In the biblical narrative of Acts chapter five, we witness a dramatic encounter between the Sanhedrin and the apostles who were fervently spreading the gospel. The Sanhedrin’s initial reaction was hostile, but a surprising intervention by a member named Gamil changed the course of events. This story holds valuable insights for believers today, emphasizing the importance of trusting God in the face of opposition.

The Sanhedrin’s Response:
As the Sanhedrin deliberated on the apostles’ fate, Gamil urged caution, advising his fellow council members not to act hastily. His wise counsel centered on the idea that if the apostles’ mission was not of God, it would fade away, but if it was divinely inspired, opposing it would mean fighting against God Himself. The Sanhedrin agreed to let the apostles go, but not before subjecting them to a severe flogging.

The Apostles’ Remarkable Reaction:
Following the brutal beating, one might expect the apostles to respond with bitterness, anger, or a desire for revenge. However, their reaction was quite the opposite. Acts chapter five, verses 41-42, reveal that the apostles left the council rejoicing. They considered it an honor to suffer for the sake of Christ and promptly resumed their mission, teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ both in the temple and from house to house.

Pray, Obey, Say, Replay:
The key takeaway from this powerful narrative is encapsulated in the phrase “Pray, Obey, Say, Replay.” It emphasizes the need to trust God with people’s responses to the gospel. We are reminded that our role is to faithfully share the message, leaving the outcome in God’s hands.

Trusting God with Responses:
In Acts, we see the apostles consistently delivering the same message about Jesus being the Messiah. However, their experiences varied greatly in terms of the audience’s response. Acts chapter two records a positive reaction, leading to the conversion of 3000 people, while in Acts chapter five, the Sanhedrin’s response was hostile and threatening.

We cannot control how people respond to the gospel, but we can control our faithfulness in sharing it. Our responsibility lies in being gracious, winsome, and teaching the truth with humility. Acts chapter two and Acts chapter five demonstrate that the apostles’ faithful proclamation did not guarantee a uniform response, highlighting the importance of trusting God with the outcomes.

The Isaiah Principle:
Reflecting on Isaiah’s encounter with God in Isaiah chapter six, we find a parallel lesson. Isaiah willingly accepted God’s call to be a prophet, fully aware that many would not believe his message. His commitment to God’s call exemplifies the principle of trusting God for results and responses while remaining faithful to the task at hand.

The lesson from Acts chapter five challenges believers to adopt a “Pray, Obey, Say, Replay” mindset. As we share the gospel, we must trust God with how people respond, recognizing that our role is to faithfully convey the message. The narratives in Acts underscore the dynamic nature of responses to the gospel and emphasize the importance of relying on God’s sovereignty throughout the process.


The content of this article is drawn from a segment of the sermon titled “Using Your Platform for the Kingdom,” delivered by Dale McCamish on January 14, 2024 at the Wilmington Church of Christ.