Summary: This is a great sermon dealing with sharing our faith in Christ after having a life changing experience.
Changed Lives, Caring People,
Our world today is so interested in changed lives. If you don’t believe me, try watching an episode of What Not To Wear. They begin by taking someone who seems so plain or wild, but has no sense of fashion. They begin with their clothes and send them out shopping with a $5000 credit card and they get to spend it all, following some strict rules. They then re-style their hair, do their make-up, etc. The individual then is so excited that they want to go tell everyone about what has happened to them. Huge groups of people are usually waiting to greet them when they return home with their new look.
I know of a few guys in Acts 3 that had a life changing experience kinda like that. They are Peter and John.
You see, Peter was the one who refused to be a servant at the Passover feast. He was also the guy who had earlier denied even knowing Jesus.
John, during the Passover, was so concerned about his position that he even asked Jesus where he would sit at the dinner table. He was the one who also wondered if he would betray Jesus or not.
So what happened to these two men? Why were their lives dramatically changed? They had experienced the power of the Jesus Christ in their lives.
Let’s read about them in Acts 3:1-10
3:1 - The Jews observed three times of prayer, morning (9:00 a.m.), afternoon (3:00 p.m.), and evening (sunset). At these times, devout Jews and Gentiles who believed in God often went to the temple to pray. Peter and John were going to the temple at 3:00 p.m.
3:2 - The gate called Beautiful was an entrance to the temple, not to the city. It was one of the favored entrances and many people passed through it on their way to worship. The lame man who had been crippled since birth had taken his position at the gate to beg where he would be seen by most of the people.
Giving money to beggars was considered praiseworthy in the Jewish religion. So the beggar wisely placed himself where pious people might see him on their way to worship at the temple.
3:5,6 - The lame man was asking for money, but Peter gave him something better – the use of his legs. We often ask God to solve a small problem, but He wants to give us a whole new life and help for all of our problems. When we ask God for help, He may say, “I’ve got something even better for you.” Ask God for what you want, but don’t be surprised when He gives you what you really need.
3:6 - “In the name of Jesus Christ” means “by the authority of Jesus Christ.” Peter and John were doing this healing through the Holy Spirit’s power, not their own.
3:7-10 - In his excitement, the formerly lame man began to jump and walk around. He also praised God! And then others were also awed by God’s power. Don’t forget to thank people who help you, but also remember to praise God for His care and protection.
Experiencing Jesus Christ is what transforms our lives.
This transformation of knowing the risen Lord changed Peter’s life. Once a fearful fisherman, God changed Peter into a bold preacher of the gospel.
John, too, was changed into a godly, faithful servant.
This same transformation took place in the life of Saul of Tarsus. It was Jesus Christ who changed this Christian-persecutor into Paul, the evangelist.
The same transformation that took place in the lives of these men, can take place in our lives today.
Jesus is the one who eternally transforms lives. What He did for Peter and John, as well as the lame beggar, He will do for you.
Repentance leads to salvation and transformed lives- that leads to revival and evangelism.
So, what happened in Acts 3? Was it about one man’s healing? Yes! However, it is much more than that. Lives were transformed.
Acts 4:4 (NIV) - “Many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.”
When we experience Christ, like Peter and John experienced Him, our lives will be transformed. We will become God-directed and not self-motivated. We will be what God desires us to be, and will do what He has transformed us to do.