Faithlife Sermons

Praise God for His Power to Heal and Restore

Acts: Providence and Proclamation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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As humans, we have a way of messing things up from time to time. From relationships to projects to jobs to schedules, we occasionally bring harm to something that was once good. One of the easiest ways to see this can be with how an individual reacts to someone else. Whenever our trust is broken or whenever we are hurt deeply, we don’t always trust or rely upon that individual for a while. Maybe the situation is very serious or maybe it is very innocent, but the difficulty persists. Now that Gabriel is crawling around quickly and pulling himself up to his feet whenever he can, Lindsey and I have had to learn to baby proof things that we didn’t initially expect we’d have to do. We’ve been deep in discussion with one another only to find Gabriel, who one minute was playing with a toy on his play mat, was suddenly standing up next to the TV stand! The first time that he did this, it came as a massive surprise because we didn’t know that he was capable of doing this. As a result, we had to make some changes around the house. Things that were once considered safe were no longer safe. Pillows, poofs, outlet covers, and gates now dominate the living room as Gabriel has gotten older and more mobile!
Think of some of the changes that have transpired in your life. In 2020 there were many changes and one of the major ones for younger families with children was that suddenly your children were at home virtually all the time because in-person school turned into virtual school or nothing at all! This was a big adjustment for many. For others your job environment has changed dramatically in recent months. For others maybe your relationships with others have changed for better or for worse during this time. We’ve all undergone change and change doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
DA Carson shares this about the transformation that God does inside of us, “When Christ by His Spirit takes up residence within us, He finds a moral equivalent to trash, black and silver wall paper and a leaking roof. He sets about turning this residence into a place appropriate for Him, a home for which He is comfortable. When a person takes up long-term residence somewhere, their presence eventually characterizes that dwelling. When Christ first moves into our lives, He finds us in bad repair. It takes a great deal of power to change us; and that is why Paul in Ephesians 3:14-21 prays for power. God is transforming us into a house that pervasively reflects His own character.”
Aren’t you thankful that we serve a God who is in the business of restoring creation to it’s intended state? Aren’t you thankful that He can take trash and turn it into treasure?
This morning, as we continue to study out of Acts 5, we are going to look specifically at how God restores this broken community back to a united one. This is the pattern that we see in Scripture, God created everything good, we fell, and Christ is in the business of restoring us back to our Heavenly Father one lost soul at a time. Whenever we fall short, we have to remember that there is grace and that we are called to be agents of restoration as we seek to fulfill our calling of making disciples of all nations. Let’s read
Acts 5:12–16 CSB
12 Many signs and wonders were being done among the people through the hands of the apostles. They were all together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared to join them, but the people spoke well of them. 14 Believers were added to the Lord in increasing numbers—multitudes of both men and women. 15 As a result, they would carry the sick out into the streets and lay them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 In addition, a multitude came together from the towns surrounding Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Just a couple of verses this morning, but in these 5 verses we see a summary section of sorts. In Acts 4:32-37 we saw that the community was united with one another and of one heart and mind. In Acts 5:1-11 we saw that this was no longer the case due to Ananias and Sapphira lying and bringing about fear and division into the community. These 5 verses serve as a conclusion to these sections and an introduction into what will follow in the rest of Acts 5 and 6. Here we see the power of God in bringing about healing and restoration.

The Word Warns Us (12-13)

