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Acts 3:1-26

The Book of Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Last week we looked at the community life of the newborn church. The miracles and signs performed through the prophets validated the message they were delivering. Luke records one particular miracle that garnered a lot of attention.

1. The healing of the lame man ()

Acts 3:1–10 CSB
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.

A. Peter and John headed to the temple for 3 p.m. prayers. ()

Acts 3:1 CSB
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple for the time of prayer at three in the afternoon.
The Jewish people had three times a day where they prayed. They prayed at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m.

B. A man born lame was carried to the temple gate to beg. ()

Acts 3:2 CSB
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.
This was common practice. It would be the same as the people we see begging at intersections.

C. Peter and John addressed the man. ()

Acts 3:3–5 CSB
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.
He expected to receive something monetary from them. It was the habit of devout Jewish people to give to the poor.

D. By the power of God, through Peter, the lame man was healed. ()

Acts 3:6–10 CSB
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.
Peter identified the source of the miracle. It wasn’t Peter’s ability. It was in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth the man was healed. By announcing Jesus’ name, they were invoking the power and presence of Jesus.
The man was healed and there was no doubt about what had happened. He was walking, leaping, and praising God. He entered into the temple to worship with Peter and John. Everybody saw him. Everybody knew what happened. Naturally, they were filled with awe and astonishment at the events.

2. Peter’s speech ()

The response of the crippled man to what happened to him became a precipitous for an evangelistic speech. I am reminded that the signs and miracles performed through the apostles were for the purpose of spreading the gospel.
Acts 3:11–26 CSB
11 While he was holding on to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astonished, ran toward them in what is called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: “Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied before Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14 You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer released to you. 15 You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Jesus has given him this perfect health in front of all of you. 17 “And now, brothers and sisters, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders also did. 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had predicted through all the prophets—that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, 20 that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about through his holy prophets from the beginning. 22 Moses said: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers and sisters. You must listen to everything he tells you. 23 And everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be completely cut off from the people. 24 “In addition, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, have also foretold these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, And all the families of the earth will be blessed through your offspring. 26 God raised up his servant and sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.”

A. Peter immediately moved to deflect the attention from himself. ()

Acts 3:11–12 CSB
11 While he was holding on to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astonished, ran toward them in what is called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: “Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness?
This is very important for us to realize. It is natural for us to desire accolades. We want to look good and we brag about our accomplishment, even Christian leaders. Sometimes I am with other pastors and the first thing they want to talk about is how big their church is and how far they reach. We need to be careful to not take any glory for ourselves.

B. Peter attributed the miracle to the power of God through the name of Jesus. ()

Acts 3:13–16 CSB
13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied before Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14 You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer released to you. 15 You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Jesus has given him this perfect health in front of all of you.
He started with something his Jewish audience could identify with by invoking the name of the God of their ancestors. He is basically claiming that the performance of the miracle in Jesus’ name validated the message of Jesus which they initially rejected. God glorified Jesus and faith in Jesus is the cause of the success of the miracle.

C. God used their rejection of the Messiah to accomplish his will ()

Acts 3:17–18 CSB
17 “And now, brothers and sisters, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders also did. 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had predicted through all the prophets—that his Messiah would suffer.
They were ignorant of what they did. They didn’t understand the mission and ministry of the Messiah. God used their ignorance to fulfill his will and bring salvation to humanity.
I am thankful for God’s sovereignty. God is in control. We don’t always, or maybe even rarely do we, understand what God is doing and why things are happening, but God is working. God is not dead, nor does he sleep. He is accomplishing his purpose and we can trust in God’s faithfulness.

D. Peter called the people to repentance. ()

Acts 3:19–20 CSB
19 Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, 20 that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah.
Peter refers to a fulfillment of an Old Testament promise for a time of refreshment which would come when the people repented and accepted Jesus as their Messiah. The ultimate fulfillment of this promise will be at the second coming.

E. Jesus remains in heaven until God restores all things ()

Acts 3:21 CSB
21 Heaven must receive him until the time of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about through his holy prophets from the beginning.

F. Peter cited Old Testament prophecies of the coming of the Messiah. ()

Acts 3:22–25 CSB
22 Moses said: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers and sisters. You must listen to everything he tells you. 23 And everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be completely cut off from the people. 24 “In addition, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, have also foretold these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, And all the families of the earth will be blessed through your offspring.
Moses told them a prophet would come. The implication is that Jesus is the prophet who God raised up who they were supposed to listen to. If they don’t listen to Jesus they will be cut off from the people of the covenant.
Peter told them that pretty much all the prophets talked about the coming of this Messiah. The entire Old Testament points to the coming of the Messiah who is Jesus Christ. The Jewish people were the people of the Abrahamic covenant and they would receive the promised blessings if they accepted Jesus as their Messiah, as the one who had been foretold.

G. Jesus was sent by God to turn them from their wicked ways. ()

Acts 3:26 CSB
26 God raised up his servant and sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.”
God had provided the way for the people to be forgiven. Jesus came to turn people from their wicked ways. If all we like sheep had gone astray, then Jesus’ mission, as the Great Shepherd, was to gather the people again. His would give them a new heart, a heart which would be made of flesh. A new covenant would be established with the individual, rather than the nation. Through Jesus, everyone can have their sins wiped away and receive the blessings of God.
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