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Peter Gets to Work

Acts: Christ Builds His Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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The Lame Man Walks

Acts 3:1–10 NKJV
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
EX: Peter and John have a divine appointment on the way the Temple
They were traveling at the 9th hour (3 pm) for prayer
The other 2 times of Jewish prayer were 3rd Hour (9 am) and 6th Hour (Noon)
Gate Called Beautiful
Location:
large gate inside the Temple on the eastern side
It separated the court of the Gentiles from the Court of the Women
Custom:
beggars gathered here to beg for alms (donated money)
Location possibly chosen because there was more pressure to give
They wanted to impress God and each other by the good works
The Lame Man meets Peter and John
He was 40 years old (4:22) and was stationed at the gate
It is also the closest to the temple that this Jewish man can get. People who had infirmities were not allowed into the temple, consequently, this man had never seen the inside of the facility, and spend all of his days as an outcast. He knew no other life.
asks for alms from them
They were broke! "silver and gold I don't have"
received so much more
First, they noticed Him
look at us!
this was a break from custom, to actually look at each other.
the beggar was to beneath the donors and not worth really noticing.
He was healed by the power of God!
"In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk"
And he did!
After being helped to his feet (probably more out of disbelief or shock rather than incapability), he immediately began to walk.
The miracle herein goes beyond simple physical healing. If the man had never walked before, what would be needed once he get his strength back?
Even today when someone is injured and cannot walk for an extended period of time, what is needed once their strength comes back? We call it "rehabilitation." The person has to re-learn how to walk though practice.
This man received no such rehab. He stood to his feet and was not only walking, he was leaping as he praised God for what had just been done.
He entered with them leaping and praising God
the lame couldn't enter the Temple
Their infirmity (often thought to be from sin) made them unclean
This was a big deal!
It was the 1st time he had ever been able to enter.
AP: Give what we have
This speaks volumes!
1. Notice people!
All people, not just people just like us
The Apostles took a chance to break from the norm to actually notice this man who society had cast down.
There are so many ways we divide people today
We have invented labels to put on people which leads to division
That isn't what the Bible teaches!
We are 1 family of God! There are no social, racial, financial or behavioral requirements. God graciously saves all types of people. To Him, these labels are fake anyway!
Romans 2:11 NKJV
For there is no partiality with God.
Acts 10:34–35 NKJV
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
There is nothing about anyone that can make them more or less acceptable to God
God sees all human beings the same:
sinners in need of His grace
The Lord isn't impressed with us!
Our money, talents, family pedigree, ethnicity
NONE of it holds any weight with Him!
At the same time: God loves us!
Grace is offered regardless of who we are and what labels invented by mankind we may wear.
A favorite verse of mine about heaven declares this:
Revelation 7:9–12 NKJV
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
People from all over the world and of every tribe and language will join with the angels and elders in heaven to sing praise to God as one congregation!
I love that God's grace brings diverse groups of people together and makes us 1!
2. Serve others with your gifts and talents
If you have resources, share them! (we have seen this in action already in Acts 2)
If you have time, spend it on others
Serve as God has gifted you
this may be what God uses to open a door to share the gospel
3. Meet their most important need
Their spiritual needs are far high in priority than anything
churches are often criticized for "preaching" and not "serving"
Often the $ spent on preaching is attacked
facility, equipment, staff, degrees etc.
BUT they miss the point-
a person's spiritual needs are their greatest needs

The Fisherman Preaches

Acts 3:11–26 NKJV
Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
EX: Peter responds to the crowd that were gathered because of the miracle.
1. The source of the miracle
God of our Fathers glorified Jesus
the same Jesus they turned over to Pilate and demanded death
they had denied Him
They had killed Him, the Prince of Life
Faith in Jesus' name had healed the lame man!
2. Connecting to the Scripture
They had acted in ignorance
God had foretold His suffering
3. Call for Repentence
Repent and be converted
to blot out your sins
To open to times of refreshing
Acts 3:26 NKJV
To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
AP: We preach the same message:
Repent and be converted
Our primary mission is to make disciples
Jesus commanded it
Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20
Matthew 28:19–20 NKJV
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Going
as we journey through life, keep the command to make disciples our top priority
Like Peter, look for opportunities to point people to Jesus
Baptizing
no spiritual orphans
If one responds to God's call, help them follow up by being obedient
identifying with Christ through baptism
becoming a member of a local church
Teaching
Follow through in training them
sharing Christ's teachings
modeling
proclaiming
Jesus commenced it
During His ministry, this is what we saw Him doing!
He spent time with sinners
He met people's needs
He often said, "go and sin no more"

The Church Grows

Acts 4:4 NKJV
However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
EX: The church grew.
The total reached 5,000 men.
It was 3120+ whatever had been added "daily"
Now the men = 5,000
Christ was building His church in Jerusalem!
AP: We need the Lord to continue building our church
Growth isn't always numerical:
We can grow in Health
We can grow in our knowledge
We can also grow in number
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