Acts 5:12-42

Talks for Growing Christians

The Ongoing Ministry of the Apostles in the Early Church

Acts 5:12-42

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Lesson Number 10

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. There was a period of extraordinary miracles in the early church.
  2. Believers must obey God rather than men.
  3. Reaction to the gospel ranges from Saul-type to Gamaliel-type.

Practical Application

  1. Keep right on teaching and preaching!


  1. What was Ananias and Sapphira’s sin?
  2. Describe the clusters of miracles throughout history.
  3. What was the purpose of the miracles during the early church period?
  4. Did Peter’s shadow have a mystical power to heal (verse 15)?
  5. What was the rabbi Gamaliel’s attitude toward Christianity?


  1. They lied to the Holy Spirit by pretending to give all the money from a piece of land to the church, when in actuality they only gave part.
  2. There have been clusters of miracles throughout history, such as at: Creation Exodus and the Conquest Elijah and Elisha Daniel The Lord and the Apostles End Times
  3. They were to demonstrate the power of God and give divine authority to the apostles and confirm the Word of God that the apostles were preaching.
  4. No, it was God who did the healing.
  5. Let Christianity run its course. If it is not of God, it will die out like other sects. If it is of God, let’s not fight it, because we’ll be fighting God.


  1. This passage brings up the important issue of civil disobedience. Here it was appropriate for the apostles to disobey the lower authority in order to obey God, the higher authority. Discuss when you must choose to disobey the lower authorities in order to obey God. Discuss how you can do this while also remaining subject to those authorities.
  2. Gamaliel’s passive response to the gospel is more like what we see in our culture today than Paul’s aggressive response, yet it is just as damaging. Have you had people respond to you with this “well that’s fine for you” attitude, when you approach them with the gospel? How can this attitude be confronted?


  1. Despite the external persecution and internal problems, the apostles kept on teaching and preaching. We will face these same problems throughout our ministry, yet we too should keep on keeping on.

Key Verses

  • “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people.” Acts 5:12
  • “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
  • “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:41

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