Why do you come to church? Maybe this seems like an odd question to consider during a sermon, but seriously, why do you come to church? When asked this question, people often respond in various ways: I come because my family comes, I come because the people are friendly and welcoming, I come because of the activities for my kids, I come because of the tradition, I come because I am a child of God and want to worship Him. There are many good reasons behind coming to church! Whenever I was in high school, there was a megachurch down the road that attracted many thousands of people week in and week out. In fact, their Wednesday night student ministry itself had thousands of youth who attended. This is a great thing in the sense that these students are attending church and hearing the truth of Jesus Christ. I asked one of these students one day why they attended this particular church instead of the church that they go to on Sunday morning with their family and the student responded by saying that this megachurch gives away Andy’s Frozen Custard, iPads, gift cards, and other free stuff every week. Again, not shaming anyone because these things can be a positive if they help get people into the door, but I wasn’t expecting this to be the primary reason that this particular guy went to this church.
Did you know that some people in our world today attend church for similar reasons? Maybe they are promised that if they come to church that their life will get easier, they will receive financial prosperity from God or a physical healing just by coming to church. People believe this type of stuff and are tempted to come to church thinking that if they do so, they’ll get something out of it.
Make no mistake about it, whenever you come to worship the King of Kings, you do receive something out of it but it’s rarely what we expect!
We read in our text that the power of God was evident throughout the church and community because signs and wonders were being done through the hands of the apostles. We read of one of these miraculous signs back in Acts 3:1-10 as Peter healed the lame man. Here the signs and wonders are not solely done by Peter but we see that all the apostles are performing these things. This is nothing short of a miracle! Now, as Baptists we get a little questionable whenever we talk/think about miraculous healings. The sad truth of the matter is that many people in our culture today distort things to try to earn the almighty dollar and are willing to do whatever it takes to become famous, wealthy, and comfortable that they call themselves faith-healers. If you’re like me, whenever you hear the words faith and healing in the same sentence you kind of cringe because of the sham that it often is. However, that is not the situation before us in our text. God has the power to heal throughout Scripture. We know that God still has the power to heal today! We see in the text that it is the power of God healing these people - not the apostles doing so in order to get rich quick.
Think of the risk that these people are taking during this time! In Acts 4, whenever Peter and John were put on trial, they were clearly instructed to stop teaching and preaching about Jesus Christ. Here they are. not in private, but in public healing people in the name of Jesus! This would have taken boldness, but this is what they were called to do. Jesus told them that they would be His witnesses. His hands/feet. His light in a dark world. This is our calling today as well - not to heal people because we can’t do that, but to be His witnesses and fulfill our calling. The Bible warns us of the danger of not doing this
2 Timothy 2:12 CSB
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us;
We are called to serve faithfully. Consider yourself today, are you faithfully serving God and pointing others to His Word? Are you living out His Word as His witness? Are you seeking to restore those who are lost and dead in their sins or are you saying that it’s not my place to tell them that they’re lost and dead in sins? We must speak the truth in love. However, as we do this, we are not guaranteed anything. We aren’t guaranteed that the person will respond in faith - but we are told to share and be faithful witnesses.
As the apostles were doing these signs, we see that “no one else dared to join them.” What exactly does this mean? We see in the text that the believers were gathered in Solomon’s Colonnade/Portico - a significant place as both Jesus and Peter preached here and the early church met here - but no one else dared to join them. They respected the Christians for their boldness and they saw all that God was doing through them, but what would have possibly prevented others from joining them? What did we talk about in Acts 5:1-11? We witnessed the seriousness of sin and the danger of being a half-hearted follower. The non-Christians would have heard of this story and if it brought fear into the heart of Christians, imagine what it would have done to non-Christians?! This wouldn’t have been a good sales pitch - come to church with me, but if you’re a hypocrite or a liar, you might or might not be struck down dead by God… Like who in their right mind would say to sign them up for that? No one! It makes sense that people kept their distance here even though they respected them.
Consider again why you come to church. We see here in our text and in the Gospels that the power of God is such that there can be healing and transformation!
Matthew 4:23–25 CSB
23 Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 Then the news about him spread throughout Syria. So they brought to him all those who were afflicted, those suffering from various diseases and intense pains, the demon-possessed, the epileptics, and the paralytics. And he healed them. 25 Large crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
Why did the crowds sometimes follow Jesus? Sadly, because they were expecting something from Him. They knew He could heal them and He often did! But to quote Shai Linne, “If you come to Jesus for money, then He’s not your God… Money is.” If you come to Jesus for healing, then He’s not your God… Healing is. If you come to Jesus for the stuff that Jesus can bring to your life then you’re not coming for the right reason. Jesus alone satisfies! If Jesus healed me of my T1D I would be insanely grateful… Until I had another serious injury or accident. If Jesus healed us of something it would be great, until we needed to be healed again. The Bible warns us about having the wrong motives whenever we come to Christ. After all, He demands our all. So, do we come to church for stuff, relationships, tradition, fun, or community? I love all of those things, but the primary reason that we are to worship together is because Jesus demands it and He deserves it!

