Summary: Exposition of Acts 3:1-10 about how Christ was exalted through a miracle, 1 of 3 parts to Acts 3
Text: Acts 3:1-10, Title: Exaltation through a Miracle, Date/Place: NRBC, 7/8/07, AM
A. Opening illustration: In deep prayer on a California beach, a man asked for one desire… I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time to think of another wish, a wish you think would honor and glorify me"…I want to understand women to better minister to my wife, what they feel, what they need… After a few minutes God said, "How many lanes do you want on that bridge?"
B. Background to passage: In Acts 2:43 Luke tells us that many signs and wonders were being done by the apostles of the early church. And for the next two chapters, he includes the account of one particularly significant one. This miracle not only stood as a sign pointing to Christ for the masses, but got the disciples into a lot of hot water with Jerusalem officials. The key verse in the chapter for our breakdown of it is verse 13, where it says that God glorified Jesus. This is the theme for the chapter, and over the course of the next three weeks, we will see three primary ways that God glorified Jesus, beginning with the miracle that begins the chapter. It’s 3pm, the third of the regular Jewish times of prayer, and at the gate lay crippled and lame and orphaned to gain provisions from godly people, b/c almsgiving was extremely godly.
C. Main thought: In our text today, we will see how God brought Christ glory through the miracle.
A. The Estimation of His Value (v. 6)
1. Peter and John were doing a little team prayer and ministry outing, when this needy man approached them. Peter told him to look at them, maybe with his pockets pulled out. You know that this had to be a downer for a guy expecting to get some money. The “but” begins the biggest comparison that you will ever see. He says, but what I have, I give to you. He implies here that what he is about to give the man is of far greater value. He was about to offer this man, not the healing of his legs as the thing of great value, but the person of Jesus Christ, who is infinitely valuable.
2. 1 Pet 2:4, 6-7, 2 Cor 4:4, Col 1:15-18, 27, 2:2-3, Eph 3:8,
3. Illustration: A story was told of a man who loved old books. He met an acquaintance who had just thrown away a Bible that had been stored in the attic of his ancestral home for generations. “I couldn’t read it,” the friend explained. “Somebody named Guten-something had printed it.” “Not Gutenberg!” the book lover exclaimed in horror. “That Bible was one of the first books ever printed. Why, a copy just sold for over two million dollars!” His friend was unimpressed. “Mine wouldn’t have brought a dollar. Some fellow named Martin Luther had scribbled all over it in German.” read the chorus to Prince of Peace, and the first verse and chorus of Champion of Love,
4. We all know the Sunday School answer that Jesus is more valuable than money or material things. But we must search the depths of our heart to determine if we really think about Him as being the most valuable of all things. We see that nothing, no one, no thing is greater. That His worth and value and qualification surpasses all above, in, and under the earth. He is our conquering warrior in life, our reigning king, the only one with the divine right to rule and reign, our strength, or shield, or refuge, our compassionate sin-bearing lamb. He is the fountain of living water, the rock of salvation, the holy and righteous Prince of life. He is the highest of high, greatest of great; no one could ever take his crown away. Do we really treat Him and think about Him in terms of the most valuable thing ever? Is that how we love Him, pray to Him, worship Him? So much more to say…if He is, then in tribulation…etc.
B. The Cost of Ministry (v. 7)
1. Christ is exalted by the lengths to which Peter will go to make disciples. Peter is not concerned about hygiene, finances, or status; He reaches out his hand in fellowship and brotherhood. Peter lifts him to his feet for the first time ever. And Peter walks with him into the temple. And then he walks home with him.
2. Illustration: share my concern about reaching those that are immediately surrounding us
3. Jesus says to make disciples. And discipleship costs us more than a benevolence fund or even a visitation ministry. To make disciples means to stretch out a hand, lift people up, and walk with them. It is a long-term process. You will get your hands and our pews dirty. It will cost you primarily time and effort as opposed to money. We must spend time with new believers to teach them God’s ways and truth. We must shield them from our bad habits and traditions. They need to be loved and cared for enough to pour out your lives into them, so that their finances, marriage, families, and jobs look Christ-like. Christ is glorified by what we sacrifice to carry out the ministry of the gospel that He has commissioned us with.