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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Skip Heitzig » Skip Heitzig - Acts 2:32-3:26

Skip Heitzig - Acts 2:32-3:26

Skip Heitzig - Acts 2:32-3:26
Skip Heitzig - Acts 2:32-3:26
TOPICS: Expound, Bible Study, Book of Acts

And so Father, we commit the evening to you, the time that we're together, these next several minutes. We also want to understand truth and how it applies to our hearts, our lives, our future, our present, our relationships, where we go to school, where we work, where we live. And I pray, Lord, that we would have a very dynamic relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We trust, Lord, that you will direct us and feed us. In Jesus' name, amen.

One of our biggest fears is the fear of failure. Most everyone has the fear of failing at something or failing with someone. Dream analysts even say that the most common form of dream is what they would call an anxiety dream. They are taking a test in the dream, and they fail the test. They have to get up and give a speech, and most people don't like to do that, and they're sweating in their dream. It's the fear of failing.

And yet, wouldn't you agree that failure is common to humanity? It's built into humanity. We are born sinners separated from God, we need redemption, so failure is built into who we are. In fact, one of the most common things about us is failure. You have a long history of failure, as do I. The first time you tried to walk, you fell. You failed at walking the very first steps you took. You plopped on the ground, you failed.

The first time you jumped into a swimming pool, you almost drowned. Somebody encouraged you, you're a little baby, a little child, they pushed you, perhaps, like they did me, my brother pushed me. My dad caught me, but I just remember the frightening experience. I couldn't swim. I would have died unless somebody helped me in my failure. The first time somebody threw a baseball toward me to hit, I missed. You didn't get straight A's in all your classes, and if you did, nobody liked you. Chances are, you have let people down in your life, you have failed.

James says, we all stumble in many things. That's probably not a Bible verse you have underlined or made your life verse, but it's there. We all stumble in many things, that's just part of human nature. At the same time, that doesn't take the sting away from our failures. Peter, and we're reading his message here in Acts chapter 2, Peter struggled with failure, spiritual failure. Jesus told Peter he would fail, Peter denied Jesus three times. The last time Peter denied Jesus, Luke tells us, and Jesus looked at Peter, and then Peter went out and wept bitterly. I don't know what kind of a look it was, I can only guess it was a sympathetic look of great love that when Peter saw, he understood, he realized what he had done to this one who loved him so much, and he went out and he wept bitterly.

But at the same time, Peter's failure was a great hinge in his life. It was a fulcrum for greater usability. Jesus said he would be used again. Jesus predicted that he would be strengthened again, he would be restored. And now we're reading about that same Peter, the failure who preaches the first sermon, the one we're reading in Acts chapter 2. He will be the one who will lead the first Gentile to Christ, Cornelius. He'll oversee the work and the spread of the gospel up into Samaria.

I struggled with failure. I remember when my brother died, I felt the burden of his death on me for this reason. I felt like I had failed to lead him to Christ. I just felt so guilty that I could have done more, could have tried harder, could have shared other truths, wasn't a great witness, failed to lead him to make a commitment to Christ, and now it was over.

But failure is something that the Lord wants to use to make us more effective in the future. So we are landing, so to speak, right in the middle of this message that Peter is giving. And if we wouldn't know who it is, if we wouldn't know the past history of Peter, we would be looking at this sermon going, wow, this guy's amazing, he's well trained. And we would forget that he is the same fisherman from Galilee who struggled and failed.

But we read him here, and he's very articulate, he's very knowledgeable. He quotes the book of Joel Chapter 2, he quotes Psalm 16, which is a prophetic Psalm about the Resurrection. Peter even says, David, being a prophet, foresaw this event. And he said, and he quotes Psalm 16, you will not leave my soul in Hell, or suffer, or allow your Holy One to see corruption. David was speaking not of himself, but of Jesus, Peter says. And if you recall, because Peter says, here is his tomb. It's visible to this day. And I think at the very end of the study, I said, if you come to Israel with us, remind me, and I'll point out where the Jews commemorate the burial of David. But we continue now. Let's look at verse 32.

Peter continues, this, Jesus, God has raised up of which we are all witnesses. Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God and having received from the Father, the promise of the Holy Spirit, he poured out this, which you now see in here. Remember, they said, well, what is this? They're drunk with new wine, and Peter said, this is that, which was spoken of by the prophet.

