Summary: Repentance is the first word of salvation. Without repentance, there is no salvation.
This man is running around screaming with joy. You couldn’t stop but notice it. He was making such a hoopla you would have thought that he won a million dollars. People stopped what they were doing, you could see the smiles on their faces when they heard the man shout for joy - then, you could see the shock on their faces as the realization came over them that the man making all the commotion, the man who was running, jumping and yelling was a man who had never walked a day in his life.
This man had sat at the gate called beautiful in the Temple for over 40 years. In over 40 years no one had ever seen him walk, stand or run. They look once, they look twice, and yes it is indeed the man who cannot walk - and he is running and jumping around.
So when Peter and John go back out to the outer court where Solomon’s Colonnade was, everyone follows them. They have to know what is going on, they have to know what has just happened.
What had happened was that Peter seized the man who had never taken a step in his life and pulled him to his feet while saying the words, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk,” and the man walked, the man jumped, the man ran.
But there is more.
This man who was healed, this man had more than his feet healed, this man was made whole, inside and out. We see in verse 16 that the man is made complete, he is made whole. This means more than a physical healing, this means more than restoring his ability to walk, the man was healed, and then some.
Now, there is a lot in this passage this morning, but the key I want to focus in on for us today in verse 19. That’s a verse to mark in your bibles. We read in verse 19,”Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”
The word refreshing in the NIV that we read today, is figuratively, a recovery of breath, a revival. This man is not just made normal like everyone else, this man is not just given what everyone else has - the ability to walk - this man is given a new life - this man is literally given Jesus Christ.
Look at verse 20, “and that he may send the Christ.”
See what has happened is that the Holy Spirit has come upon the man, and not only gave him healing, but gave him new life. This man is literally refreshed, made new.
Peter, then explains, how this all works. Peter explains how we can enter into a time of refreshment, which I just said earlier is figuratively a recovery of breath, a revival.
You need refreshment in your life? Let’s look at God’s holy Word to see how such a thing can happen in our life too.
I am going to give you the answer right here in the beginning so that you do not miss it: Repent and turn to God - it’s right there in verse 19 - Repent and turn to God. Let me ask you this question for you to think about during the sermon: Of all the things you have been doing in your relationship with Jesus Christ, bible reading, prayer, studies, talking to others about it - when was the last time you spent time in repentance?
Repentance isn’t big in America is it?
Now you’ll notice that after the man is healed Peter and John walk over to Solomon’s Colonnade. This was a large area in the outer court of the Temple, it is a place that had quickly become the place for believers to meet. This is where the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ would meet to worship together. So it is natural that Peter and John head on over to the Colonnade.
I love it the guy who was healed is just hanging on to Peter and John as they head over to the Colonnade, the man doesn’t want to lose these two does he?
Notice, I said believers met at Solomon’s Colonnade and didn’t say Christians. At this point the followers of Jesus Christ are not known as Christians, they are known as Jewish people. Some of them called themselves, “The Way,” but they ALL are Jewish, and all worship in the Jewish Temple, and all practice the customs of good Jewish people. Since everything around them is Jewish and everyone gathered is also Jewish, Peter explains Christianity from a Jewish perspective. So Peter starts with the three great patriarchs of Israel in his explanation - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.