Faithlife Sermons

Empowered Part 5

Empowered  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:21
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In Acts 3, we see that the church is called to glorify God by bringing the powerful love of Jesus to the physical, mental, social, and spiritual tragedy around us.

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INTRODUCTION

Illustration: Neighbor who just tragically lost her son to a motorcycle accident. What do you say to that?
We live in a broken hurting world. Now here in suburbia a lot of that brokenness is hidden or covered over with money. But the brokenness is inescapable. Marriages on the brink of divorce. Chronic illness. I can count over 5 surgeries that we've had just in our little group in the past several months. Then there's just the normal pains and suffering of getting older (like me, knee, elbow, shoulder). Sometimes these things can have devastating effects (Tim's Gallbladder--now out of work for who knows how long?)
Seventy percent of Americans are on some sort of prescription medication for an injury or an illness. Over half of Americans are on at least two medications for an illness or an injury. Since sin entered the world, people are suffering, and they’re sick, and they’re struggling.
We live in a broken hurting world. Now here in suburbia a lot of that brokenness is hidden or covered over with money. But the brokenness is inescapable. Marriages on the brink of divorce. Chronic illness. I can count over 5 surgeries that we've had just in our little group in the past several months. Then there's just the normal pains and suffering of getting older (like me, knee, elbow, shoulder). Sometimes these things can have devastating effects (Tim's Gallbladder--now out of work for who knows how long?)
Seventy percent of Americans are on some sort of prescription medication for an injury or an illness. Over half of Americans are on at least two medications for an illness or an injury. Since sin entered the world, people are suffering, and they’re sick, and they’re struggling.
There is more than physical suffering around us, there is dire spiritual needs all around us.
There is more than physical suffering around us, there is dire spiritual needs all around us.
Big Question: How do we bring the love of Jesus to all of this mess around us? How do we see the love of Jesus transform people in the midst of all this brokenness?
Big Question: How do we do this? How do we bring the love of Jesus to all of this mess around us? How do we see the love of Jesus transform people in the midst of all this brokenness?

The Tragedy All Around Us

There are several tragic things about this story:
The man's pitiful condition -- for 40 years!
• The man's pitiful condition -- for many years!
His condition was definitely physical but this also meant poverty, singleness, social outcast
But his condition was far greater than physical, emotional, social. Being lame ment that he would never enter into the Temple to worship God.
He terrible condition was a spiritual tragedy
• What this man sought -- physical restoration
What this man sought -- he wanted spare change … he probably had given up on what he really needed a long time ago
Where this man sought it -- empty religion (awful irony of the situation) He was laying outside the beautiful gate of the temple. But between him and the temple lay a vast gulf of irrelevance.
• Where this man sought it -- empty religion (awful irony of the situation) He was laying outside the beautiful gate of the temple. But between him and the temple lay a vast gulf of irrelevance.
Their paralysis is a reflection of his. They didn't rush out to help this man because their God was the God who doesn't do anything to help people.
○ Their paralysis is a reflection of his. They didn't rush out to help this man because their God was the God who doesn't do anything to help people.
The same happens today. Millions of people an arm’s length away from the church but the church does nothing? Why? Possibly because we believe that God doesn’t help people like this… or that God can’t or won’t.

Like this disabled man, there is physical, mental, social, and spiritual tragedy all around us.

The Healing Jesus Brings

The Tragedy All Around Us

The promise, given seven hundred years before Jesus was born, was that his ministry would be two things: 1. that he would forgive sins spiritually and 2. that he would heal bodies physically.
. “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace”—and here’s the key phrase—“and with his wounds we are healed.” We are healed.
Isaiah 53:4–5 ESV
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
The question then was, “Do we have any access to Jesus now? When he was here, we could walk up to him and ask him a question, or if we were sick, we could go up to him and ask for healing. But now that he has left, what does that mean for us? Are we abandoned? Are we orphaned? Are we alone? Can we have access to Jesus? Will he forgive us? Will he heal us? What relationship does Jesus have with us now?”

The Healing Jesus Brings

This Miracle was a sign that the healing that Jesus brings has come.

This miracle is a sign that ultimately points to Jesus.

What Kind of Response?

The people are amazed but for all the wrong reasons. They are looking at Peter and the disciples and not Jesus. --The world wants a show, free bread, and worldly glory. They will love us if we provide that. Jesus experience this ().
One day they are celebrating him with palm branches and the next they are crying "Crucify him!"
the people are amazed but for all the wrong reasons. They are looking at Peter and the disciples and not Jesus. --The world wants a show, free bread, and worldly glory. They will love us if we provide that. Jesus experience this (). One day they are celebrating him with palm branches and the next they are crying "Crucify him!"
There’s a lot of churches these days that look around and they see how consumeristic our culture has become and they say, “Why try to beat them? Let’s just meet them where they are.” So they create environments, programs, ad experiences to cater to the modern consumer.
What’s the problem with this? (In some ways I appreciate this sentiment). The problem is that if you draw people consumeristically, that is how you keep them.
Look at how Peter responds to this disabled man. The man clearly wanted a hand out. But Peter refuses to step into his consumer needs and instead gives what this man what he needs.
But it’s tempting to want to please people and to have a fast growing church.
And when the people were amazed at
The crowd’s response to this miracle led to the people’s amazement and they were all there gathering around Peter and John.
This isn’t the fast route to church growth but what is faithful to the gospel.
But they were not going to take credit for this. V. 12 — “And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: ‘Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us …?’”
Then he goes on to point to the glory of God which is displayed in Jesus.
The ultimate goal is not healing; healing is the penultimate goal; it’s the secondary goal. The primary goal is the glory of God.
God is seeking people that are consumed with his glory alone and when he finds them he will pour out his Spirit in power.

Conclusions

We need to recognize the true nature of the tragedy around us. “Peter directed his gaze at him” (v. 4)
“Peter directed his gaze at him” (v. 4)
We need to point people to their truest need, Jesus
-We need to be consumed with God's glory
We need to be consumed with God's glory—when we are God will pour out his Spirit upon us and we will see God do amazing things.
We need to point people to their truest need, Jesus
-we need to point people to their truest need, Jesus
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