So he goes then through the scriptures, and he kind of comes to a conclusion. I say kind of, because he's not done talking, but he says, this, which you now see in here, for David, verse 34, for David did not ascend into the Heavens, but he says of himself, now watch, he's quoting yet another Psalm from the Old Testament, Psalm 110, but he says himself, the Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool. Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.

He's quoting Psalm 110:1. The Lord said to my Lord sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool. Quoting it right out of Psalm 110:1. Now, that is an interesting Psalm, because that is the very same quotation that Jesus quoted in Matthew 22 on the day when the Herodians came to Jesus, the Pharisees came to Jesus, the Sadducees came to Jesus, and they peppered him with questions, hard questions.

And he answered them, but then he asked them a question. He said, hey, what do you think of Messiah? Whose son is he? And they said, he is David's son. They believed traditionally that the Messiah will be the son of David, which is accurate. But then Jesus, quoting the Psalm, says, well then how is it that David in the spirit calls him Lord? And he quotes Psalm 110. The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand till I make your enemies a footstool.

So if David calls him Lord, Jesus said, how then, do you say he's David's son? And it says they didn't answer him, and they didn't ask him any more questions? It was perfectly logical and it just sort of shut up all their arguments. David would have a son, or somebody from his physical offspring, his genealogy, who is Jesus. He is in the lineage of David. But in this spirit, David calls him Lord. The Lord said to my Lord. Yahweh said to Adonai, sit at my right hand till I make your enemies a footstool. That famous messianic Psalm that Jesus himself quoted, Peter now quotes. Therefore, let all the house of Israel assuredly know that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Now, when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, that's conviction. They were convicted by the Lord, they were convicted of their sin. And they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? Notice Peter's answer. And Peter said to them, repent. Repent and let every one of you will be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

So Peter's giving his sermon, he preaches the gospel. He does quite well, but then he makes application. And that is his goal, his goal isn't to just dispense information. Dispensing information is not his goal. Getting them to transformation is his goal. He wants change to occur, he calls a choice has to be made. Repent and be baptized.

Now, notice the order. He didn't say be baptized and repent, it's repentance first, and then baptism. Why? Because baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. Repentance, turning around, changing your mind, demonstrating that by baptism. So it's important that you see this, because some people will take this verse as proof for baptismal regeneration.

Some of you have heard that term, some of you haven't. I was raised in a church growing up that believed in baptismal regeneration, that you get saved by the waters of baptism. And this was a verse often quoted, where he says, be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins. And their arguments are, well, it is baptism that brings remission of sins. You're being baptized for, and they translate for, in order that, in order that, for in order that, or so that your sins can be remitted. And they'll quote this verse as one of their proof text.

Here's the problem. The word for translated in English for is the Greek word ice. And ice here could be better translated not so that, or in order that, but because of. I'll give you an example. If I say, the soldier was decorated for bravery, do I mean the soldier was decorated in order for that soldier to become brave? No. I mean this soldier was decorated because he was brave. He was decorated for it, because of it.

If I were to say, the criminal was punished and imprisoned for his crime, do I mean that this criminal was, or that man was imprisoned so that he would commit a crime? No. It's the result of him already committing the crime. It's for it, it is because of it. So that's the idea here. For the remission of sins is not so that your sins can be remitted, but because your sins have been remitted. One shows the other, one is a consequence of the other. That's the idea of ice or for. Be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Now, they had just seen and heard a mighty work and evidence of the Holy Spirit as the birthday of the church, the birth of the church was on that day. They heard the rushing wind, they observed this speaking in their own dialects, they wondered what this is. Some thought they were drunk, Peter explains that's not the case, and then he preached the gospel, told them to repent, and he says, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now watch this, this is concerning that promise of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and your children, and to all who are a far off as many as the Lord, our God will call.

So I love that verse, because if you call on the Lord today, that promise is also for you. As you call on the Lord, that same empowering is available to you today. And with many other words, he testified and exhorted them saying, be saved from this perverse generation. Now, that's the same word Jesus used in describing this world. It's the same word we discussed this last weekend in our study in Philippians. A perverse and crooked generation among whom you shine as lights in this world.

And those who gladly received his word were baptized, and that day about 3,000 souls were added to them. Man, that must have been a long baptism. You know, I know the other week when we had 50, 60, or if we get 70, it's like, man, even with a whole bunch of us baptizing, it can take a while. 3,000 people. All I can just go is, man, those apostles were tuckered out after that baptism. And then the question is, where in Jerusalem were they baptized? What place was there to accommodate 3,000 people in the waters of baptism?

