for you, upon what principle consistent with duty or with safety can you be contented with only one of them? Are not you, in rejecting the other, doing what you can at once to frustrate the Saviour's sufferings on the Cross, and to dishonour the power which He exercises, the mercy which He manifests, on His throne?

(A. Thomson, D. D.)

I. OFFERED BY HIM — as the Prince and the Saviour.

II. TO BE APPROPRIATED BY US — in repentance and forgiveness of sins.

(K. Gerok.)

Ananias, Gamaliel, Israelites, Judas, Peter, Sapphira, Solomon, Theudas
Jerusalem, Solomon's Portico
Change, Chief, Exalt, Exalted, Forgiveness, Grant, Heart, Leader, Prince, Reformation, Remission, Repentance, Ruler, Savior, Saviour, Sins
1. After that Ananias and Sapphira his wife,
3. at Peter's rebuke had fallen down dead;
12. and that the rest of the apostles had wrought many miracles;
14. to the increase of the faith;
17. the apostles are again imprisoned;
19. but delivered by an angel bidding them preach openly to all;
21. when, after their teaching accordingly in the temple,
29. and before the council,
33. they are in danger to be killed;
34. but through the advice of Gamaliel, they are kept alive, and are only beaten;
41. for which they glorify God, and cease no day from preaching.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Acts 5:31

     1265   hand of God
     1270   right hand of God
     2018   Christ, divinity
     2051   Christ, majesty of
     2066   Christ, power of
     2069   Christ, pre-eminence
     2203   Christ, titles of
     2324   Christ, as Saviour
     2336   Christ, exaltation
     2423   gospel, essence
     6652   forgiveness
     6734   repentance, importance

Acts 5:17-33

     2426   gospel, responses

Acts 5:17-41

     5919   popularity

Acts 5:27-40

     7757   preaching, effects

Acts 5:29-32

     3278   Holy Spirit, indwelling

Acts 5:30-31

     2560   Christ, resurrection
     5115   Peter, preacher and teacher
     5849   exaltation
     7756   preaching, content
     8738   evil, victory over

Acts 5:30-32

     2424   gospel, promises
     7953   mission, of church

Acts 5:31-32

     1513   Trinity, mission of
     5016   heart, fallen and redeemed
     8498   witnessing, and Holy Spirit

December 28. "The Holy Ghost, whom God Hath Given to them that Obey Him" (Acts v. 32).
"The Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him" (Acts v. 32). We can only know and prove the fulness of the Spirit as we step out into the larger purposes and plans of Christ for the world. Perhaps the chief reason why the Holy Spirit has been so limited in His work in the hearts of Christians, is the shameful neglect of the unsaved and unevangelized world by the great majority of the professed followers of Christ. There are millions of professing Christians--and, perhaps, real Christians--in
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Our Captain
'Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince.' --ACTS v. 31. The word rendered 'Prince' is a rather infrequent designation of our Lord in Scripture. It is only employed in all four times--twice in Peter's earlier sermons recorded in this Book of the Acts; and twice in the Epistle to the Hebrews. In a former discourse of the Apostle's he had spoken of the crime of the Jews in killing 'the Prince of life.' Here he uses the word without any appended epithet. In the Epistle to the Hebrews
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Whom to Obey, --Annas or Angel?
'Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18. And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20. Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 21. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Gamaliel's Counsel
'Refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39. But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.'--ACTS v. 38, 39. The little that is known of Gamaliel seems to indicate just such a man as would be likely to have given the advice in the text. His was a character which, on its good side and by its admirers, would be described as prudent, wise, cautious and calm, tolerant, opposed to fanaticism
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Indwelling of the Spirit, the Common Privilege of all Believers
John 7:37-39 -- "In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive." Nothing has rendered the cross of Christ of less effect; nothing has been a greater stumbling-block and rock of offense to weak minds, that a supposition, now current
George Whitefield—Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

