Summary: Growth failure in the church
A LAME MAN IN FRONT OF A CRIPPLE CHURCH
Our text opens at the three O clock hour as Peter and John are on their way to the temple. . .
The union of these two brings special attention: They were friends from youth; They were partners as fishermen; They shared in looking for the consolation of Israel; they both received the baptism of John; They accompanied Jesus along with James to the Mount of Transfiguration; They were sent to prepare the Passover; They both ran to the tomb together; In Acts 8:14 we see them in Samaria together; Gal. 2:9 – we see Peter and John back in Jerusalem preaching to the Gentile — And here they are at the hour of prayer, on their way to the temple together. .
The text in V-1 opens with the word Now — meaning that Peter and John were readied and willing in mind and heart to go and pray. . . . I wonder if there are any NOW saints in the house
Watch the rule of authority here – they went up together. . . . They went with the same mind, — they went in the same direction — they went for the same purpose. . . . Jesus said in Matt 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
They went up at the ninth hour – which was the hour of prayer associated with the evening sacrifice. . . . When you pray you have to learn to give up something. . . You can’t go to God in any manner and expect Him to hear and answer prayer. . . .
Prayer requires 2 elements — 1. Sacrifice — 2. Fellowship ---- If you want to be effective in prayer – you must learn how to commune with God. . . .
There is some baggage you must pull off. . . . I know what you may be thinking. . . . someone said the Bible says come as you are. . . If you are in need of repentance — you can come as you are — But to those that have been washed in the Blood — when you come to Jesus — cleanse your hearts and purify your minds. . .
Watch with me – the actions of Peter and John before they go into the Temple. . . .
First there is work out side the church. . . . It’s good to come and worship . . . Good to come and praise the Lord. . . Good to come inside the four wall of the house of Prayer. . . . but there is work on the outside. . . .
Outside the Church there are Souls to be saved ....
Outside the Church there are lives to be healed....
Outside the Church there are homes to be mended....
Outside the Church there are those that need be loved to Christ
The work is not in the choir or on the walls – even not on the benches — but the simple word “GO” was given as the mandate of the church. . . . .
As Peter and John approached the gates of the temple. . . . they ministered to a lame man. . . .
V-2 records that this man was born lame. . . . And each day of his life — the lame man was brought and left outside the church. . . . This remind me of those that come to church and leave unchurched family members and loved ones at home. . . . Past those on the street knowing that they are unchurched . . . . Work daily with co-workers – knowing that they don’t know Jesus
What is a cripple church???
The church represents both those within and without. . . As history records the long and painful mission of the church — there are six facts to be considered. . .
Theology presents the doctrinal aspects of the church
Ecclesiology is the science of church organization and management
Sociology sees the church as a significant social institution
Psychology recognizes the church as a place that manages human behavior
Education places the church as an institution of learning
Economics plots the church as a office of public assistance. . . .
But out of all this the church is cripple. . . . Well brother preacher – why do you say the church is cripple. . . .
• When the church is all membership – with no fellowship — the church is cripple
• When the church does not practice biblical stewardship — the church is cripple — a steward is one that has been left in charge of the goods of another — and a faithful steward recognizes God in everything. . . The church is not about you. . .