Well I hate to give you this cliff hanger, but I need to show that to you when we go to Jerusalem. Remind me of that when we we're on the southern steps, and I'll point out where I believe they were baptized. You go, not fair. Well, and if I told you, it probably wouldn't make a whole lot of difference anyway. So I'd have to show you, and I will. Then fear came upon every soul and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all as anyone had need... So continuing with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of hearts. Did I leave a verse out? Did I leave out verse 42 or did I read that? I read it? Skipped it.

I didn't read it, I skipped it. OK, I need to go over that. And they continued steadfastly in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship in the breaking of bread and prayers, then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles, and all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they sold their possessions and divided them up among all as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

There's a lot there, and I just want to point out a few things. First of all, if we're getting a snapshot of what the very first church was like, we need to look at these verses a little more closely. So in verse 42, we have a little list. These were their priorities. They continued steadfastly, number one in the Apostles' doctrine. So we learn right away, they were a learning church.

Doctrine is one of those words I always feel sorry for when I read it in the Bible. I go, oh man, I feel so sorry for you little word, because people don't like you. The Apostles' doctrine, didaché doctrine, teaching, instruction. And I say that I feel sorry for it because I've heard believers say things like, and it's almost like their badge of spirituality. You know, it's not about knowing doctrine, man, it's about like loving Jesus. And I'm not into like doctrine, I'm just into loving Jesus.

And it sounds like ooh, you're so spiritual. Because you're like a cut above us all, because you're not into teaching, you're not into instruction. What a sad thing to say. Yeah, man, I'm not into good Bible teaching, I'm not into truth, I just want to love Jesus. Well how on earth will you love him unless you are given good instruction on who he is and how to do it? Jesus said to the Pharisees, you are ignorant not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. Or as the old King Jimmy says, you err not knowing the scriptures.

On another occasion, he said, have you not read? See, he's talking to leaders going, you should be Bible teachers by now. Haven't you read that text? Don't you know what the scriptures say? You are in error. You are ignorant, because you don't know the scriptures nor the power of God, and yet, and the reason I press this, is because we live in a day and age where Bible doctrine is not tolerated, Bible teaching is not tolerated, and people go to church and want just a pep rally. Somebody just to whip them up with a little exhortation, and a cool little clever phrase, and woo-hoo, awesome.

And so we have produced Christianettes, because they love sermonettes. And sermonettes are for Christianettes who can't wait to get outside and smoke their cigarettes or whatever. But they devoted themselves they were into the Apostles' doctrine. First on their list, they were a learning church. Second thing to make note of, they were a loving church. Notice the word fellowship verse 42. They continued steadfastly in the Apostles' doctrine, that's one, number two, and fellowship. You know the word, right? What is the word in Greek? Tell me.

Koinonia, thank you. Koinonia, coyness, commonness. It is sharing in something with someone, or sharing with someone something that you have. Here's something I have, I'm going to share it with you, or I'm going to share in this activity with you. That's the idea of participation, fellowship. So they loved one another. Fellowship is something you can't do alone. You can't say, you know what, I'm going to get on my podcast and have some fellowship. I'm going to my computer, and my computer and I, man, we're going to have fellowship together. I love the computer age, I love podcasts, I love to listen to them, but you can't have a rich, full relationship with Christ without the body of Christ. You need fellowship.

People say, well, do I need to go to church? Do you need to ask that? And if you're in a home where somebody asks, hey, dad, are we going to church today? It's Sunday, are we going to church? You don't auction church off. Does the sun rise? Let's see, it's the Lord's day, church is happening. I think we're going because we are Christians, that's right. We're believers. So fellowship, they devoted themselves to fellowship. You can't do it alone, you need other people to enrich your lives. You can't be a lone ranger, we used to say. See, The Lone Ranger even had Tonto. Right? He had fellowship.

Not only were they a learning church, not only were they a loving church, but just because I'm a preacher and I like to do this, a were a lauding church. Lauding, L-A-U-D, worshipping church, a praising church. Notice what it says, and in the breaking of bread and in prayers. Breaking of bread, sharing communion together. And in prayers. Those are exercises of praise and worship. And it goes down in verse 47, praising God and having favor with all the people. So they were allotting church. Now, here's something neat. When it says they were breaking bread, it's not just confined to the communion elements. In those days, they shared what was called a love feast, an agape feast.