On Zeal
"It is good to be always zealously affected in a good thing." Gal. 4:18. 1. There are few subjects in the whole compass of religion, that are of greater importance than this. For without zeal it is impossible, either to make any considerable progress in religion ourselves, or to do any considerable service to our neighbour, whether in temporal or spiritual things. And yet nothing has done more disservice to religion, or more mischief to mankind, than a sort of zeal which has for several ages prevailed,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The First Sermon in the Tabernacle
This afternoon I will try to describe the subject, Christ Jesus; then, secondly, to speak for a little while upon its comprehensiveness; then to enlarge upon sundry of its excellencies; and conclude by testing its power. I. First, then, the SUBJECT. They continued both to teach and preach Jesus Christ. To preach Jesus Christ aright we must preach him in his infinite and indisputable Godhead. We may be attacked by philosophers, who will either make him no God at all, or one constituted temporarily
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 7: 1861

Of the Recollection of God's Manifold Benefits
Open, O Lord, my heart in Thy law, and teach me to walk in the way of Thy commandments. Grant me to understand Thy will and to be mindful of Thy benefits, both general and special, with great reverence and diligent meditation, that thus I may be able worthily to give Thee thanks. Yet I know and confess that I cannot render Thee due praises for the least of Thy mercies. I am less than the least of all the good things which Thou gavest me; and when I consider Thy majesty, my spirit faileth because
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Reader Reminded How Much He Needs the Assistance of the Spirit of God to Form Him to the Temper Described Above, and what Encouragement He
1. Forward resolutions may prove ineffectual.--2. Yet religion is not to be given up in despair, but Divine grace to be sought.--3. A general view of its reality and necessity, from reason.--4. And Scripture.--5. The spirit to be sought as the spirit of Christ.--6. And in that view the great strength of the soul.--7. The encouragement there is to hope for the communication of it.--8. A concluding exhortation to pray for it. And an humble address to God pursuant to that exhortation. I HAVE now laid
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

May one Lose the Blessing?
The question trembles from many a lip--If I get the blessing, may I lose it? Most certainly. But, glory be to God! He has made ample provision for failure. There is no reason why we should fail; God has made ample provision against failure; we must not expect to fail; but in case we do fail, provision has been made. The most prolific cause of loss is disobedience--disobedience either to one of God's written commands, or to the inward promptings of His Holy Spirit. "The Holy Ghost whom God hath
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