The Spirit Changes Us (14)

Part of restoring something back to its original self or intended state involves some type of change. As a baseball fan, one of the coolest things I’ve had the opportunity to do is go to the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Factory in Louisville, Kentucky. This factory is massive and they allow you to tour the facility in order to see how exactly each bat is made. You get to see the large pieces of wood and how exactly they cut it into the specific mold that the player desires. Finally, at the end of the tour, you have an opportunity to hit some baseballs with bats that are identical to famous MLB players of previous generations and of today. To see a large rectangle of wood be cut into a baseball bat is quite a sight to see. The wood undergoes some pretty intense changes and the finished product is capable of some pretty heroic things. Who knows, the bat that I had the chance to hold might be have been used to hit a home run or two eventually!
In our lives, we see change happen frequently. We see this with our taste buds over the years as some food that we used to like, we no longer like and food that we used to not like, now we like. We undergo changes with our body as we age and many of these changes take some getting used to. One might say that lots of these changes are for the worst - our body feels older, breaks down easier, gets sleepy quicker, and grows out instead of up like it did when we were younger. One change that is always for the better is whenever the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of our heart and transforms us from the inside out!
In our text we see that even though no one dared to join the believers in Solomons Colonnade, there were people who came to know Christ as Lord and they were added to the church. This is similar to Acts 2 as people came to know Christ every day, but unlike Acts 2, we are not given a specific total here. We don’t know if this was 3,000 or 5,000 or possibly 20,000 people, but we do see that God is not only at work physically through these Christians, but He is at work spiritually in bringing the lost to salvation! These followers were not 50/50 followers like Ananias and Sapphira, they were “all-in” for Jesus Christ regardless of what came their way!
Think though about the cost of following Jesus for these new converts. You heard about what happened to Ananias and Sapphira. You know that the local Jewish authorities aren’t fans of Peter and John, two of the key apostles in the church. You know that others are a little skeptical of these Christians as we talked about during Sunday school a few weeks ago. There were many misconceptions about Christians during this period, yet we see that many multitudes of men and women were added to the flock. How did this happen? Sure the miracles draw a crowd and attract, but was there something more?
I’ve heard it said that whatever it requires to get you into church, it will require to keep you at church. Meaning this, if the reason that you go to a church is because they give away free iPads, the church better keep on giving away free iPads or else you might get up and go to another place that does! If the reason you go to a specific church is because they sing songs that you like, the moment that they stop doing that, you might get up and go to another church. Undoubtedly, this happens weekly across the globe! What if, though, instead of being attracted to a place because of stuff, we were attracted to a community because of their love for Jesus? What if, just as the Holy Spirit awakens our soul and brings us to life, we allow the Holy Spirit to mold us into Christ-followers who love Jesus so much, that other people viewed us as a community that is like Christ? That is a congregation and Christian community that is without question attractive to others but it doesn’t have to be built upon stuff. It doesn’t have to be built upon things, songs or even people - it should be built upon faithfully teaching and living out the Word of God.

The Gospel Heals Us (15-16)