It included the Lord's Supper, but it also included bringing food together to share in a common meal together. Part of their fellowship was a sit down meal that included taking the elements of the Lord's Supper. That was part of their worship, which I think it's great, because it combines worship of God and fellowship with the body of Christ.

Not only that, but it says in verse 43, fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together and had all things in common. That's that same idea of fellowship. Now, it delineates what that means. And they sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all as any one had need. So we could say they were a lavish church, a generous church. They pooled their resources together.

Now, some people have read this verse or these verses and said, well, the early church practiced communism. They sold everything and distributed it. That's not communism, that's commonism. And commonism is different from communism. Communism is enforced participation, commonism is voluntary participation. That's something I want to do, it's something the Lord laid on my heart. I don't need all this stuff, I'm going to share it with you.

Now, when that's forced, then it's communism. They're not practicing that. In fact, not everybody is doing it, because in verse 46, it says continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from what? House to house. So evidently, some people held on to their houses, and didn't sell them, and didn't pool all their resources. Many did, but not all. Some maintained their homes for themselves, for their family, but allowed it to be used by the church for Bible studies, for fellowship.

Something about this pooling of resources of the early church. We see it here, it's a beautiful thing to do. It seems to have been temporary and there is a lot of reasons for it that I really don't have time to get into, and I'll probably mention it as we go through acts, if we ever get through it, but it was temporary. And it had problems. Keep that in mind, because you're going to get to Acts chapter 5, the story of Annanias and Sapphira, and you're going to find out the kind of problems that this beautiful system had within it. But they were a lavish church, they shared together.

And then in verse 47, praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Now, how did he do that? How did he add to the church? Do you think it just happened mysteriously? That the believers just sort of sat around and unbelievers just came in and saying, a voice spoke to me, I'm going to become a Christian? No, I believe it was an evangelist church. I believe they shared the gospel. They gave witness by their love for each other, but also by their words to the people in Jerusalem.

So you might even say, with all those L's, it was a lasting church. It was lasting, because the Lord added daily those who were being saved. They were propagating, they were reproducing other believers by their evangelism and by the Lord's favor. The Holy Spirit poured out. So the Lord added daily those who were being saved. OK, 3,000 souls on the day of Pentecost. This is a new covenant, the church is birthed. And the first day of the birth of the church, 3,000 souls are saved.

Now, if you were to compare that with the first day the law was given on Mt. Sinai, you make a very interesting comparison. On the day the law was given on Sinai, I guess what? 3,000 people died in the camp of Israel. You know the story about the golden calf and the plague that went to the land on that day, 3,000 people died at the giving of the law. At the giving of grace, 3,000 were saved. The law kills. The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus. It's just an interesting comparison on the day these covenants were initiated, were inaugurated.

Now chapter 3 finally. We get now to the first recorded miracle in the book of Acts performed by the Apostles. It generalizes it in chapter 2, many signs and wonders were done, but here's the first described and recorded miracle. Now just a word about miracles, please don't overuse that word. I fear some of us are a little too generous with the word miracle.

A baby was born, we say, what a miracle. No it's not. The sun setting, what a miracle, the sun rising, it's a miracle. No it's not. Happens everyday, it's part of natural law. A miracle is different from something that's awesome. We even overuse that word, we overuse just about every word in our language.

A miracle is humanly impossible, but divinely simple. OK, so we have natural laws and we have natural order. A miracle is when God decides to supersede natural law with his own law, which for him isn't a wow moment, it's easy. So we understand there's a principle. We work on the principle of laws that supersede other laws, OK?

Example, the law of gravity. If I drop something right now, it hits the ground. The law of gravity says you're earth bound. And yet, you can get in a jet at the airport, an airplane, you can pay your money, get on an airlines, and you can lift off from the strip, fly in the air, and land in another city. First time I saw a Boeing 747, I think it was the first time I flew overseas, I looked at that thing and I said, no way. That thing, I don't know how much that weighs, but it's going to carry 500 passengers and 45,000 pounds of our luggage.

Gravity says it's not going anywhere, but those who are scientific and understand the law of physics far better than I do would say, oh, it's very simple, it's rudimentary. You just get other natural laws to supersede the law of gravity. The law of thrust, propulsion, aerodynamics. You put those together in the right form, and you can get something extremely heavy off the earth and flying through space. So certain laws in combination can supersede other natural laws. A miracle is when God enacts supernatural law in the midst of a natural world.

