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Summary: This sermon explains a few lessons about how a changed church can change the world

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* Change: to make the form, content, future course, etc., of something different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone; a transformation or modification; alteration

* Change is often resisted in the church. Yet one could sum up a church’s purpose with one word: change

- We must change ourselves: transformed into Christ’s image

- We must aim to change the world (Acts 1:8)

* Text: Peter, John, and other disciples have been changed with the arrival of the Holy Spirit and have become transformed people (chapter 2); now they embark on a journey to change the world

* The example set for us: (1) we experience change personally; (2) we then get serious about changing the world and impacting culture

* Lessons about a changed church that changes the world...

Lesson #1: The opportunity to change lives will occur only after we have been changed ourselves (v. 1)

* Peter: the difference in him from the Gospels to Acts = he has changed

* Peter and John are being faithful to change into the image of Christ: "going up to the temple at the time of prayer"

* God cannot use us to change others and our communities if we do not allow him to change us first

* Psalm 51:10-13

* God always changes his people first, then uses them to change others

Lesson #2: The opportunity to make an impact in a person’s life will sometimes occur unexpectantly (v. 1-5)

* The purpose of their trip to the Temple was to pray; they were not expecting to heal the begger

* Their openness to God’s leading enabled them to make an impact in the beggar’s life, even when not expecting to

* What if they had not been sensitive to God’s prodding?

* Our challenge: be sensitive to God’s leading and ask God to open our eyes to those unexpected opportunities to change a person’s life

Lesson #3: We can change lives when we give what we have (v. 6)

* What the beggar was looking for was not what Peter had to offer, nor was it what the beggar really needed

* What Peter had, however, was just what the beggar needed.

* What Peter had that the beggar needed (what the church has that the world needs)...

A. Faith... that God is in control; that God can forgive sin; that God can transform lives

B. Hope... that the future can be brighter; that present failure isn’t final; that God can make all things new

C. Healing... of homes, of shattered dreams, of sin

D. Life... abundant life; eternal life; new life

* It is not our job to convince the world, but to simply offer the world what we have in Christ

* 1 Peter 3:15

Lesson #4: Our attempt to change lives must be done for the right reasons (v. 6)

* "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth..." = not in Peter’s or John’s name

* Peter’s goal was for God to use him so that he could give all the glory and honor to God

* The temptation we face is to begin to seek praise, glory and honor instead of giving God his due

* WHAT we do is not only important, but WHY we do what we do is also important

* Psalm 115:1

Lesson #5: The potential impact we can make in the world demands that we make it a priority (v. 7-10)


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