Good morning and my, it’s been a while since I have stood before you all BUT…Have we not been. So, I’d like to praise God again, for Dan, Stephen, Anthony, Randle, Lot and Andre for allowing God to use them over the past few weeks. Truly, we have seen, heard, and witnessed, it’s not about a man, but about the Man, Jesus Christ. And these guys did a marvelous job of pointing us to the Man, Jesus Christ. I pray that we all have been blessed like I have.
Also, if you are a first time guest, welcome, my name is Valentine and I am one of the pastors here at Omni. Please fill out a Welcome card and either put it in the Joy Box or bring it to me, I’d love to meet you at the of service.
Next, if you are not serving in a particular ministry or if you haven’t joined a Gathering Group, SAVE the DATE: August 28th. We will give everyone a chance to sign up or join then, more info to come. Lastly, we are having an important and celebratory Family following service today. If you can, please join us, you don’t want to miss it.
With that, please find of your device or in your Bibles Acts 3:1-10, this morning while we will be continuing our journey through Acts, but for the next few weeks we will be talking about the blessed doctrine and practice of forgiveness. At Omni, every August we discuss and learn about a particular doctrine of the Bible, and so this year it’s Forgiveness. Listen, you don’t want to miss it. I promise, it will bless your soul and make you more like Jesus.
Lets stand and read together, Acts 3:1-10. 3:1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple for the time of prayer at three in the afternoon. 2 A man who was lame from birth was being carried there. He was placed each day at the temple gate called Beautiful, so that he could beg from those entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple, he asked for money. 4 Peter, along with John, looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” 5 So he turned to them, expecting to get something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” 7 Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. 8 So he jumped up and started to walk, and he entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized that he was the one who used to sit and beg at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. So they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him. Leader: This is God’s Holy Word. Family: Blessed be God of the Word and those who hear it and do it. What impossible with man, is possible with God. And what’s possible with God, is also possible within His church.
Do you recall how I defined the church earlier this year, THE CHURCH DEFINED: The church is the body of people called out by God’s grace through faith in Christ, to worship Him together by serving Him in His world, to the glory of His name and fame. And as we learned, all this started at the day of Pentecost, the day the Spirit of God used Peter to preach one sermon and at once 3000 souls were rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom they were redeemed and all their sins forgiven. But not only is the Church a forgiven people, the Church has been given the keys, the authority, to offer the miracle of God’s forgiveness to others in the name of Jesus Christ. We As we learn about this in Acts 3, why did Luke choose to chronicle this particular miracle? The answer is two-fold: 1) because it was the occasion for a second sermon of Peter’s, which Luke wants us to hear; and 2) because this miracle and sermon were the cause of the first persecution of the church. Haters will hate when God starts making much of Himself through. Believe that. So let’s look at it. In vv.1-5, we see the setting of the miracle, v.6 shows us the source of the miracle, in vv.7-8 we see a sudden and supernatural change because of the miracle, and in v..9-10, we see the shock of the people from the miracle.
THE SETTING, VV.1-5. 1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple for the time of prayer at three in the afternoon. 2 A man who was lame from birth was being carried there. He was placed each day at the temple gate called Beautiful, so that he could beg from those entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple, he asked for money. 4 Peter, along with John, looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” 5 So he turned to them, expecting to get something from them. Explanation: Notice, Peter and John kept their Jewish practice. They didn’t stop their practice because they knew their true purpose, to make much of Jesus. Jesus can turn traditions into times of trusting Him. Jesus can turn rituals into moments of enjoying our relationship with Him. Peter and John kept meeting at the temple at 9am and 3pm, but they kept their hearts and eyes open for the good works that God had preordained for them in Christ.
What I love about this text, God takes the initiative to bring a needy person to Peter and John and what we see is that Peter and John took the initiative to bring Jesus to that person who needed Him. And if we’d walk with heaven’s awareness, God will do the same for us. All people are in need of Christ. Rather they want to admit or not. How can I say such a bold statement? Sin makes us all needy of Christ and what He has to offer us. People just don’t know what He can do. The man is at the gate called Beautiful, but he is in need. People are driving cars that look Beautiful. Living in homes that feel Beautiful. Gazing at banks accounts that seem Beautiful… But just because its called Beautiful, looks Beautiful, feels Beautiful and seems Beautiful, doesn’t mean it’s beautiful. I like how one guy said, “Beauty is the battlefield where God and Satan contend for the hearts of men.“ Now I know what I am about say and what Peter says in v.6 may sound simple-minded, small-minded and narrow-minded but only Christians, that is the true Christians, can stop, and look at people and give them Who they need and not what they think they need.
THE SOURCE OF THE MIRACLE IN V.6. 6 But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” Listen, according to v.5, when Peter told Him to look at them… Peter wanted him to listen carefully. He wanted his full attention. To look at him and his mess. The text says, he turned to them, expecting to get something, but what he was about to get was not something but Someone. Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold… Peter’s reply is emphatic and contains an element of surprise. I sure the man thought that he was about to hit the lotto, but what he was about to get is a lot of Jesus. Peter says to him, I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” Peter didn’t give him alms, instead He gave Him the Almighty. Peter didn’t give him cash, but gave him Christ. Peter didn’t give money, instead he introduced him to the Messiah. This man was in a mess and He a needed a miracle and money couldn’t change his mess. So, Peter reveals the source of the miracle.