These are Apostles, but Jesus said these will follow those who believe. That they will perform signs, and wonders, miracles in his name, so we're seeing the fulfillment of that. In verse 1, now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. Now, please notice that Peter and John feel no conflict going to the Jewish temple to worship. They're believers in Jesus Christ, but they see no spiritual moral conflict going to worship in the synagogue or go into worship in the temple. They were Jewish, but they believed in the Jewish Messiah.

Now today, people will see a conflict. You can't go to a synagogue, you believe in Jesus. They saw no problem with that, because they understood that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah who fulfilled the Jewish scriptures. And they probably would have continued going to the synagogues and the temple, but there came a time when they were expelled from Judaism. And by necessity, Jesus said you can't pour new wine into old wine skins.

So the churches formed. The church at first continued with mainstream Judaism until they were pushed out by Judaism, and forced to meet on their own. But they're going at this point up to the temple. It says at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour, that's 3:00 in the afternoon, that's the ninth hour. Luke is using Jewish reckoning here of time. So the day began around 6:00, the third hour of the day would have been 9 o'clock, the 6:00 hour would have been noon, the ninth hour would have been 3:00 in the afternoon.

According to Jewish tradition, the pious Jewish person, do you know how many times a day he prayed or she prayed? Three times a day. Psalm 55, David said evening, morning, and noon I will cry aloud unto you. In Daniel chapter 6, after the decree was that nobody could pray to any other God in the kingdom except the King of Babylon, it says Daniel went to the upper room, opened his windows toward Jerusalem, and prayed three times that day as was his custom. As a Jewish man, he prayed toward Jerusalem in the morning, at noon, and in the evening time. And then he got thrown into the lion's den because of it.

So it's the hour of prayer, it's the afternoon, 3:00 in the afternoon, and as they're going up, verse to a certain man, lame, that is unable to walk, from his mother's womb, so it's a congenital defect, was carried. Whom they laid daily, everyday, at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, that's the name of the gate, the Beautiful Gate, to ask alms from those who entered the temple.

Now, just a word about this gate. Josephus, the Jewish historian, you've heard me talk about him over the years, spoke about this gate. It was called the Nicanor Gate. It was 75 feet tall. So look up at the peak. If you can see the peak of this building, it's more than twice the height of the peak of this room, more than twice. It's like twice that and then about a quarter or a half. 75 feet tall made out of Corinthian brass. Josephus said, of all the gates of the temple, it was the most beautiful, hence the term Beautiful Gate. He said it was more beautiful than any of the gold, any of the silver, any of the engravings of the temple. This was the standout feature.

It was a gate that separated the court of the women from the court of the men, or the court of Israel. There was this gate and then 15 steps that went down to the lower court, the court of the women. That's where they laid him every single day. Now, he was lame from his birth, so it's a congenital anomaly. It's not like he used to walk and now he's lame, all he has known is the inability to be ambulatory. So all of the joys of childhood were taken away, robbed. He never had a childhood, he was always a beggar. No muscle strength whatsoever.

Now, I'm drawing this out because I want to point something out. Jesus visited the temple, and he went through these gates. And it says this man was laid every single day at the gate. Jesus came, he died, he rose, he ascended by this time. So Jesus probably passed him a few different times. Do you get my drift? Jesus didn't heal him. I want you to understand Jesus didn't heal everybody. In fact, in John chapter 5, he goes to the Pool of Bethesda. How many people does he heal at the Pool of Bethesda, John chapter 5? Anybody know? One.

And yet, it says in the scripture, multitudes of sick people lay there. What about them? What about their needs? What about their pain? Understand that healing is a sovereign work of God. God is sovereign in his work and he is sovereign in his timing, and this was the time. So I'm sure as Jesus walked by, he saw the man, but he said, not yet, today's not the day. In fact, that's going to be done through Peter and John in the future. Now the day has come.

Now, this guy seeing Peter and John about to go in the temple asked for alms. So he's not looking for a miracle, not looking for healing, does not expect one, has no faith for a miracle whatsoever. He just wants a few coins. And fixing his eyes on him with John, Peter said, look at us. So the guy went... Looked right at Peter. So he gave them his attention expecting to receive something from them. Oh, wait till you see what he receives. Then Peter said, silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to 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.

