Summary: Choose to believe in His presence. Know the authority we have in Christ. God’s power flows through faith. Pray and believe God will act.
I want to talk about the NAME – the Name JESUS, the power of the living Christ.
[Read Acts 3:1-16]
This was the first recorded miracle of the disciples in the book of Acts.
• This was unlike the Peter and John that we read about in the Gospels.
• Here they were bold and confident. They saw a need and gave a command; it was a prayer for healing.
Peter’s words revealed what he believed. His actions exposed his deep conviction.
• They believed Jesus has the power to heal and He was present. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, this man can walk.
• Jesus may have been gone, but it felt like He was right there. Replace Peter and John in this scene with Jesus and it would seem like a page from the Gospels.
The truth of the matter is Jesus was there! He healed this man!
• Who else could have done it? Peter? John?
• That was what the crowd was thinking. Peter had to explain: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” (Acts 3:12)
This was not the work of man.
• “It was Jesus! The one you disowned. The holy and righteous One and you crucified Him!”
• 3:15 “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.” He is the One who did it!
• 3:16 “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”
That’s the power of the living Christ. He is alive and present, through the Holy Spirit.
• He promised the disciples: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:20)
• Peter did not called out to a dead man’s name! They were calling out to their risen Lord and Master, the One whom they’ve seen and talked to for 40 days after His resurrection.
The disciples were keenly aware of His presence. They knew His presence. They knew His power. That gave them courage and confidence.
• So can you and me today, if we believe it.
(1) BELIEVE in His Presence
Are we sure of His presence today? Or are we more disturbed by His “absence”? That’s why we ask the question, “Where is God when it hurts?”
• We tend to “feel” more of His absence than His presence. His absence is not the truth but we feel it. His presence is real, but we have a hard time believing it.
• We need to be convinced that He is present with us. We are more keenly aware of his absence than presence.
The fact is, we don’t need to FEEL, we just need to BELIEVE. He said so.
• We pray that the hymn we sing so often - Because He Lives – will always be true for us, especially during the dark moments in our lives.
• Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.
Choose to believe in His presence and we will see His works.
• Brother Lawrence, a 17th Century Christian monk, wrote a classic called ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’. He talks about the need for the practice or the development of an awareness of the presence of God. We need to make an effort to practice it.
(2) KNOW the AUTHORITY we have in Christ
Peter believed in the authority of Christ’s Name. It was given to them at the commissioning.
• Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:18-19)
• If all authority in heaven and on earth is in the hands of the One who send us, then there is nothing for us to fear. No one, no power, is above that authority. It is supreme.
That was clearly demonstrated here. We see exceptional power flowing in the Name of Jesus.
• This man, who has never stood, walked and jumped. Never mind if you have not done it before. God needs no precedent.
• Acts 4:22 reveals that he was over 40 years old. It does not matter if you are like that for 40 years, God can always do a new thing. There can always be a first time with God.
God’s ultimate will for this man was not for him to beg for the rest of his life.