But how do you when something is a miracle? In a miracle the laws of nature are not broken, but God acts above them. In a miracle, there is an interference with nature by the supernatural. In a miracle, what’s impossible with man becomes possible because of God. I like the old song we use to sang as kids, I’m Looking for a miracle I Expect the impossible I Feel the intangible I See the invisible oh, know, The sky is the limit to what I can have. Just believe and receive it (He will) God will perform today. But the truth is, when God performs a miracle, it is to reveal Himself, His character, and His purposes through man and for man but aways for His glory. The miracle in todays text and in the church today is always to be done in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Every miracle of God, perfomed by the Spirit of God, is to point us to Jesus Christ, who is God. Because Jesus has all Authority, all Power, and is sovereign over all things and people, He is the source of every miracle. And He is so bad, so cold, so Himself, He doesn’t even need to present so show off His power. Just say His name.
Application: In 1999, Destiny Child came out with a song entitled, Say my name, but if you check out the lyrics, they gave conditions in order to say their name. But saying the name of Jesus Christ, changes every condition. In His name… there is salvation. Acts 4:12 In His name…there is healing, Mark 16:17-18; Acts 3:6, 4:10) In His name…there is reconciliation. In His name…we receive every spiritual Blessing, Ephesians 1:3-14 In His name…there is Victory, 1 John 5:4-5. In His name…demons shudder. In His name…there is Forgiveness of sin, Acts 4:19. It was only after the lame man trusted in His name, that Peter gave him the command, get up and walk! In commanding the crippled man to “walk,” Peter was telling him to do something that he had never done before, walk. Peter was commanding the impossible! But what is impossible with men is possible with God and is also possible within His church. And it doesn’t take God long to do His thing in and through man.
We see A SUDDEN AND SUPERNATURAL CHANGE BECAUSE OF THE MIRACLE, VV.7-8. 7 Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. 8 So he jumped up and started to walk, and he entered the temple with them— walking, leaping, and praising God. Though Peter is the one who took the lame man by the hand… The Lord of creation was at work through Peter. The Lord who parted the Red Sea was at work through Peter. The Lord who raised the dead was at work through Peter. The lame man rose to his feet at once. At once he raised up. At once his ankles became strong. At once His feet became strong, At once all became so strong that he jumped up. This is nothing short of a supernatural work of God. Remember, He has never walked and yet, he’s walking, jumping and leaping. He was able, all at once, all this without the use of corrective surgery performed by man. What we see here is something that can be accomplished by man over a longer period of time involving physiotherapy. I did say we see a supernatural change, but how can I say that? I only say what I see. And what I see is what the lame man did. Though the miracle was done through Peter, the lame gave appropriate credit to God. The last three words of v.8 says, and praising God. Every miracle performed on earth done in the name of Jesus, points to God who is supernatural and it left the people in shock.
We see THE SHOCK OF THE PEOPLE BECAUSE OF THE MIRACLE IN VV.9-10. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized that he was the one who used to sit and beg at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. So they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him. Now, we read this, and ask what does this have to do with us today. Most, if not all of us, walked in just fine. Walked to the TV we are watching just fine. The ultimate need of this man was never a physical miracle, but always spiritual one. The lame man’s condition is indicative of something more personal, more and more paralyzing. His condition points to a bigger issue…the lameness of our souls. Sin has tainted and twisted our souls and have left us… lame towards God. Crippled before God And helpless to walk in a way that pleases God. And, because man’s greatest problem is sin, man’s greatest need is forgiveness. And because Forgiveness is our greatest need, it is God’s greatest gift because it meets our greatest need. See, this account closely parallels to Luke 5:17–26. The key difference from Luke’s Gospel is that Peter mediates a healing and then explains what it shows in the rest of the chapter 3, whereas Jesus declares in Luke 5:17-26 forgiveness of sins is the greatest need of the man who was paralyzed. This lame man is a vivid illustration of all us before God revealed His Son to us. (1) Just like this man was born lame, we all are born spiritually lame from birth. (2) And like this man who could not walk, none of us could walk so as to please God. (3) Like this man lived outside the temple, the Holy Spirit lived outside of us before dwelling in us making us God’s temple. (4) And lastly, just as he was begging, begging for something and not Someone to satisfy him, all of us were beggars, begging and searching for something they can never satisfy. The truth is, elements of this miracle indicate how Jesus, Who never was lame before God, Walked a perfect life unto God, Was hung on a cross pleasing God, Died in our place satisfying God, Got up from grave so that we could experience the forgiveness of God. And like the lame we, at once we can walk pleasing to God because of the forgiveness of God through Jesus. Illustration: The man was radically changed because of God’s forgiveness. Me and Dr. Hoskins having a talked about my past and how who I was today left him in shock. In the end, I realized how much I was forgiven, and it was that, that motivated me to live for Christ the rest of my life. And one of the ways I, we can do that is through forgiveness. We will spend the next couple of weeks fleshing out, talking about God forgiveness to us, that should flow through us. Let us pray.