This is a little bit cool. This is written by Luke. Luke is a doctor, right? I told you he's a physician. When he says his feet and ankle bones received strength, he's using medical terminology for the joints snapping into place, the tendons and the muscles instantly being strengthened. The way he writes it, it's translated in English, but it's, in Greek, a medical term. He's a doctor, he's writing about it from a medical perspective. But he says, silver and gold have I not, but such as I have, I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. Wow.

In the year 1260, Thomas Aquinas was visiting Pope Innocent IV at the Vatican in Rome. And the pope went to show Thomas all of the wealth of the papacy in the Vatican. And I've been to the Vatican and I can attest, it's unbelievable the wealth they have accumulated over the years. So as he showed Thomas Aquinas all of the wealth of the Vatican, the papacy, he says, you see, Thomas, unlike the first pope, referring to Peter, unlike the first pope, I can no longer say silver and gold have I not. And Thomas Aquinas said, with respect, your eminence, neither can you say in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk, either.

So you can boast about your wealth, but where's the power? Peter said, I don't have silver and gold, but I'll give you what I have. And it was the exercise of the Name of Jesus. And then notice this, this is important. Peter, he, verse 7, took him by the right hand and lifted him up. Now that's faith. Anybody can say to somebody, be healed. Anybody can pray, and I recommend that you do, but to actually in a public place, take someone who is unable to walk, never has ever been able to walk, has no muscle strength at all, but to pull that man up, that's an act of faith.

Now, whose faith was it? Whose faith was it? Who had the faith? Peter, not the lame man. Why do I bring that up? Because in certain movements in modern Christianity, contemporary Christianity, like the word faith movement, they make a big deal out of your faith. If you only had faith you'd be healed, but you're not healed because you don't have the right kind or the right amount of faith. But if you did, if you can muster up that faith and speak the word, if you had the faith, you would be healed.

Well when I hear that, I want to say, let me just borrow your faith then. You seem to have all the faith for the rest of us. So it doesn't take always the faith of the person, because this person here did not have any faith. He wasn't even looking for a heal, he was just looking for a handout. Peter said, I'm not going to give you a handout, you're going to get a healing, but it's in the name of Jesus. And Peter had the faith to pull him up. So it's just sort of like the paralytic that was led down in a house, some Galilee member, they couldn't get to Jesus because the house was filled with people. So a few of his buddies took tiles off the roof, and took the paralytic and lowered him down by a rope.

You know what It says? It says, in seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven. He didn't see his faith. This guy's going, you're making a scene, I don't want to do this, leave me alone. He saw the faith of those friends. Enough said.

His feet and ankle bones received strength verse 7, verse 8, so he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them walking and leaping. Can you imagine it? Of course he would, he's never been able to do this before. Now he's walking around, jumping up and down. Woo-hoo, it works. I can jump up and not fall down. Walking and leaping and what? Praising God. He didn't forget to praise God. In Luke, I may have it wrong, but I'm guessing chapter 17, Jesus healed 10 lepers. Not leopards, lepers, men with leprosy. And he said, go show yourself to the priest. Only 1 of the 10 came back and thanked him. And Jesus said, hey, didn't I heal 10? Where are the other nine?

Sometimes, we are all about the gift, and not the giver of the gift. We must always be thankful, we must always return thanksgiving and praise, not just walking and leaving, yeah, awesome, I can do it, but I am praising God for it. And all the people saw him walking and they saw him praising God.

I read an interesting article on the prayer habits of average Americans. And the little article said that most Americans pray, but most Americans pray prayers of personal petition. I need, I must have, I want. And they said most Americans, this was their tag line, pray in a superficial manner praying normally prayers of petition, rarely prayers of thanksgiving or forgiveness.

Not this man, he's praising God, and that is noted twice. All the people saw him walking and praising God verse 10, 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. That's a real healing. When it happens, it's not like, oh, it's cool, he was healed, awesome. Oh, good. I mean, I don't know if you've ever seen a real physical healing, I have. I wept, I couldn't contain myself, I jumped around, I hugged the guy who was healed. It was absolutely mind-bending, mind-boggling. I bring this up because some of our friends in the word faith movement will claim healing, while showing no evidence of it. They knew this was the dude who was lame, and they were in amazement.