At the end of our text we come across a fascinating development. Because of the signs and wonders that God was doing through the apostles, others took notice and began to bring the sick into the streets so that they might be healed. This wasn’t just something that a few people did, no, this was something that many people from many towns were doing! They were bringing their sick, the possessed, and the broken so that they would be healed. In our day and age, whenever we are seriously sick, we often go to the hospital to get things checked out. The ancient world was not as fortunate and, as a result, there wasn’t a lot of hope whenever someone was seriously sick. Whenever someone was healed of something, it truly was cause for celebration! Imagine the looks that the apostles received whenever God healed someone through them. Word about this got out to the point where people from other towns started bringing their sick so that they would be healed as well. This was a big deal! It was a miracle and without question, people came to know Christ as Lord through these healings.
Just as the people were healed and restored by the power of God in Acts 5 and by Jesus in Matthew 14, we know that the power of the Gospel brings about healing and restoration into lives today! To quote Alistar Begg, “What will we say whenever we first get to heaven?” We think about this often, don’t we? We have a list of all the things that we want to do whenever we get to heaven and some people are hoping to have this wonderful reunion with family members and various loved ones, maybe that will happen (probably won’t happen like many think it will) but what will you do first. What if someone asks you whenever you arrive, “why are you here?” What will the first words be from your mouth? Some will say “I did _____” or “I had faith in Jesus.” Is this wrong? No, you have to believe in Jesus Christ. But whenever we reflect on our life and who we were before Christ and after Christ, what should our response be? Why are we saved? Does it have anything to do with us? Do we restore ourselves? Do we heal our sinful condition on our own? Absolutely not. Begg goes on to state that our response must start in the 3rd person, “Because He ______.” Because He died for me! As was the case for the thief on the cross, our response should be the same: “The reason that I’m here is because the man on the middle cross told me I can come.”
Church, the Gospel message heals us. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the holy Son of God, born of a virgin, fully-God, fully-man, living a perfect life, dying the substitutionary death for us on the cross, raising from the dead on the 3rd day, appearing and ascending back to glory. This message is by nature a message of healing and restoration. While we might not experience the miraculous healing that these individuals experienced from all around Jerusalem, if you are a Christian, you’ve experienced an even greater miracle and an even greater healing. You have been cleansed of the punishment of your sins. Jesus paid that in full! You were walking as a child of wrath and dead to sins but God sent His Son to save you not because you and I deserve it, but because He is full of grace and mercy that He lavishes it upon His children!
Just as the physical healings by Peter and the apostles drew a crowd, whenever we share our testimony of how we were once dead and how we have been raised by Jesus Christ, people take notice. They might not completely understand, but they see that something has happened to us. We look different. We act different. Why? Because the Gospel transforms us! We’re still that piece of wood that we used to be, but we’ve been transformed by our King into a baseball bat. We’re still that piece of metal that we used to be, but instead of looking like a piece of trash, we have been transformed and restored into the treasure that God created us to be.


Don’t buy into the narrative that says that the greatest thing Jesus can do for you is help you live your best life now or to bring about healing, deliverance, or prosperity to your life. Friends, understand this, the greatest thing Jesus Christ brings is salvation from eternal punishment from God. He restores us into right relation with God! He heals us of our sinful condition so that we are no longer slaves to sin but instead slaves of God! We have a new master and we are under new ownership and I pray that He is at work in your life this morning. Maybe He is tearing down some walls that you’ve built up - maybe those walls are awfully thick - friend, let Him work and trust in His plan as He works all things for your good as a child of God! Maybe instead He is fixing a leaking roof. Maybe you’re under attack by worry, doubt, anxiety, or stress and you don’t know where to turn to. Consider Jesus
Hebrews 12:1–2 CSB
1 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Just as many people responded to Jesus Christ in the early church, many people are continuing to do so today. Christ promised to build His Church and He continues to do so! He is still at work, and as long as He is working, there is work for us to do as His followers.
Be Faithful to God’s Word
Don’t sugarcoat Scripture to make it fit into someone’s life. Don’t offer a “Hobby Lobby” Scripture passage in hopes that an out of context verse does all the work necessary and leave the person hanging. Be faithful to share the truth of the Gospel with others. We have sinned. We need a Savior. Jesus Saves Sinners.
Be Restored to Your Heavenly Father
As we saw in Matthew 7:16-18 on Father’s Day, we are all producing fruit. Some good, some bad. Our natural state as humans is to produce bad fruit, even though many fight against that truth. The good news is that Jesus Christ restores us. He not only redeems us and justifies us, He restores us and works inside of us. John 3 shows how through the work of Jesus, we are born again.
Are you born again? Have you been restored through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross? If not, there is time to get that right today. If so, are you thanking God for His gift of salvation and restoration? Are you sharing that hope with others?
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