Whether Fraud Pertains to Craftiness?
Objection 1: It would seem that fraud does not pertain to craftiness. For a man does not deserve praise if he allows himself to be deceived, which is the object of craftiness; and yet a man deserves praise for allowing himself to be defrauded, according to 1 Cor. 6:1, "Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?" Therefore fraud does not belong to craftiness. Objection 2: Further, fraud seems to consist in unlawfully taking or receiving external things, for it is written (Acts 5:1) that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Whatever God Does Outside the Natural Order is Miraculous?
Objection 1: It would seem that not everything which God does outside the natural order of things, is miraculous. For the creation of the world, and of souls, and the justification of the unrighteous, are done by God outside the natural order; as not being accomplished by the action of any natural cause. Yet these things are not called miracles. Therefore not everything that God does outside the natural order is a miracle. Objection 2: Further, a miracle is "something difficult, which seldom occurs,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Subjects are Bound to Obey their Superiors in all Things?
Objection 1: It seems that subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things. For the Apostle says (Col. 3:20): "Children, obey your parents in all things," and farther on (Col. 3:22): "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh." Therefore in like manner other subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things. Objection 2: Further, superiors stand between God and their subjects, according to Dt. 5:5, "I was the mediator and stood between the Lord and you at that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Shamefacedness is About a Disgraceful Action?
Objection 1: It would seem that shamefacedness is not about a disgraceful action. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 9) that "shamefacedness is fear of disgrace." Now sometimes those who do nothing wrong suffer ignominy, according to Ps. 67:8, "For thy sake I have borne reproach, shame hath covered my face." Therefore shamefacedness is not properly about a disgraceful action. Objection 2: Further, nothing apparently is disgraceful but what is sinful. Yet man is ashamed of things that are not sins,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Anyone Should be Excommunicated for Inflicting Temporal Harm?
Objection 1: It would seem that no man should be excommunicated for inflicting a temporal harm. For the punishment should not exceed the fault. But the punishment of excommunication is the privation of a spiritual good, which surpasses all temporal goods. Therefore no man should be excommunicated for temporal injuries. Objection 2: Further, we should render to no man evil for evil, according to the precept of the Apostle (Rom. 12:17). But this would be rendering evil for evil, if a man were to be
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Human Law Binds a Man in Conscience?
Objection 1: It would seem that human law does not bind man in conscience. For an inferior power has no jurisdiction in a court of higher power. But the power of man, which frames human law, is beneath the Divine power. Therefore human law cannot impose its precept in a Divine court, such as is the court of conscience. Objection 2: Further, the judgment of conscience depends chiefly on the commandments of God. But sometimes God's commandments are made void by human laws, according to Mat. 15:6: "You
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Devil is Directly the Cause of Man's Sinning?
Objection 1: It would seem that the devil is directly the cause of man's sinning. For sin consists directly in an act of the appetite. Now Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 12) that "the devil inspires his friends with evil desires"; and Bede, commenting on Acts 5:3, says that the devil "draws the mind to evil desires"; and Isidore says (De Summo Bono ii, 41; iii, 5) that the devil "fills men's hearts with secret lusts." Therefore the devil is directly the cause of sin. Objection 2: Further, Jerome says
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is Praiseworthy to Enter Religion Without Taking Counsel of Many, and Previously Deliberating for a Long Time?
Objection 1: It would not seem praiseworthy to enter religion without taking counsel of many, and previously deliberating for a long time. For it is written (1 Jn. 4:1): "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God." Now sometimes a man's purpose of entering religion is not of God, since it often comes to naught through his leaving the religious life; for it is written (Acts 5:38,39): "If this counsel or this work be of God, you cannot overthrow it." Therefore it would seem that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Precept of Fraternal Correction Demands that a Private Admonition Should Precede Denunciation?
Objection 1: It would seem that the precept of fraternal correction does not demand that a private admonition should precede denunciation. For, in works of charity, we should above all follow the example of God, according to Eph. 5:1,2: "Be ye followers of God, as most dear children, and walk in love." Now God sometimes punishes a man for a sin, without previously warning him in secret. Therefore it seems that there is no need for a private admonition to precede denunciation. Objection 2: Further,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Wheat and the Tares
'And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.' --ACTS iv. 32. 'And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.'--ACTS v. 11. Once more Luke pauses and gives a general survey of the Church's condition. It comes in appropriately at the end of the account of the triumph over the first assault of civil authority, which assault
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

That the Christian Miracles are not Recited, or Appealed To, by Early Christian Writers Themselves So Fully or Frequently as Might have Been Expected.
I shall consider this objection, first, as it applies to the letters of the apostles preserved in the New Testament; and secondly, as it applies to the remaining writings of other early Christians. The epistles of the apostles are either hortatory or argumentative. So far as they were occupied in delivering lessons of duty, rules of public order, admonitions against certain prevailing corruptions, against vice, or any particular species of it, or in fortifying and encouraging the constancy of the
William Paley—Evidences of Christianity

The Birth of Jesus.
(at Bethlehem of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke II. 1-7. ^c 1 Now it came to pass in those days [the days of the birth of John the Baptist], there went out a decree [a law] from Cæsar Augustus [Octavius, or Augustus, Cæsar was the nephew of and successor to Julius Cæsar. He took the name Augustus in compliment to his own greatness; and our month August is named for him; its old name being Sextilis], that all the world should be enrolled. [This enrollment or census was the first step
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Holy Spirit Bearing Witness to Jesus Christ.
When our Lord was talking to His disciples on the night before His crucifixion of the Comforter who after His departure was to come to take His place, He said, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me: and ye also bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning" (John xv. 26, 27, R. V.), and the Apostle Peter and the other disciples when they were strictly commanded
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

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