I remember a guy coming up to me after a service, this was probably 20 years ago. Came up with crutches, I wanted to pray for him. I said, let me pray for you. What happened? He goes, well, I broke my ankle. And he had a cast, and he goes, but I want you to know, Brother, Skip, I'm healed. I go, I don't think you are healed, I want to pray for that and pray that your bones will come. He goes, no, no, no the Lord healed me. I said, Frank, you have a cast on. You're hobbling, I see you wincing in pain. No, but I claimed my healing. I said, listen, I appreciate all that claiming or healing, but don't tell anybody your healed.

He said, what do you mean? I want to give God the glory. I said, that doesn't give God any glory, because a thinking person, if you say you're healed, is going to think you're God does really crummy work. If you say, this is healed, and you're hobbling in a cast and you're in pain, you're going to say, whoever your God is, I don't want him touching me if that's a healing. This was a legitimate healing, and there was the evidence. He was walking and leaping, and praising God. They all knew that he was the one. 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... So they came to Solomon's porch, it wasn't a coffee shop.

Solomon's porch in the temple was a columnated double marble columned porch covered area along the entire eastern side of the temple complex. Enormous. It's where Jesus would often teach, it's where many disciples would gather. Thousands of people could gather on the outer court, and Solomon's porch was covered so it was great in times of inclement weather. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people, men of Israel, why do you marvel at this, or why do you look so intently at us as though we by our own power or godliness made this man walk?

And I love how Peter does this. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Why does he refer to God this way? Because he knows his audience, he's speaking to a Jewish audience. That's how a Jewish person refers to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and to the covenant God. And not only that, glorified, look at this, his servant Jesus.

You know why Peter does that? Because that is also a man who knows his audience. Being a Jewish audience, especially with learned people like scribes and Pharisees in the audience, they knew that four times in the book of Isaiah, there was something called the Servant Songs. Four Servant Songs. Isaiah 42, Isaiah 49, Isaiah 50, and Isaiah end of 52 and all of chapter 53. Four Servant Songs referring to the Messiah who is coming.

And so this is the servant, Jesus, as prophesied by the Old Testament whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of pilot 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 unto you. Man, he's pouring it on. And verse 15 is one of the most paradoxical statements in the Bible.

And you killed the prince of life. Isn't that an amazing statement? Isn't that a paradox? You killed the Archegos, that's the Greek word, the Archegos, the originator of life. You killed the originator of life whom God raised from the dead of which we are witnesses. And 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.

Oh, I love this verse because I said it wasn't the lame man's faith, it was Peter's faith, but even Peter doesn't take credit for it. He didn't say, yes, I have become a great man of faith, It is my awesome faith that has done this. He goes, I can't even take credit for the faith. God gave me the gift of faith to be able to see this miracle done. So it's by the name of Jesus, it's his power, and even the faith that I exhibited was a gift that God has given. Yet now brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as also did your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all his prophets that the Christ Messiah 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. That's further amplified in verse 21. And that he may send Jesus Christ, who has preached to you before whom Heaven must receive until the time of the restoration of all things, which God hath 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, and whatever he says to you.

And it shall be that every soul that 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 the 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 will be blessed.

Peter's pretty good, isn't he? I mean, he's quoting Deuteronomy chapter 18, the very famous text about Moses saying, God will raise up another prophet like me. Now, since Moses said that in Deuteronomy 18, the Jewish nation believed that their Messiah would be God's anointed, Messiah means that, but also he would be a prophet. They looked for a Messiah prophet. So he's quoting Deuteronomy 18, Moses saying, the Lord will raise up another prophet like me. This is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Remember when John the Baptist is baptizing by the Jordan River? They said, are you Elijah? Because the Bible says Elijah is coming before Messiah comes. And then do you remember the second question? Are you that prophet? Not Elijah, that was one question, are your Elijah, and this, are you that prophet then? That prophet is the prophet of Deuteronomy 18 that Moses predicted the Lord will raise up another prophet. When Philip found Nathaniel in John chapter 1, he says, we have found the one that Moses in the law foretold, Jesus of Nazareth. And their responses, can anything good come out of Nazareth? How could the prophet come out of Nazareth? To you first, verse 26, God having raised up his servant Jesus, sent him to bless you in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.

As we close this chapter, listen to that promise. God sent Jesus Christ to turn people away from their sins, to save people from their sins. God spoke through Moses, God spoke through the prophets, but God has finally spoken through Jesus. His Messiah, The Lord, The Lord whom The Lord spoke about, the prophet that Moses predicted. In Hebrews chapter 1, a verse I mentioned last week, and I'll close with this, said, God who spoke in times past in a variety of ways to our fathers through the prophets has in these last days, spoken to us by his son. That verb, God has spoken through Jesus, aorist, active, indicative. It's once and for all, it's done.

God spoke in times past, God has once and for all spoken through his son Jesus. In other words, when it comes to salvation, God has nothing more to say. Jesus is the final word. In the beginning, it was the Word, the Word was with God, God was the Word, or the Word was God. Jesus is God's final word on salvation. I hope Jesus is the final word in your life. I hope that you have repented of your sins and turned to Jesus, and received him as your Savior. I hope that you're not trusting in religion, I hope you're not trusting in your works, I hope you're not trusting in the upbringing your parents passed onto you, but you're trusting in the person of Jesus and the personal work of Jesus for you. I hope that, I pray that.

Father, as we close tonight and we think of this fisherman who failed, who denied Jesus, used by Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit speaking these words with great power and great conviction, the demonstration of a miraculous sign that got people's attention brought conviction to the heart. But Lord, that truth that Jesus fulfilled the scripture and he is the one to turn people away from their sin. Father, if there are any here tonight you have yet to trust in Jesus Christ personally, to surrender their life to him, I pray they would do that in this moment.

So as we're about to end in a song, our eyes are bowed, our heads are closed. If you're here tonight and maybe you've strayed away from Christ and you need to come back home to him, or maybe you've never personally trusted in Jesus yet, you've come with a friend, you've come with a relative, but you, yourself can't speak of a day when you turned from sin and said, I'm making Jesus the Lord of my life, I want him to forgive me of my sin. I want to turn from my past and turn to Him and get a whole new life, a whole new start, I want to be saved. If you can't think of a time when you've done that, then please do it now.

It's a simple act of faith. And if you're willing to do that, I want you to raise your hand in the air, because I want to pray for you as we close the service. I need to know who I'm praying for. So as our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, my eyes are open. I will acknowledge you as you raise your hand. Keep it up for just a moment. God bless you and you right in the middle, and toward the back on my left. Anyone else? Right over here on my left, and a couple of you. God bless you guys. Anybody else? Right there in the middle, yes sir, toward the front. Right over here on my right, couple of you. In the back, yes sir. And in the balcony, thank you for that. Anyone else? You're with us. Right over here on my left. Awesome, you guys, God bless you. And you, on my left.

Father, I pray for all of these whom you love so deeply, so tenderly. You have such a awesome plan for them, a wonderful plan. Really, Lord they have yet to discover how great it is. But Lord, as they have raised a hand and they've indicated that they have a need for salvation, a need to believe in Jesus, I pray, Lord, that you would strengthen them to follow through on the raised hand, to turn their lives and experience peace in Jesus. It's in his name we pray, amen.

Let's stand to our feet. We're going to close with a final song. I saw hands raised all over the auditorium and in the balcony even. I'm going to give you an opportunity as we sing this final song. Get up right now from where you're standing, walk down the nearest aisle. I'm going to pray with you in just a moment as you get up here to receive Christ as your Lord and your Savior.

As we sing, you come. Here in the balcony, we're waiting for you to come down if you're in the back of the room, middle of an aisle, wherever you're at. If you raised your hand, please come. Come on, let's encourage them. Yes. Smartest choice you could ever make. Come just as you are. You see, I have baggage in my life. I've got a lot of stuff I've committed. Good, bring it all to the Lord. Dump it out before him right now, right as you are. It's called forgiveness. It's called a free gift. You don't earn it, you receive it. God bless you. I see many of you up here tonight. Anybody else? Whether I saw your hand or you raised your hand, you come. God bless you. God bless you.

You that have come forward, I'm going to lead you now in a prayer. I'm going to pray this out loud, I'm going to ask you to pray it loud after me, OK? You say it out loud, you say it like you mean it, say it out loud. You pour out your heart to the Lord. This is you asking Jesus to come into your life. So as I pray, you pray after me. Say:

Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus Christ. That he died for me on a cross. That he shed his blood for my sin. That he rose again from the grave. That he's alive right now. I turn from my sin. I repent. I turn to Jesus as Savior. And I went to follow him as my Lord. It's in his name I pray. Amen.

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